"Our long national nightmare is over," Kelly Ripa announced when she returned to Live With Kelly and Michael Tuesday morning from a well-publicized week off -- after news broke that her co-host Michael Strahan was leaving Live for a bigger gig over at Good Morning America.
According to inside reports, Ripa was "blindsided" by Strahan's move, and only learned her co-host would be leaving moments before he made the announcement to viewers on-air; allegedly, ABC execs employed the same strategy of keeping Kelly in the dark when her prior Live co-host Regis Philbin jumped ship back in 2011. Ripa then went on what her reps insist was a "previously scheduled" vacation, which earned her the label of "diva" from the media.
"Apologies have been made," Ripa said cryptically, after returning to the stage hand-in-hand with Strahan. "It started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration, and most importantly, respect in the workplace." Intriguingly enough, Live's cameras don't cut to show us Strahan's reaction even once during Ripa's speech, which you can watch in full above.
"This is entertainment," the co-hosts reminded the audience -- and themselves -- before returning to their regularly scheduled programming, as it were. Strahan and Ripa's last show together is May 13, and we have no doubt that their remaining time together will be entertaining, indeed.
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Lauren Leibowitz is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. Find her on Twitter @lleibowitzz.