Following Meredith Vieira’s announcement on Monday that she is stepping down as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush chatted with Ann Curry about taking over the position and working with Matt Lauer.
“I feel like I am the computer nerd in high school who was just asked to the prom by the quarterback on the football team, I mean, think about it: he’s the quarterback… Who is better than Matt Lauer?” Ann told Billy on Monday morning. “He is really unbeatable [and] to have him say, ‘I want you to sit next to me and help me say hello to America every day,’ is such a huge [deal].”
Ann said she’s known about Meredith’s decision to depart “Today” for sometime, but if it were up to her, her co-worker would be saying put.
“All of us didn’t want to believe that she would go, because the truth is we’re better, I think, with her. We all know that,” Ann explained “And if I could chose – you won’t believe me – but if I could chose she wouldn’t go… I don’t like change. I love her.”
Ann admitted that when Meredith joined the hit NBC morning talk show five years ago, she was somewhat hurt that she was passed over for the position.
“There was a little [hurt]. I wished for it, I wished to be asked, I did, I did,” she told Billy. “But, I really like her and I really loved the show… We fell in love with Meredith and it wasn’t hard to adjust, in fact, if I wasn’t offered this job I don’t think I would have gone anywhere, I mean, the truth is I love what I do so much.
“But nobody’s owed anything. This is about doing the work. It’s not about us, it’s about the people who watch and it’s all about taking care of them and the people who watch is what’s important,” Ann continued.
The “Today” show veteran said Meredith is fully behind her taking over the position.
“The whole point of today, this is Meredith’s day, because it is a bittersweet day,” she continued. “She’s committed five years in a generous way behind the scenes and in front of the camera, so this is Meredith’s day… we talked about it and the truth is she couldn’t have been more supportive of me.
“She could not be a more generous friend and the first response I had when I was offered this job was, ‘I’m really excited,’” Ann said. “And the second response was, ‘How do we keep Meredith? What is it we can do?’ I don’t want to wake up every morning without her… It’s [that] part of my day that I don’t want to miss… having her as a friend.”
On Monday’s “Today,” Meredith said she’ll be leaving the show sometime in June. For more with Billy’s interview with Ann, CLICK HERE!