Today's Kathie Lee Gifford Reveals When She Really Started "Falling in Love" With Hoda Kotb

Morning show hosts recently celebrated nine years together

By Mike Vulpo May 17, 2017 1:40 AMTags
Watch: Kathie Lee Gifford Didn't Always Have Chemistry With Hoda Kotb

They've shared celebrations, tragedies and their fair share of wine together.

But when discussing Today show's Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, you can't help but point out the greatest gift these two have found: An authentic and true friendship.

While celebrating Boozeday Tuesday at Studio 1A in Rockefeller Plaza, E! News' Jason Kennedy got to go behind the scenes of the fourth hour. Along the way, fans were reminded of just how close Kathie Lee and Hoda are.

"We didn't have the chemistry for the first year. We did have the chemistry when we first sat down, when I first met her and we had lunch because I was sitting with the real, authentic, unbelievably fascinating Hoda," Kathie Lee shared with us. "I said, 'You know Hoda, if you could be the same person on camera as the girl I had lunch with, we could have a good show.'"

Nine years later and the duo continues to make TV magic with their honest candor, quick wit and appreciation for one another.

Today Show Family Album

"As we worked together a little bit more, she got rid of the IFB in her ear, she got rid of all of her notes and just started talking and sharing life," Kathie Lee explained. "You start sharing life and you start falling in love with the person. You become real, genuine friends."

She added, "Honestly, that's the reason I've stayed nine years because by the time I was ready to leave, I was in love with Hoda and in love with so many of the people I work with here."

One special moment the duo has experienced together is the arrival of Hoda's baby girl named Haley Joy. While visiting the show, Jason decided to gift the new mom Chatbooks featuring her cutest mother-daughter photos from Instagram.

Within moments, Hoda was in tears.

"It was great. It was beautiful," she shared when trying to recall her very first Mother's Day this past weekend. "Thank you for this."

For Kathie Lee, she continues to feel grateful for having the opportunity to work with two incredibly talented people in daytime.

"I just remember when it was time to talk to NBC about staying or not, I remember thinking, 'Oh, I like starting my days with Hoda," Kathie Lee recalled. "The same way I liked starting my days with Regis Philbin."

(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family)

To hear more behind-the-scenes secrets from Kathie Lee and Hoda, watch E! News tonight at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.