Since 2012, Live! With Kelly and Michael has been one of the most successful daytime television programs in the U.S. — success that many critics attribute to the on-screen chemistry between its co-hosts, talk-show stalwart Kelly Ripa and former professional football player Michael Strahan.
But on Wednesday morning, Ripa was absent from the show, and Strahan was left to awkwardly man the ship with a temporary co-host, Saturday Night Live alumna Ana Gasteyer. Strahan used the time to confirm that he was indeed leaving the show for Good Morning America — a decision that apparently pushed Ripa to stay away from the set on Wednesday, and perhaps indefinitely.
People reports that Ripa and her family are on a “long-planned” vacation in the Turks and Caicos, but that she departed earlier than originally planned after learning the news of Strahan’s departure on Tuesday.
A source told People that Ripa felt “blindsided” by the announcement.
“She’s dedicated everything to the program, it was the primary focus in her career, she has been dedicated to maintaining the show for both the staff and viewers — and then all of a sudden the entire program is changed without them being decent enough to give her any notice,” the source said.