Kathie Lee Gifford Jokes She'd Do “The Golden Bachelorette” Only If the Men Were 'Much Younger'

"Can you imagine how good it would be?" Hoda Kotb told Gifford during her Tuesday appearance on 'Today with Hoda & Jenna'

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Kathie Lee Gifford in 2020


Kathie Lee Gifford in 2020

Kathie Lee Gifford might be persuaded to be the next Golden Bachelorette ... on one condition.

On Tuesday's episode of Today with Hoda and Jenna, co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager apologized for causing a stir when they suggested Kathie Lee, 70, would make the perfect star for the ABC reality show. However, they also stood by their previous comments.

"Kathie, we want to apologize about the drama surrounding The Golden Bachelorette, but we stand by the fact that we think you’d be the best Golden Bachelorette of all time," Bush Hager, 42, told the former chat show host, who was on hand to promote her new Prime Video series The Baxters alongside daughter Cassidy Gifford.

Related: The Golden Bachelorette Is Officially Happening! ABC Confirms Golden Bachelor Spinoff Is in the Works

Kotb, 59, concurred, adding that Kathie Lee would be "really good," because she was unlikely to be "sucking face in a hot tub." The Today show host added that her friend would "hold all these men at bay and you would make them romance you."

"Earn me, baby!" Kathie Lee joked, as Kotb added, "You would bring romance back and that’s what we need!"

<p>Jason Kempin/Getty Images</p> Kathie Lee Gifford in 2018

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Kathie Lee Gifford in 2018

Kathie Lee teased that if she were to step into the Golden Bachelorette's stilettos, she would have a couple of conditions. "It would have to be completely different," the actress said. "We’d have to make them [the men] much younger."

"The Golden Cougar!" Bush Hager joked.

During the interview, Kathie Lee suggested she had spoken with The Golden Bachelorette's producers about possibly doing the show, although no offer was made — much to her daughter's relief.

Her daughter Cassidy, 30, chided the co-hosts for encouraging her mom. "You guys are not helping my case," she said.

However, according to Kathie Lee, her son, Cody Gifford, is all for his mom looking for love on TV. "Cody wants me to do it and she doesn’t want me to do it," she told Kotb and Bush Hager.

This isn't the first time the former Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee host has discussed the possibility of joining the Bachelor franchise. During a recent interview with Fox News, she shared that while Kotb had suggested her for the show, she couldn't imagine doing it unless she was offered a "very different" kind of season. Namely, one with no hot tubs.

Related: The Bachelorette: Jenn Tran Named the New Leading Lady for Season 21, Becomes First Asian-American Lead

"Here's the thing. You know what you get when you get in a hot tub? Diseases, diseases," Gifford said. "And you know what happens when you start kissing on people that you have no idea where their lips have been? It's just dumb. So, until you have a trust with someone … they don't give you much time before they want you in the hot tub."

She added, "I've talked to the producers about it, and they said, ‘We realized it would be a different kind of show if you do it.’ I said, ‘Uhhh yeah!’ So, I don't see it happening."

Kathie Lee was married to former NFL player Frank Gifford for 29 years. Frank died in 2015 at the age of 84.

The Today show alum has dated since then, but in 2022, she told PEOPLE she preferred to keep her private life out of the spotlight whenever possible. "I have someone very special in my life," she said at the time. However, she added, "I've discovered that by not talking about it, it stays special."

<p>ABC/Craig Sjodin</p> Theresa Nist (L) and Gerry Turner (R) on <em>The Golden Bachelor</em>

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Theresa Nist (L) and Gerry Turner (R) on The Golden Bachelor

In February, ABC confirmed that Golden Bachelorette — a spinoff of the hit series, The Golden Bachelor — is in the works, with the first season projected to premiere in the fall. The network has yet to reveal the woman who will be the first Golden Bachelorette. However, if the show follows in the original franchise's footsteps, it's possible one of the women who vied for Gerry Turner's heart before he wed Theresa Nist will earn the title.

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The Baxters premieres March 28 on Prime Video. Today with Hoda and Jenna airs weekday mornings on NBC (check local listings).

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