Kelly Ripa is back!

The 45-year-old TV star triumphantly returned to Live! With Kelly and Michael on Tuesday, April 26 after taking a brief hiatus from the show. Just last week, her co-host, Michael Strahan, surprisingly announced he is leaving the daytime program to instead join the Good Morning America team.

“Our long, national nightmare is over!” Kelly joked at the start of Tuesday’s show.

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Kelly and Michael on Live!.

“I first want to honestly, sincerely thank you for welcoming me back to this show. The show of support through this bizarre time has been really overwhelming. I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts — after 26 years with this company, I earned the right,” she continued.

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“In that time, I gained some perspective… What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication, consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace,” Kelly said.

“Apologies have been made and the best thing to come out of all of this is that our parent company has assured me that Live! is a priority,” the mom-of-two continued. “There is a commitment to this show and the people that work here and, most importantly, to you, the viewers, who have watched us everyday for 30 years.”

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“I am thrilled for Michael… This is a tremendous opportunity and I couldn’t be prouder of you and everything we have accomplished together,” Kelly concluded before joining Michael, 44, to begin the morning’s program.

We’re so glad to have you back, Kelly!