They might have been the most powerful couple on daytime television in the early 2000s, but according to recent reports, it seems like the Emmy-nominated chemistry between Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin’s might have been just an act. During an interview with “Today” host Hoda Kotb on SiriusXM, Philbin, 83, explained that he and his former co-host of 10 years don’t exactly chat it up like they used to on ABC's long-running series “Live! with Regis and Kelly.”
"I haven't seen her, I don't see her," the media personality spoke of his current -- and nonexistent -- relationship with Ripa. "She lived downtown, and now I hear she's on the East Side and, uh, you know."
Ripa, 44, began her hosting career with Philbin in 2001 after Kathie Lee Gifford left the talk show. The duo then sat side-by-side on-air until 2011, when Philbin decided to say farewell to the series, which he had been a part of since 1983. Now Ripa co-hosts the bubbly morning show with retired NFL football player Michael Strahan, 43, who was brought on after Philbin’s emotional exit from “Live!”
When asked if he had seen Ripa since the two taped their last show together six years ago, Philbin revealed a shocking answer: “No, I haven’t,” he confirmed. However, Philbin did share that he has tried to catch a glimpse of the 5-foot-3-inch TV star in the studio, but that every effort he made has been a fluke. “I was over there yesterday [at ABC] as a matter of fact, to do something for them,” he explained. “No, I didn’t see [her].”
Ripa is quite aware of their dwindling friendship. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Philbin’s past sidekick acknowledged that she had not had a dinner, a drink, or even spotted the former “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” host walking on the streets of New York. “I haven’t seen him, no,” she admitted.
But just because Ripa hasn’t hung out with her mentor since 2011 doesn’t mean she doesn’t miss him. The blond-haired actress gushed to The Huffington Post in 2012 about how much she adored Philbin. “Oh my gosh! Of course [I miss him]. Everybody misses Regis,” she said. “It’s so funny. I still feel like I see him all the time because he’s always on Letterman or Craig Ferguson. His story never gets old, they never bore me. Just hearing his voice gets me excited.”
Although Ripa has failed to catch up with the man she worked with for almost a dozen years, she did have some wonderful things to say about Philbin in comparison to her current partner-in-crime, Strahan. “We’ll, they’re both incredible storytellers,” Ripa once told The Hollywood Reporter. “They are both fiercely competitive, and they’re both incredible football players.”
Are you surprised Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa aren’t as tight now as they were on “Live!”? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts on their friendship.