Kelly Ripa became emotional on Monday as she paid tribute to her former cohost Regis Philbin on Monday’s episode of “Live! with Kelly and Ryan,” three days after the television legend passed away at the age of 88.

“It’s been a very difficult and emotional day for all of us at ‘Live.’ Kelly, I know a tough weekend for you especially because you worked with our dear friend, a friend that passed away over the weekend, Regis Philbin,” Ripa’s cohost Ryan Seacrest began. “A legend on television. A best friend to so many of us who didn’t even know him, across the country.”

Page Six reported that Ripa cohosted “Live” with Philbin for eleven years before he retired in 2011. She said today that she was surrounded by her family when she got the “horrible news” of Philbin’s death.

“As people get older, you always know that certain things are inevitable, and passing away is one of those things, but Regis is one of the people that we all believed, I think, would somehow figure out a way around the inevitable. It was not in the cards,” a visibly emotional Ripa said.

Seacrest, who joined “Live” as Ripa’s cohost in 2017, said that he always looked up to Philbin when he was growing up.

“I remember watching him as a child growing up, and I was so excited to see him on TV because I feel like I knew him,” Seacrest said. “I remember when I got the chance to work with you [Ripa] and Regis the first time on that parade. I thought, ‘I made it.’”

Longtime “Live!” producer Michael Gelman also chimed in to talk about Philbin’s legacy.

“I came to Regis as a kid and he took a chance on me,” said Gelman, 58. “He was responsible for my career, my family, he was there when I met my wife.”

Ripa and Seacrest posted a joint statement on Instagram on Saturday alongside a photo of themselves with Philbin and Mickey Mouse.

“We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin,” the statement read. “He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes every day on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire every day to fill his shoes on the show. We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place.”

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