Michael Strahan says Kelly Ripa called time on their friendship after he left show

TV host says landing the GMA job cost him friendship with former co-host Kelly Ripa

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Michael Strahan has revealed landing the plum job at Good Morning America cost him his friendship with former colleague Kelly Ripa.

But the former NFL player and now full-time GMA host admitted to People he still wasn’t sure why Live! co-host Kelly Ripa called time on their friendship.

He said:  ‘At one point I think we were friends. I don’t know what happened at the end.’

Strahan left the daytime talk show in May.

His exit was surrounded by drama after pint-sized Ripa did not turn up for work the day after it was announced he was moving to ABC’s morning show full-time.

It later emerged Ripa had been blindsided by the news and it was a week before she returned to her hosting duties.

‘I wasn’t surprised by her reaction at all, but I can’t control somebody else’s actions,’ he reflected.

‘I was there four years, and it’s about more than just being in front of the camera.’

Strahan, 44, who had been on Live! for four years, added: ‘Toward the end of it all, we didn’t communicate that much. I kinda looked at it like, “It was what it was.”

‘The show was going well? We’re all winning. That’s all that matter to me.

‘At one point I think we were friends. I don’t know what happened at the end.’

The animosity between the two was so bad it resulted in Strahan leaving Live! earlier than planned at the network’s request, leaving Ripa, 45, to begin the process of finding a new co-host.

Strahan continued: ‘The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy.

‘I value the way I carry myself.

‘I don’t want people to see me as “Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.” That’s just not true.

‘On air all I could do was control myself.

‘In football, New York is the toughest place to play. One day you’re the greatest player they’ve ever seen, then the next game you’re the worst.

‘But I got older in that business and I said, “Hey, it doesn’t matter what their opinion is. All I know is I’m doing my best, and I’m giving it everything I have.’

Ripa was joined by Jimmy Kimmel for her first episode back after Strahan left the show last May.

They have now said they will likely select someone to replace Strahan by November, with many assuming it will be Ripa’s good friend Anderson Cooper.

Nancy Brown
Associate Editor