Kelly Ripa has some Regis Philbin-related regrets.
The TV host and former soap star has opened up in recent weeks while promoting her book Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories, and it turns out her time on Live with Regis and Kelly was not as fun as it appeared on air. In a new interview with the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast, Ripa recalls being assigned to co-host Live alongside Philbin after Kathie Lee Gifford departed the show.
"[Philbin] should not have had to have a host assigned to him. That’s not fair. He paid his dues, and he established this show," said Ripa, acknowledging how difficult it was to "put two strangers from two completely different generations" together in this context. "I felt for him because he was so famous and was so well-established."
Ripa was unaware at the time, but there was drama happening behind the scenes related to her hiring - and says given the chance again knowing what she knows now, she wouldn't take the job. "If I had known going in, I wouldn’t have done it. And how sad for me. How sad for me. Luckily, ignorance is bliss… I didn’t know that there was so much in-fighting between these two factions and that I was considered like, a network girl, which is so ridiculous," the former All My Children actress shared.
Later in the interview, Ripa also responds to Gifford, who said last week that she had no plans to read Ripa's book and that her reality was "something completely different" from Ripa's claims about Philbin (Ripa wrote that their working relationship was rocky from the beginning). "It’s really hard to sell a book, right?" said Ripa. "So my ultimate comment is, 'thank you'."
Philbin left Live with Regis and Kelly in 2011 and passed away in 2020. Ripa now hosts Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.