Kathie Lee Gifford will soon be back on TV’s early shift.
The former co-star of the syndicated “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” talk show will join NBC’s “Today” next Monday.
She will be teamed with Hoda Kotb, a current anchor of the program’s recently added fourth hour, which airs at 10 a.m.
The announcement was made during Monday’s broadcast, with Gifford seated alongside the program’s established stars, including Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, co-hosts of the first two hours.
Ann Curry and Natalie Morales, the other current co-hosts of the fourth hour, will remain with the show in their other roles.
Gifford, 54, who left Regis Philbin and “Live” in 2000, joked that the timing of her TV return “couldn’t be worse” in some ways: “I’m eight years older, 10 pounds heavier, a half-inch shorter, and just in time for HD television.”
The longtime wife of former NFL star and sports announcer Frank Gifford added: “It’s going to be good to be working. I’m really tired of staying home and watching Frank’s old highlight films.”
Heather’s next step
Former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Heather Mills soon will be back in front of the cameras as a judge for the Miss USA Pageant.
Other judges for the April 11 competition, hosted by Donny and Marie Osmond, include actor-comedian Rob Schneider, actor-musician Joey Fatone, actress Kristian Alfonso, Olympic champion swimmer Amanda Beard, actress Kelly Carlson and San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman.
Mills was awarded $48.6 million last month in her divorce from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.
She’s full of beans
Jessica Simpson is feeling “much better” after being hospitalized over the weekend.
The 27-year-old singer-actress was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital Friday for a “minor kidney infection” and released Monday.
Out of the oven
“Everyday Italian” chef Giada De Laurentiis served up a baby over the weekend.
The Food Network and “Today” show regular and her fashion designer husband, Todd Thompson, welcomed their first child on Saturday, a girl weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
No kiss-kiss and tell?
Singers Rihanna and Chris Brown, rumored to be an item, walked the orange carpet at Saturday’s Kids’ Choice Awards separately.
“We’re not in a relationship or anything,” insisted “Kiss Kiss” crooner Brown.
Raisin’ Brangelina rumors
Finally, for those still wondering, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did not get married over the weekend in New Orleans, as the Star reported.
On its Web site, the tabloid said its sources “are not standing by their story.”
The birthday bunch
Actress Debbie Reynolds is 76. Actress Ali MacGraw is 70. Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff is 60. Actress Annette O’Toole (“Smallville”) is 56. Rapper-actor Method Man is 37. Filmmakers Albert and Allen Hughes (“Menace II Society,” “Dead Presidents”) are 36. Actor Sam Huntington (“Superman Returns”) is 26.
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