Al Roker Admits He Hopes Kathie Lee Gifford Changes Her Mind About 'Today' Exit (Exclusive)

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Al Roker is opening up about his colleague, Kathie Lee Gifford’s, forthcoming departure from the Today show, a somber thought for the veteran weather forecaster.

ET’s Katie Krause spoke with Roker at the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday, where he openly admitted that he doesn’t even want to address Gifford’s exit from their show.

“Well, I think we're just kind of ignoring it,” he admitted. “That maybe she'll change her mind. You know… it's gonna be very bittersweet but, you know, she has been such a great part of Today, so it's -- I don’t wanna think about it!”

When asked what he’ll miss when Gifford moves on, Roker gushed: “Just, you know, her laugh, and her sense of humor and her faith …She's a really great combination of … live broadcasting, of real faith and a wicked sense of humor.”

He also added that Gifford reminded him over the years to “be yourself." "You know …that's the one great thing about Kathie Lee …she kind of teaches by doing, not by telling you," Roker shared.

The 64-year-old TV personality was also quick to dismiss any rumors that he’d be Gifford’s replacement, arguing that he’s already a busy man on the show.

“Listen, if they need me to fill in, I’m happy to. But I think three hours of Al Roker is more than anybody really wants to see,” he deflected.

In early December, Gifford broke the news that in April, she’ll be bidding farewell to her co-hosting gig after more than 10 years on the show. Since her announcement, rumors of possible replacements have run rampant. Besides Roker, another possible frontrunner is Jenna Bush Hager, who has served as a correspondent, contributor and fill-in co-host on the show.

"It would mean... it would be great," Bush Hager told ET at Hudson River Park Friends Playground Committee's Fourth Annual Luncheon in January of the possible new role on the show. "I feel like I have the best job. I get to sit next to these incredible humans, I get to travel the world and meet incredible people who are doing extraordinary things and so we'll see. We'll see."

A source told ET in December that "the likelihood of it going to [Bush Hager] is high" because "she's very well liked [at Today]."

Roker was on hand over the weekend to discuss the Hallmark adaptation of his book series The Morning Show Murders (they became the Morning Show Mysteries), which started airing last year. And he made it clear that fans can expect loads more installments!

"I was just up in Vancouver, we were doing the fifth one," he shared. "We're writing the script for the sixth and they just approved the seventh, so, it's fun! People like [the series' sleuth] Billy Blessing and people love [co-stars] Holly Robinson Peete and Rick Fox."

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