Kelly Ripa and Family Head to Turks and Caicos on Vacation Amid Live! Drama
brightcove.createExperiences(); Vacation is starting unexpectedly early for Kelly Ripa after the bombshell news that that her Live! cohost Michael Strahan is leaving their morning talk show for Good Morning America.
Ripa surprised viewers by not appearing on Wednesday’s broadcast, and sources have confirmed to PEOPLE that she will not be returning the rest of the week, as she heads to Turks and Caicos for a vacation with her family .
The host was already scheduled to be off the air on Friday and Monday to go on a “long-planned” 20th anniversary trip with husband Mark Consuelos, a source tells PEOPLE.
“It’s fortuitous that she had this trip planned with her husband,” the source says.
A second source adds that Ripa, 41, will “definitely” return to the show, but it’s unclear when.
“She’s being very mature about this and choosing not to talk a lot and to wait and see how this plays out,” says the source, who adds that she feels “blindsided” by not being given a heads up about Strahan’s departure.
“She’s dedicated everything to the program, it was the primary focus in her career, she has been dedicated to maintaining the show for both the staff and viewers – and then all of a sudden the entire program is changed without them being decent enough to give her any notice.”
Strahan, meanwhile, did not attend a hunger benefit for Food Bank For New York City that he originally was expected at, appearing via a video message to apologize for missing the event. A source close to Strahan says he was not scheduled to attend the event because he was shooting his game show, Pyramid, and knew that two weeks ago.
“I wish we could be there as originally planned for this fantastic evening. I love it. I think it’s one of the best evenings in all of New York,” he told the crowd in the video message.
A source previously told PEOPLE that Ripa is already eyeing potential replacements for Strahan, including longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.
Live! With Kelly and Michael airs weekdays (check local listings).