Michael Strahan shocked fans when he announced he was leaving ‘Live With Kelly & Michael’ on April 19, but the news had the biggest impact on his cohost Kelly Ripa. She was completely ‘blindsided’ by Michael’s sudden exit!
Talk about dropping a bomb on someone! Before Michael Strahan broke the news that he was ending his run as Kelly Ripa‘s counterpart on Live With Kelly & Michael for GMA on April 19, he had given no warning to viewers — or even his cohost. Kelly got the heads up about Michael’s exit on the same day the whole world did, and she was not happy about it! (She also skipped his first show back!)
Following their 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EST broadcast, Michael pulled Kelly and Executive Producer Michael Gelman aside at 10:30 to inform them that he would be leaving Live for GMA, sources connected with the production of the show told TMZ. The insiders mentioned that both Kelly and Michael Gelman were “stunned and upset” by the news…but can you blame them?!
No matter how sad it may have been for Kelly to find out that she was losing her cohost, though, perhaps the worst part of the bombshell announcement is the fact that Kelly now has no idea who she’ll be hosting the show with. Sources told TMZ that because Michael gave absolutely no warning to anyone at the show, they have no plan on replacing Michael. Yikes!
Although the insiders didn’t reveal whether there’s any hard feelings after Michael’s blindsiding exit from Live, he certainly isn’t leaving out of spite. In an official statement, Michael called his time on the show “transformative” and his exit “bittersweet,” and he had absolutely nothing but nice things to say about his cohost of four years.
“Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team,” he wrote. “I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans.”
Unfortunately for Kelly, this is the second time she has been completely caught off guard by her cohost’s exit. When Regis Philbin left Live With Regis & Kelly in January 2011, he didn’t break the news to Kelly until 15 minutes before they went live! Despite the fact that they have no idea who will take Michael’s place, the former NFL star made a pretty fantastic replacement for Regis after his shocking departure — so we totally have faith that whoever they find will be great too!
Were you shocked by the news of Michael leaving, HollywoodLifers? Who do you think should replace him? Tell us below!