NEW YORK – Kelly Ripa will always have a backup plan in case daytime TV doesn’t work out, if Andy Cohen has anything to say about it.
Ripa’s longtime friend and Bravo TV exec Cohen pitched some options for the next phase of the “Live with Kelly” host’s career at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon Tuesday.
“She and Mark together in the morning are going to be must-see TV, lightning in a bottle times two,” Cohen said while introducing Ripa, who will be paired with husband Mark Consuelos as “Live” co-host after Ryan Seacrest’s departure. “And when they get sick of ‘Live,’ I know that there’s a massive future for them on OnlyFans.”
The couple, who’ve become equally known for their careers as they have sharing candid relationship revelations and steamy social media posts, are set to launch the next iteration of “Live” on April 17.
The daytime TV veteran says the key to her enduring 27-year marriage to Consuelos (they met on former ABC soap “All My Children”) is separating work form home.
“Because we have worked together on and off for decades … we know that work is work and home is home, and we have never brought work into the house unless it’s for advice,” Ripa said on the red carpet before the luncheon. “It’s like church and state … and we’re not going to cross those boundaries with each other.”
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As he described Ripa’s start as a co-host on “Live” in 2001, Cohen also opened the door for another career possibility, on Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise.
“She had it all,” Cohen said. “Pure likability and humor, plus the rare combination of relatability and aspiration. A wonderful actress and the perfect talk show host – she would have been a great housewife, by the way. Can I digress? I’d put her in “Jersey,” but it’s a conversation.”
On overcoming difficult career moments, Ripa recommends remembering that tough times are temporary.
“Mark and I laugh about certain things that felt so severe in the moment. You go through things that we all have gone through in life that feel severe in the moment. And then three years later, a year later, six months later, you’re laughing about it,” Ripa said. “Sometimes there’s a lesson in something that doesn’t feel good, and you have to take any adversity and find a way to spin it into an advantage.”
“As a friend of 16 years, I can also confidently tell you that Kelly Ripa has put up with some Grade A (expletive) that men in her situation would never have had to deal with,” Cohen said.
Ripa recently revealed some of what she went through, opening up in her 2022 memoir and sharing some of her early experiences at “Live” with Variety ahead of the event.
“I was told that I couldn’t have an office,” she said. “It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially because there were empty offices that I could have easily occupied.”
After three seasons of negotiation, a janitor’s closet was emptied for her use, she told the outlet. She was also forced to use a public restroom shared with the show’s audience during her earlier years, while co-host Regis Philbin had a private bathroom.
“Particularly when I was pregnant, it was extraordinarily exhausting to have to wait in line,” Ripa said. “I have to host the show, and I’m still waiting in line to use the bathroom. It just seemed, you know, a very needlessly difficult situation.”
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