Saying, “Tune in tomorrow. Trust me” in a Twitter video Sunday, Kelly Ripa gave a wry smile as she sipped from a coffee mug labeled “Kelly ?” — and with the accompanying tweet “We’re going to need a bigger mug. #TuneInToLive #BigAnnouncement #LiveKellyCohost,” Ripa revealed that after nearly a year, she will soon have a new partner on “Live with Kelly.”
Ripa, 46, has gone solo on the syndicated morning show since shortly after Michael Strahan abruptly announced on April 19, 2016, that he was leaving “Live! With Kelly and Michael” to join “Good Morning America.” Feeling blindsided, Ripa subsequently took a week off amid acrimony, and Strahan’s departure date was moved up from sometime that summer to May 13.
He had been co-host since Sept. 4, 2012, following a 10-month search to replace Regis Philbin, a venerable mainstay since co-hosting the predecessor “The Morning Show” in 1983. Following Strahan’s departure, the series was retitled “Live with Kelly” on May 16, 2016.
Strahan, 45 — an NFL Hall of Famer who spent his entire 15-year career as a defensive end with the New York Giants, retiring after the 2007 season — has not commented on social media. The dozens of rotating co-hosts following his departure included Massapequa’s Alec Baldwin and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” star Chris Pratt as well as Priyanka Chopra, Anderson Cooper, Kevin Hart, Megyn Kelly, Jimmy Kimmel, Joel McHale, Jim Parsons, Tyler Perry and Ryan Seacrest
Ripa has co-hosted the show since February 2001, following longtime co-host Kathie Lee Gifford’s departure the year before.
Stung by Strahan’s sudden announcement last year, Ripa later reflected on having been taken unawares, telling People magazine a month later, “There’s a part of me that can say, ‘Okay, I understand. This may have been an oversight,’ ” adding that “sometimes when you are so comfortable with somebody, you may not give them the same consideration as somebody you’re not as comfortable with — a certain formality falls away.”