Kelly Ripa recalls Regis Philbin’s comment before the first show that made her feel terrible

Kelly Ripa recalls Regis Philbin’s comment before the first show: Kelly Ripa explores the highs and lows of her relationship with Regis Philbin in her brand new book Live Wire.

The host of Live With Kelly and Ryan writes in her new book Live Wire: Long Stories about her early years on what was then Live With Regis and Kelly, recounting PEOPLE that the passages about her late colleague were “hardest” to write.

She said that while she hosted with Philbin from 2001 to 2011, there were “good days and bad days” “I don’t want to feel like I’m blaming someone or that I’m being disrespectful. But I also want people to know that it wasn’t just a walk.” Ripa added, noting that it took her “years” to find her niche and earn things like an office and a place to keep her computer.

Kelly Ripa recalls Regis Philbin's comment before the first show
Kelly Ripa recalls Regis Philbin’s comment before the first show

Ripa said he got the call to co-host alongside Philbin after his former partner Kathie Lee Gifforddeparture. She was told repeatedly that ABC was not looking for a permanent replacement, which she took to be code “It was very creepy and I didn’t feel good.” “They want you to know who’s your boss,”

Ripa recalled an exchange with Philbin on her first day co-hosting with him. “I came with hair and makeup. It wasn’t unusual for people on a TV show to appear with,” she said. Just moments before taking the stage, Philbin greeted her and executive producer Michael Gelman, saying: “Oh Gelman, there’s an entourage.”

Want to learn more about Kathie Lee Gifford?

Kathie Lee Gifford presents on American television, releases music and writes books. It aired with Regis and Kathie Lee for a total of 15 years (1985–2000), during which time she rose to prominence as a co-host with Regis Philbin. Along with Hoda Kotb, she co-hosted the fourth hour of NBC’s Today show for 11 years (2008–2019). Click here to read more…

“I felt terrible” TV host Ripa recalled that time. “He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time he felt like a heap. I understand that he probably didn’t want to co-host, but the network wanted me to be a co-host and I didn’t think I should take that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it also wasn’t fair to me. It wasn’t right for him either. But it wasn’t fair to me in any way.

Despite all the hardships, Ripa said she has nothing but love for Philbin, who died in July 2020 at the age of 88. “Off camera and out of that building was a different thing,” she said “I always had a great time when we were together. We went to the same resort on vacation and he came to a dinner I hosted—one of my favorite dinners.”

“I loved the time we spent together so much. Once on vacation we went to the same resort and he came to a dinner I hosted – one of the favorite dinners of my life. I’ve never laughed so hard. I would be happy if I got to tenth place. It takes the audience on a journey with you and constantly reminds them that they are the object of the joke.”

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