Why Regis Philbin's Former Co-Host Kathie Lee Gifford Won't Be Reading Kelly Ripa's Book

In a new interview, Kathie Lee Gifford reacted to Kelly Ripa’s personal book and explained why Regis Philbin was the “best partner” a person could have on TV.

By Mike Vulpo Oct 10, 2022 7:13 PMTags
Watch: Why Kathie Lee Gifford WON'T Be Reading Kelly Ripa's Book

Kathie Lee Gifford isn't interested in rewriting her daytime TV history. 

Last month, Kelly Ripa chose to look back on her complicated relationship with Regis Philbin in her personal book titled Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories. The Live! co-host's candor quickly sparked articles and discussions that Kathie Lee doesn't want to be part of.

"I was very sorry to see the headlines," she told Fox 5 New York's Rosanna Scotto on Oct. 10. "I was in Israel and I saw that and I went, ‘Oh, I hope this isn't true.' I just hope it isn't, because what's the point? I don't get it."

Kathie Lee continued, "I'm not gonna read the book. I haven't read it. I don't even know if it's out yet. I just know what Regis was to me. He was, for 15 years, the best partner a person could ever, ever have professionally but he was my friend."

From 1988-2000, millions of viewers started their mornings watching Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. When Kelly took over in 2011, Kathie Lee said her relationship with the TV icon continued away from any cameras.

Regis Philbin's Legendary TV Career in Pictures

"We were dear friends and after I left the show, for the next 20 years, we became better friends," she said. "I saw him two weeks before he died and the minute I found out he had passed, I got in my car and drove to their house."

Regis passed away from natural causes in July 2020. He was 88. When Kathie Lee reunited with Regis' wife Joy Philbin after his death, she received a special message.

"[She] said, ‘Kathie, I just want you to know when we saw you for lunch two weeks ago at your house, that's the last time I heard Regis laugh,'" Kathie Lee recalled. "We always picked up right where we left off. We were the odd couple. We were absolutely perfect together for television. We never had an argument, an unkind word in 15 years so that was my reality."

The talk-show host, who went on to work at Today between 2008-2019, said that in all the years she knew Regis, "I never saw him unkind to anyone."

Getty Images

"I'm not going to say anything ugly about anybody," Kathie Lee added. "I never have and I'm not going to start now. My reality is something completely different from that."

When discussing her new book, Kelly told People last month that discussing Regis was "the hardest chapter to write." 

"There were good and bad days," she said of co-hosting Live! With Regis and Kelly from 2001 to 2011. "I don't want to feel like I'm slamming anyone or that I'm being disrespectful. But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk."

"The biggest misconception is that it all came easily," Kelly continued. "People think I just showed up one day and was handed a job and I lived happily ever after and now everything's perfect. But it never is that way."

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