Michael Strahan Hosts ‘Live!’ Without Kelly Ripa After His Exit Announcement
UPDATE: CNN correspondent Brian Stelter reports Kelly is not returning to "Live! with Kelly and Michael" until possibly next week. He tweeted, "Kelly Ripa will not return to @KellyandMichael til next Tuesday at the earliest, ABC says."
On Wednesday's episode of "Live! with Kelly and Michael,” Michael Strahan showed major love for his co-anchor Kelly Ripa, who was noticeably missing.
Her absence came one day after Michael announced he was exiting the show for a full-time co-anchor job at “Good Morning America.” He told the cameras, "I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa. Kelly welcomed me here and I've learned so much from her. She's just been an amazing influence on me and this has truly changed my life to be here with her.”
He went on, "And I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly... and the staff here because everybody here is so talented," he added. "This show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake. Kelly, I thank you. I love you and everyone else here at 'Live!,' and I'm not going to cry on TV, Mama, I promise you.”
Ana Gasteyer filled in for Ripa, who “had the day off,” according to a “Live!” rep.
Though it is reportedly only one day, another source revealed to People that it was unknown when Kelly will be returning, saying, "Kelly told ABC she wasn't coming in last night. They don't know yet when she'll be back."
Another insider told the magazine that Michael wanted to tell Kelly the news himself. "He very much wanted to do the right thing. It was important to him. He wanted to tell her in person and give her months' notice."
Michael is rumored to be leaving the show sometime this summer, just months before he starts his full-time “GMA” gig in September.