Regis Philbin: I haven't kept in touch with Kelly Ripa

Jayme Deerwester

As Disney's Live With Kelly continues its search for a new co-host for Kelly Ripa, her first on-air partner is talking about his time on the show.

Regis Philbin says he hasn't stayed in contact with Kelly Ripa since leaving 'Live' in 2011.

In an interview posted Wednesday by Larry King Now, Regis Philbin revealed that he hasn't stayed in touch with her since he left the show in 2011.

"She got very offended when I left," he told King. "She thought I was leaving because of her. I was leaving because I was getting older and it wasn't right for me anymore."

Philbin said he still misses hosting, although he says he hasn't been invited back.

But in a statement to USA TODAY  Dave Davis, the president and general manager of WABC, which produces Live, contradicted that claim.

"It was wonderful to have Regis on the show for our 2015 Halloween special," Davis noted. "He’s also been invited back several times as a guest, and in fact was confirmed for a date, but was not able to make it at the time."

Ripa's most recent co-host, Michael Strahan, told People he got a similar reaction from her when the network announced they were moving him to Good Morning America.

"I've been there long enough to understand how she reacts to things," said Strahan. "The only thing that surprised me was the stance that was taken, as if I was a  selfish person leaving and abandoning someone, which just wasn't the case."

He added that he told her three months before his planned exit.

Ripa famously took herself off the air following the Strahan announcement and later explained, "I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts; after 26 years with this company, I earned the right."

Once she returned, she requested that Strahan's departurebe moved up to May in order to use the summer to audition new co-hosts.

Contributing: Associated Press