Al Roker admits he hopes Kathie Lee Gifford changes her mind about 'Today' exit (Exclusive)

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]."

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Al Roker out and about
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Dr. Travis Stork and Al Roker on Friday, November 2, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Kathie Lee Gifford as Madonna and Al Roker as Doc Brown on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker as Doc Brown on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: (L-R) NBC Today Show's Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, Deborah Roberts, husband Al Roker, Craig Melvin and wife Lindsay Czarniak pose backstage as Al Roker makes his Broadway debut in the hit musical 'Waitress' on Broadway at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: (L-R) Katie Lowes, Al Roker and Adam Shapiro pose backstage as Roker makes his Broadway debut in the hit musical 'Waitress' on Broadway at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Al Roker poses backstage as he makes his Broadway debut in the hit musical 'Waitress' on Broadway at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Al Roker as 'Old Joe' makes his Broadway debut in the hit musical 'Waitress' on Broadway at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Al Roker visits SiriusXM Studios on October 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Al Roker visits SiriusXM Studios on October 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Thursday, September 27, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Al Roker and Deborah Roberts attend the American Theatre Wing Centennial Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on September 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for American Theatre Wing)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Monday, September 24, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Novak Djokovic and Al Roker on Monday, September 10, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Carson Daly, Savannah Guthrie, Craig Melvin and Al Roker on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker and Janelle Monae on Friday, August 24, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Wednesday, Auguest 1, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Wednesday, Auguest 1, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 26: Al Roker attends the 2018 Hallmark Channel Summer TCA at Private Residence on July 26, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
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