Kelly Ripa has had a rough few days after the unexpected departure of her Live! co-host Michael Strahan, and not even an on-air declaration of love from her former colleague has managed to draw her back to the show.
Ripa was noticeably absent from yesterday's show and, although initial reports claimed she had "walked off" in outrage, People has been contacted by a rep who has stated Ripa is on a "previously-scheduled vacation."
Strahan, who is moving to Good Morning America after four years working alongside Ripa, meanwhile took some time to send out a loving message to his sidekick at the end of Wednesday's show:
"I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa. Kelly welcomed me here, and I've learned so much from her. She's just been an amazing influence on me and this has truly changed my life to be here with her. And I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly ... and the staff here because everybody here is so talented," he added. "This show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake. Kelly, I thank you. I love you and everyone else here at Live!, and I'm not going to cry on TV momma, I promise you."
Strahan's temporary cohosts, Erin Andrews and Shay Mitchell, will now join him all week amidst claims that Ripa feels hurt and overlooked by management at ABC, an insider source told People that:
"She [Ripa's] not of the opinion that signing up with Live! has to be some sort of lifelong commitment. But there is a way to go about things, with courtesy and respect and decency, and none of those things were done here."
It's so sad that such a great TV partnership has to end like this, I just hope these guys can figure something out.
Do you think Strahan's exit could have been handled better?