No one wants Kathie Lee Gifford to exit the Today show, especially her coworker, Al Roker, who recently admitted that he hopes she eventually changes her mind about leaving the popular morning program.
While at the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday, February 9, the 64-year-old told Entertainment Tonight, that he does not want to bring up Kathie Lee’s departure from the NBC show. “Well, I think we’re just kind of ignoring it,” the longtime weatherman confessed. “That maybe she’ll change her mind. You know … it’s gonna be very bittersweet but, you know, she has been such a great part of Today, so it’s — I don’t wanna think about it!”
Al also revealed what he will miss most when Hoda Kotb‘s pal, 65, leaves. “Just, you know, her laugh, and her sense of humor and her faith,” he said. “She’s a really great combination of … live broadcasting, of real faith and a wicked sense of humor.” The TV personality is also grateful that Kathie Lee reminded him to “be yourself.” He explained, “You know … that’s the one great thing about Kathie Lee … she kind of teaches by doing, not by telling you.”
And if you were hoping to see Al replace Kathie Lee on the show’s popular fourth hour, it may not occur. “Listen, if they need me to fill in, I’m happy to. But I think three hours of Al Roker is more than anybody really wants to see,” he joked.
After Kathie Lee announced that her time on Today will wrap up in April, the network has been searching for her replacement, with a report revealing that they’re hoping to fill the role from inside. “NBC execs are looking to hire from within,” a source told Life & Style. “They don’t want to make another mistake like Megyn Kelly again.” They added, “Kathie Lee likes Jenna [Bush Hager], but producers are looking for someone who can laugh and joke with Hoda. Both Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer’s names have been thrown into the mix.”
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