Kelly Ripa blindsided by Regis’ sudden retirement announcement

When Regis Philbin announced his retirement after 28 years as a talk show host it came as a surprise to the nation, but was also reportedly a surprise to his co-host of nearly ten years, Kelly Ripa. According to TMZ, Kelly found out just 15 minutes before Regis announced it on the air, because he was afraid if he told anyone ahead of time the news would leak. That makes it sound like these two don’t have the best relationship, doesn’t it?

Sources connected with “Live! with Regis & Kelly” tell TMZ … Regis Philbin blindsided Kelly Ripa with his retirement announcement today … telling her less than 15 minutes before they went on the air.

We’re told Kelly was “stunned” that Regis didn’t tell her well in advance. But one source connected with the show tells us, “She wasn’t upset.”

Our sources say Regis felt if he talked about it before making the announcement, it would have leaked out.

[From TMZ]

You could tell by Kelly’s body language during Regis’ announcement that she was still reeling from the news. (The clip is above.) One person that Regis did inform well ahead of his announcement is his former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. In a statement Gifford said that Regis has been talking about retiring for months. Burn to Kelly and that “leak” theory.

“We try to have dinner like every six weeks or something and the last couple of times that we had dinner he was talking very openly with me about it,” Kathie Lee, who co-hosted with Regis for 15 years, told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Tuesday. “He said, ‘I think it’s going to be at the end of this contract year,’ which would be September 2011, so that’s exactly what it’s going to be.”

Regis’ 80th birthday is right around the corner, but according to Kathie Lee, he’s won’t be slowing down in the least.

“He’s going to have a landmark birthday in August, It’s a new beginning for him… I don’t think Reg will ever retire,” she continued. “He loves what he does so much. But he can work in a lot of different ways and he can do it on his own schedule.

“You get tired of the sameness of something and as we age, you get tired of having to be on someone else’s schedule all the time,” Kathie Lee continued. “And even though he lives across the street from the studio, sometimes I know winters get to him I think he would rather be in sunny Florida or California and I’ve got a feeling he’s got some stuff up his sleeve.”

[From Access Hollywood]

Kathie Lee is also on a national talkshow, with Hoda on The Today Show, so if Regis told Kathie Lee that means he trusts her to keep a secret, unlike Kelly.

There’s speculation as to who would replace Regis on the show. Popeater’s Rob Schuter mentions that the success of Kathie Lee and Hoda points to a female co-host possibly taking Regis’ place. They’re potentially looking at someone around Kelly’s age so that they can continue to have the same two hosts for a decade or more. I hope they don’t consider Mark Consuelo. He seems like a decent guy, but the couple of times he cohosted with Kelly I was annoyed by their dumb couples banter.

Photos are from 9/22/10. Credit:



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38 Responses to “Kelly Ripa blindsided by Regis’ sudden retirement announcement”

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  1. brin says:

    I’m not sure about another female co-hosting. When I saw her co-hosting with Anderson Cooper, Nick Lachey and Jeff Probst they looked at ease and comfortable in the role. Hope it’s one of them.

  2. Hakura says:

    “One person that Regis did inform well ahead of his announcement is his former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. In a statement Gifford said that Regis has been talking about retiring for months. Burn to Kelly and that “leak” theory.

    Oo, ouch. Yeah, that definitely comes across like he didn’t trust Kelly to keep her mouth shut. (Not that I would either. She seems like the sort to babble & give things away.)

    I’m with Brin. I think there needs to be both a male & female perspective to make a good balanced team.

  3. Motor35 says:

    ew @ two females hosting together. please bring in a man, abc!

    do y’all think Regis & Kelly do not get along?

  4. Isabel says:

    Definitely has to be a male/female combo. And definitely has to be Anderson Cooper because he is totally girlfriend material!!!!!!!!

  5. Isabel says:

    Oh dear heavens, I just watched the video. Watch it on silent…her body language SCREAMS discomfort and uncertainty!!!!!

  6. brin says:

    I haven’t seen the show recently, but I thought they got along. I think it’s more surprising that he told Kathie Lee, she seems like a blabbermouth (imo)!

  7. Motor35 says:

    now that i think about it, me thinks there might not be another show after The Reg leaves…..

  8. docinaustin says:

    Isn’t it Hoda and not “Hooda” who works with Kathy Lee on the Today Show?

  9. Vicki says:

    Way back when Jay Mohr was a guest co-host and I thought he and Kelly were very cute together. Good chemistry.

  10. Cel says:

    How can anyone be surprised at a 79 year old person retiring?

    Come on, there must be talk at every contract renewal about retirement once you get into your 70s!

  11. mln76 says:

    Eh Kelly is obviously really dumb if she wasn’t thinking that he’d retire soon. I think it’s funny & sweet that he told Kathy first because I always thought they sort of hated eachother I’ll kind of miss being annoyed by Reeg.

  12. JenJen says:

    Pippa is probably pretty nervous,she’s got a big family to support, nanny father-in-law included.

  13. guesty says:

    Favorite part of the entire post…”she wasn’t upset.” Yeah…she’s wanted him to retire for awhile…imo.

    I like it when Nick Lachey & Jeff Probst co-host as well. A female would be a fail.

    Really surprised he told Kathie Meee first…thought she left on bad terms.

  14. Justaposter says:

    Man she looks bad there.
    Since his retirement has been all over the news, they showed an old clip of her, like when she was a normal human weight and still tiny, she looked wonderful!

    She needs to eat a pork chop or something!

  15. di butler says:

    Jay Mohr, Yes!!!!!!1 Love him. He is such a sweetie IRL. I hope they go there. KR doesn’t look surprised, she looks like she’s trying not to cry and is freezing to death. I think people are reading too much into it.

  16. tripmom says:

    Just because Kathie Lee says he told her doesn’t mean he actually did. That woman is all kinds of deluded and crazy.

  17. EdithP says:

    I can’t believe he’s 79, he looks pretty good.

    Oh, I loved it when Anderson Cooper hosted with her and she had his high school yearbook photo and put it in her blouse to keep it from him and he said “Honey, that’s the LAST place I’d look”.

  18. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    I love the male female perspective. I hope they keep that format!!

  19. Beth says:

    I’ve always got the impression that they have a great relationship.

  20. Tiffany says:

    I like Nick Lachey or even his brother Drew. They are in the same age group as Kelly and are about family and talking about it so that works with the audience they have and I find myself watching it before heading to work. As far as Kelly not knowing, Kelly and Regis have said on the show before they don’t talk so that the stories and announcements are fresh and new to them both. But yeah, not telling her until the last minute seems kind of cruel. Maybe he did it to be kind.

  21. Leona says:

    Whoever replaces him better be male, young and hot. I think it’s outrageous that in the 30 years The Today Show has been on, it had THREE attractive female hosts, all under the age of 45. meanwhile, this old fart had his hosting seat safely secured no matter how old and stupid he got. aren’t most viewers that early women anyways? it’s about damn time we get some regular eye candy on that panel. plz and ty.

  22. Kiska says:

    I’ve always enjoyed it when Anderson was on but he has his own show now. Jeff Probst too.
    I always figured he had a better relationship with Kelly than he had with Kathy. Guess I was wrong.

  23. jamie says:

    hopefully it will not be her husband can’t stand him!

  24. ! says:

    You know what, I’m gonna go on board with Nick Lachey. He’s likable, seems to be a good guy, and the guy just needs a break, don’t you think? In more ways than one.

  25. Sassy says:

    To me, it looks like Kelly is trying not to break down and cry. Just my opinion.

    And I HOPE and PRAY they don’t replace Reeeejjjj with Kelly’s hubby. He’s too annoying. I like the idea of Jay Mohr. The View women suggested Wayne Brady.

  26. Jeri says:

    Who knows if he told Kathie Lee, she may just want to stir the pot and cause trouble.

    Regis has “talked” about retiring for years but never acted on it until now.

  27. original kate says:

    i don’t know who is more plastic-looking.

  28. Vicky says:

    I’ve watched the show for years. They seem to get along just fine. I doubt she found out on the air, he would have told her. She seems to have chemistry with all of her male cohosts. She’ll be fine with any of them. I think her husband would be good. But then if they want time off you have to have 2 substitutes? Good luck Regis. Kelly will be fine.

  29. Liana says:

    That Regis was going to retire this year has not been a secret. I doubt Kelly was as “blindsided” as she appeared.

  30. dweeb says:

    i hope her husband dosn’t get the job.
    they have no chemistry

  31. devilgirl says:

    Such negativity! I have heard that Kelly and Regis have a great relationship. He has been friends with the Giffords for 20 plus years, of course he would tell her. She was the first one on the live show with him.

    It bothers me that people always have to portray things in the negative.

  32. Hakura says:

    @Jeri (#26)- “Who knows if he told Kathie Lee, she may just want to stir the pot and cause trouble.”

    That certainly something she’s good at, it sure as hell wouldn’t be the first time she took a ‘shot’ at Kelly passive-agressively.

  33. RHONYC says:

    i LOVE that kathie lee is still so ‘in’ with regis that she still calls him ‘reg’. lol 🙂

    burn to kelly.

  34. Lori says:

    It will be sad to see Regis go…he is great..but I can see that it is time for him…about him telling Kathie Lee…they worked together for a long time and their families are good friends..Kelly looked sad and I’m sure he waited to tell her due to how close they are….her body language said I will miss him but she is strong and sweet…I hope they get her hubby..they are to cute together..or Nick Lachey..they did good together…Mark or Nick..Yay..good luck Regis..we all luv u

  35. guilty pleasures says:

    I love Kelly, she is funny and adorable, if a tad on the too thin side!
    Time for ‘Reg’ to go, to stop with the daily grind and work if/when he wants to.
    As far as her being afraid re money to support her large brood, fear not, she makes/made MILLIONS to do this show. I don’t think she ever needs to work again, if she didn’t want to.
    She and her hubby also seem to have a few irons in the fire with regard to reality TV show, as well as commercial endorsements.
    The show will go on, I will watch when I am home, and she will continue to be adorable.

  36. Hakura says:

    I just hope they don’t try to replace Regis with Kelly’s husband. I don’t mind him individually, but… I kind of think that would be ‘sugar’ overload.

    Although there’s also a chance that working together would make them drive eachother crazy. Kelly seems like a nice girl, but like someone who could grate on your nerves if you don’t get a break from her.

  37. bernie says:

    I believe she would do better with a openly “gay” cohost such as Neil Patrick Harris or even Nathan Lane; yes, he is a little older, but he’s hilarious and would give the same balance as Regis did while with the younger Ripa.. The sad thing is whom ever the replacement is,Kelly must remain as the side kick because she’s awful as the lead host.. She lacks the star power and respect Regis does and many “refined” celebrities could feel insulted to be question by a past soap star and not a true tv personality.

  38. Kelly says:

    I like Anderson and Mark. She seems to have the best chemistry with them. Nick Lachey is too stiff and boring. Kelly has to do all the talking when he’s on.