Kelly Ripa said she was finally given an office after working at 'Live!' for 4 years — but it was a janitor's closet
Kelly Ripa said her first office at "Live!" was nothing more than a janitor's closet.
Ripa told Variety she didn't even have an office for her first few years on the daytime talk show.
When Regis Philbin left, Ripa said she was told they were saving his office for the next man.
Kelly Ripa may be a beloved host of ABC's "Live!" morning show since 2001, but during a candid interview with Variety, the daytime talk show host revealed the network wouldn't give her a permanent office backstage for her first few years on air.
"It was the strangest experience I've ever had in my life," Ripa said. "I was told that I couldn't have an office. It didn't make a whole lot of sense, especially because there were empty offices that I could have easily occupied."
According to Variety, Ripa was told the empty spaces were reserved for executives visiting from the west coast. After three seasons on air, she finally negotiated an office space, but it was in a janitor's closet.
"It was after my fourth year that they finally cleaned out the closet and put a desk in there for me. And so I was working in the janitor's closet with a desk so that I could have a place to put things," Ripa said.
The former "All My Children" star cohosted "Live!" with Regis Philbin for a decade.
When Philbin retired from the show in 2011, Ripa said ABC wouldn't consider giving her his office, claiming they were saving it.
"I said, 'Saving it for what?' And they go, 'Well, for when the new guy comes,'" Ripa said of Philbin's successor. "And I looked at them, and I said, 'I am the new guy. I just moved my things. I forced my way into the office because I couldn't understand how I would still be in the janitor's closet and somebody new would come in and get the office."
During the interview, Ripa also said she had to share a public bathroom with the show's audience during her first years, while she was pregnant, while Philbin had a private toilet.
Ripa has since hosted "Live!" with Michael Strahan (2012 to 2016) and pal Ryan Seacrest, who will exit the show this year.
In February, the mother of three announced she'll be joined by her husband, Mark Consuelos, as the daytime show's new cohost. (Consuelos has filled in as a regular sub over the years.)
"Had I known how difficult it would have been, I don't know that I would have gone for it," Ripa said of her time on the talk show. "I just think my ignorance in that situation wound up being my blessing and my superpower. I did not have an easy time."
An ABC representative declined to comment.
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