Kelly Ripa Reveals ‘Ominous’ Warning She Got When She Joined ‘Live’ With Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa

Getty Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in 2001.

Kelly Ripa has been a morning talk show host for more than 20 years, but it did not come easily. The “Live With Kelly and Ryan” star made her debut alongside Regis Philbin on the daytime chatfest in 2001 when she was still a star on “All My Children.” Ripa beat out several other contenders for the coveted role to replace Philbin’s longtime sidekick, Kathie Lee Gifford.

“We kind of knew it the first time she was on,” Philbin said of Ripa at the time, per The Associated Press. “She has an ebullient personality and has a lot of the qualities we were looking for.”

“Live with Regis and Kelly” aired for 10 years, until Philbin announced his retirement in 2011. When the talk show veteran left the show he had been on since 1988, he never appeared on it again – not even as a guest.

Ripa currently co-hosts the show with Ryan Seacrest, although at one point she had petitioned for her good pal, “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen, to take the job, according to People.

Ripa recently opened up about her complicated relationship with Philbin, who died in July 2020 at the age of 88.


Kelly Ripa Said Her Job Offer Came With a Warning

GettyRegis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.

In a September 2022 interview with People, Ripa gave new details about her complicated relationship with Philbin, noting that it  was not a “cakewalk” when she joined “Live.”

Ripa went through an audition process for the co-host job, but when the offer was made, she claims she was warned of Philbin: “They want you to know who your boss is.”

“It was very ominous, and it did not feel good,” she said.

“It took years to earn my place there and earn things that are routinely given to the men I worked with,” Ripa added. “Including an office and a place to put my computer.”

Ripa also claimed that Philbin trolled her for her “entourage” of a two-person hair and makeup team, and that the incident made her feel “horrible.”

In 2017, Philbin told Larry King Live that he did not keep in touch with Ripa once he left “Live.”

“Never once did they ask me to go back,” he added. “[Ripa] got very offended when I left. She thought I was leaving because of her. I was leaving because I was getting older and it wasn’t right for me anymore.”

But in the People interview, Ripa disputed Philbin’s claim, saying the show reached out to him “many times” after he left.


Regis Philbin Once Said the Best Part of His Career Was Working With Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford Regis Philbin

GettyRegis Philbin and television host Kathie Lee Gifford attend Greenwich Film Festival 2015 – Changemaker Honoree Gala at L’Escale Restaurant on June 6, 2015 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Philbin began working with Gifford on the New York City program, “The Morning Show, starting in 1985, which turned into the syndicated “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” which ran from 1988 to 2000, per IMDb.

According to Entertainment Tonight, in March 2019, Gifford told AARP The Magazine that her connection with Philbin was instant.

“I knew it was the beginning of something huge because I met my doppelganger when I met Regis,” she said “I knew it. I met my creative equal. “

And the feeling was mutual. According to Page Six, Philbin once told Gifford that working with her was the highlight of his career.

“Kathie Lee, you want to know the best part of my life? My TV life? Was in the 15 years I spent with you, from 1985 to 2000,” he once said. “We stayed friends throughout the entire game and it was a lot of fun.”

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