First Guest on ‘Live! With Kelly and Michael’ Details Backstage ‘Tension’

By Jack Phillips, Epoch Times
April 26, 2016 5:30 pm Last Updated: April 26, 2016 8:58 pm

Kelly Ripa, the co-host of “Live! with Kelly and Michael,” returned to the show on Tuesday, April 26, delivering a monologue about her absence.

And Bellamy Young, who was the first guest on the morning talk show, said that Ripa’s return was tense.

 Actress Bellamy Young attends the celebration of ABC's TGIT Line-up held at Gracias Madre on September 26, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
Actress Bellamy Young attends the celebration of ABC’s TGIT Line-up held at Gracias Madre on Sept. 26, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Mark Davis/Getty Images)

“They were tense, bless their hearts,” Young, a star on “Scandal,” told People magazine.

“Backstage there was some tension because it could have gone any way but once it got underway it was beautiful,” Young said. “Kelly gave a monologue, she got to clear the air and then they went on. They’re professional people.”

Young said co-host Michael Strahan and Ripa were not talking before walking on set. “Then everybody went out and the show started, and everybody remembers that we’re grownups and we have jobs and we do our jobs,” she said.

Ripa had been absent from the ABC show since the middle of last week. “Guys, guys, guys,” she joked. “Our long national nightmare is over!”

She left the program after Strahan said he would leave the show for “Good Morning America.” Ripa reportedly was “blindsided” by the news.

“I’m going to be perfectly honest,” she said, via The New York Times. “I’m fairly certain that there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I drift too far off-message.”

In this Oct. 12, 2015 file photo, Kelly Ripa, left, poses with Michael Strahan, her co-host on the daily television talk show "Live with Kelly and Michael," during a ceremony honoring Ripa with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
In this Oct. 12, 2015 file photo, Kelly Ripa, left, poses with Michael Strahan, her co-host on the daily television talk show “Live with Kelly and Michael,” during a ceremony honoring Ripa with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

“I needed a couple days to gather my thoughts,” she added. “After 26 years with this company, I earned the right. Let’s be honest, I know half of you called in sick to be here, so we get each other.”

Ripa was apparently angry that she was given little warning about the announcement that Strahan would be departing the show. Ripa has been a host on the show since 2001 and was previously an actress on soap opera “All My Children,” which is also produced by ABC.

Meanwhile, Strahan won’t be on the show much longer.

“After meeting with the producers of both ‘Live’ and “GMA,’ and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future,” an ABC spokesman told CNN.

“To that end, Michael’s last day on ‘Live’ will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host,” ABC added. “This plan also allows GMA to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September.”

Ripa also spoke candidly about the future of “Live.”

“Our parent company has assured me that ‘Live’ is a priority,” she said on April 26.

Ripa also congratulated Strahan, who was off-camera.

After several minutes, Ripa added, “This is entertainment. It’s supposed to be entertaining. So let’s get back to what we do best and start the show. Oh, wait, incidentally, I just want to say one more thing. My dad was a bus driver for 30 years, and he thinks we’re all crazy. I think he’s right. I think he’s right.”