After Ripa got the gig at the morning show, she expressed how she fully understood that she would never be able to replace Gifford. "I don’t think there’s any replacing her,” she said in a February 2001 interview. ”She’s a singer and a dancer, and she’s gorgeous.”
In the years to come, the feeling was mutual from the daytime legend. "I think she's got the right combination of sparkle and sass," Gifford said of her replacement in August 2007, adding that Ripa had adjusted "beautifully" into her role on the show.
When its was announced in 2008, that Gifford would be taking over the fourth hour of the NBC morning show, the Hope & Faith star express how excited she was for the "Once Again" singer's return to television.
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"I’m so excited for her,” Ripa said of Gifford later that year. “Everybody’s like, ‘Have you ever met her?’ I’m like, 'Met her? I know her intimately!' I’m so happy for her. ... She’s very influential in my life. I saw her doing it all — a working mom. She had a big impact on me."
However, after Ripa came forward this year in her new book Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories, revealing that she and Philbin had a "forced" relationship, Gifford was not so forgiving on Ripa's behalf.
"I was really sorry to see the headlines," the 69-year-old said in a recent interview about Ripa's truth bomb. We see headlines all of the time, and you never know what is true or not true. 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 is the point? I don't get it. I am not going to read the book, I haven't read it, I don't even know if it's out yet."
Entertainment Weekly, People & the New York Times (via Us Weekly) obtained the quotes from Gifford and Ripa.