On Dec. 11, Kathie Lee Gifford shocked her fans by telling them that she is leaving the Today show after more than a decade. However, there was one person who had known that this day was coming for quite some time: her co-host, Hoda Kotb.

“Hoda’s known it for a long, long time,” Kathie Lee confessed on Wednesday’s episode of Today. “All these other projects have been bubbling up…and it’s so exciting. Movies and music and so many wonderful things. And I need the time for them to do them properly.”

Kathie Lee said that she felt “so relieved” once she spilled the beans to her audience yesterday, and she knew “it was coming for a long, long time.”

The 65-year-old host admitted that she actually was planning on leaving last year, but then the Matt Lauer scandal happened, so she decided to stay. “I went to our bosses here, actually almost two years ago, and said, ‘I’m going to do one more year with Hoda woman. I’ll go out. I’ll retire with 10, a nice round number, 10 years with my sun goddess from Egypt.’ And so, that was the arrangement until we had some turmoil here in our midst,” she recalled.

Even though Kathie and Hoda won’t be drinking wine and gossiping every morning, Kathie Lee is not worried about their friendship once she leaves. “We do life and nobody more than my Hoda. It’s going to be the same as my Regis. I’m closer to him now more than after 15 years together,” she said in a heartfelt message to her BFF and co-worker. “You don’t share that life together and not be changed forever by it. I love you, Hoda mama. First, you were just Hoda, remember?”

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford wearing white and gray on the Today Show set
Getty Images

Kathie Lee will leave the show on April 7, 2019, so she better get lots of laughs in with Hoda before then!

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