Kelly Ripa Opens Up About the One Thing That Makes Her Want to Leave ‘Live’

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Best known as the cohost of ABC’s daytime talk show Live With Kelly and Ryan, Kelly Ripa walks out on stage every morning with contagious energy. After she’s introduced by announcer Deja Vu, the former All My Children soap opera actress welcomes the show’s viewers with cohost Ryan Seacrest. The 50-year-old mother of three first stepped in front of the Live cameras in 1991 alongside the late Regis Philbin. But even with two decades of experience and numerous Daytime Emmy awards, Kelly recently got candid about not always feeling at ease.

Speaking with Bethenny Frankel on her weekly podcast Just B, Kelly shared that the idea of leaving the talk show has crossed her mind. “I’ve been saying that it’s time to ‘fold ’em’ for at least 20 years,” she said in her episode. “For 20 years, ‘I can’t do it anymore. I can’t do it. I’m too old for this crap. I can’t do it. I need to find another career. I need to get off camera.’ I’ve been saying that forever.”

Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa on Live With Regis and Kelly in 2001.

Spencer PlattGetty Images

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Kelly continued: “Being in front of the camera is not something I’ve ever enjoyed. I’m not very comfortable. I always say I could do my job for 200 years if it didn’t happen on camera.”

When The Real Housewives of New York City alum asked Kelly which element specifically affects her the most, being self-conscious about the way she looks or not wanting the attention on her, Kelly said that it was everything. “All of that! I don’t like the attention, I don’t go to parties, I don’t go to Hollywood events. I don’t do any of that stuff. I would rather buy clothes than have to ask to borrow anything. It’s painful.” she explained.

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Bethany later touched on how much she appreciates Kelly’s outspoken personality both in real life and on the show. In response, Kelly admitted that while she’s “steadfast” in her views and beliefs, and she recognizes that she has a popular platform to discuss what she’s passionate about, it doesn’t make the process easier for her.

“I don’t love being on camera. It’s never been sort of something that fed me in any sort of egotistical way,” she said. “I find my own voice grating, so I apologize to your listeners if they’re like, ‘This is like nails on a chalkboard.’ I feel you.”

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Ahead of her 20-year work anniversary, Kelly reflected with Variety about her start on Live when she replaced Kathie Lee Gifford. “I am the girl that when Kathie Lee [Gifford] left, thought, ‘Whoever takes over for her, I feel sorry for her. Nobody can do that job,’” Kelly told the outlet. “I never in my wildest thought process thought it would be me.”

If and when Kelly decides to retire from Live, we’ll know she gave it her all. Until then, we’ll keep tuning in each morning from our living rooms.

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