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October 31, 2014

Kelly Ripa Pays Tribute to Regis Philbin

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jan 19th 2011 8:38AM
Regis Philbin and Kelly RipaFollowing Regis Philbin's shock announcement yesterday that he intends to retire later this year, his 'Live!' co-host Kelly Ripa's been mulling over life without Reege.

Fittingly, Philbin announced his impending departure on-air, during the show he's hosted for 28 years, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Ripa's having a hard time coming to terms with it.

In a statement released Tuesday she said "While I realize that nothing is forever, still I had always hoped there would be an exception. ... I can't overstate what Regis has brought to the table."

Contemplating a Philbin-less future, she added that "His chair might soon be empty, but the wonderful moments I have experienced with him over the past 10 years will always make him a meaningful part of my life."

Meanwhile, Philbin's former co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford, said she doubted the 79-year-old would stay out of the spotlight for long. "He'll never retire ... I think his most enjoyable days are ahead of him and I hope to be a part of them."

'Live!' exec producer, Michael Gelman, who's been with the show since the beginning, also praised Philbin. A statement from him read, "Not only is he a broadcast legend, he's been my friend, mentor and coworker for 28 years. ... I understand how after his 50-plus years in front of the camera, waking up early day after day, he's ready to step back from the daily grind."

"We'll all miss him," Gelman added. "There's no one like Regis."

There's been frenzied speculation about who'll replace the veteran broadcaster as co-host of 'Live!'. Names being bandied about include Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Jeff Probst, Tim Gunn and even Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos. (Take part in our poll here.)

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