Kelly Ripa worked in a janitor's closet and had to queue for a public toilet during her early years hosting 'Live!'.
The 52-year-old TV presenter has been fronting the show since 2001 when she was paired with telly veteran Regis Philbin and she's revealed her early years as co-host were tough as she had to wait years to be given a backstage office and wasn't even allowed to use a private bathroom.
In an interview with Variety, she explained: "It was the strangest experience I’ve ever had in my life. 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.
"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."
She added of the bathroom situation: "Picture this. We have a studio audience - like 250 people! - and I have to queue up. Particularly when I was pregnant, it was extraordinarily exhausting to have to wait in line. I have to host the show, and I’m still waiting in line to use the bathroom.
"It just seemed, you know, a very needlessly difficult situation ... They [the audience members] couldn’t believe it either."
Kelly eventually got a proper office after Philbin’s departure in 2011, but says she had to fight to be granted the space. She went on: "They said" ‘Oh, no, we’re saving that [office].’ And I said" ‘Saving it for what?’ And they go: ‘Well, for when the new guy comes.’
"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."
Kelly is about to take over hosting the show with her husband Mark Consuelos following the departure of her most recent co-host Ryan Seacrest, and the TV star is adamant she has no plans to retire but she does fancy taking a year off,
She added: "I’ve never had a year off in my life. The most I’ve had off is a month, and that’s usually been for maternity leave ... I don’t want to put a timeline on it [on my departure] but I do believe there is a great opportunity to get two younger people and start training them, because I like seamless transitions. However long it takes to get two people up and ready is how long we’ll be there."
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