Kelly Ripa Finally Returns to Live with Kelly and Michael


Kelly Ripa made her much-anticipated return to Live with Kelly and Michael on Tuesday, her first appearance on the show since news broke last week that Michael Strahan will be leaving the show for Good Morning America. Ripa and Strahan entered hand-in-hand at the start of Tuesday's show, before Strahan held back and let Ripa briefly address the screaming audience.

"Our long national nightmare is over," she quipped, joking that snipers were likely on-hand with tranquilizer darts in case she strayed "too far off message."

Ripa tackled her co-host's impending exit, as well as the reports that news of his departure "infuriated" her, head-on, getting in a few digs at ABC in the process. (She also noted that, while her absence the day after Strahan's exit was announced was unexpected, she had always planned to take the rest of the week off due to a trip she and her husband had planned for their 20th anniversary.)

"I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts," she admitted. "After 26 years with this company, I earned the right. ... I didn't want to come out here and just say something I might regret."

On Monday, ABC apologized to Ripa for blindsiding her with the news about Strahan's exit. Ripa acknowledged the apology and said she's grateful the controversy has started a "greater conversation about communication and consideration, and most importantly, respect in the workplace."

Added Ripa: "I am thrilled for Michael. ... This is a tremendous opportunity and I couldn't be, we couldn't be, prouder of you."

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Apr 27, 2016
ABC will remember this diva tantrum of hers come contract renewal time. And good luck to her new co-host, whoever he or she may be.
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Apr 27, 2016
She's the one that should be apologizing. Why is she causing so much drama about the career choice of her co-host? It's not like people outlined a plan for her removal and transition to a different show. It's about Michael and she's do everything possible to make it all about her.
Yet, somehow, the executives and everyone in the world is sexist in their treatment of Ripa because of someone else's career move. She needs to chill out and act like a professional instead of like an entitled, self-centered brat.
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Apr 27, 2016
she is such an entitled douche. throwing a temper tantrum and leaving like the show was her boyfriend. so done with her.
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Apr 26, 2016
Her dad is right. They are all effing nuts. What drama.... She is a highly paid employee who thinks because she's the on-air talent she runs the show. She should know after how she pushed Regis out that everyone is replaceable and the "star" is not the one in charge. And, by the way, behind the scenes she's worked out a deal for Michael to leave the show in a couple of weeks instead of at the end of the season in September.
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Apr 27, 2016
Yeah, I just saw the "two week's notice" rumors/reports for Strahan. Sigh. Diva meltdown.
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Apr 26, 2016
$$$$$$$$$ talks.
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Apr 26, 2016
I've watched either show sparingly. They seem to be covering the same topics in the same manner. So it should be an easy transition?
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Apr 26, 2016
To finish that last quote, "... and all that we have accomplished." It seemed odd to include herself (and possibly the team) in praising Strahan, but whatever. She makes more money per day than 75% of US households make in a year, not unlike many national TV hosts do. I'm not qualified to assess her motivations and reasons.
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Apr 26, 2016
She held it together, but if there's an ABC exec out there who doesn't think she's still furious, he or she is a fool. She's gonna burn somebody before this is over. And since Strahan isn't stupid, he'll stay out of her sightline when he can.
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Apr 26, 2016
You could definitely tell she is still angry. She handled herself well, but that body language... oof!
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