Carrie Ann Inaba got the stamp approval on her new gig from former The Talk co-host Julie Chen.
The Dancing With the Stars judge officially replaced Chen on the CBS daytime talk show Wednesday, and revealed she received a supportive message from her predecessor following the announcement.
"Julie has been exceptionally loving," Inaba told Entertainment Tonight following the announcement. "I have so much respect for her."
Inaba also said Chen sent her a lovely gift to congratulate her on the new gig co-hosting the talk show.
"She sent me flowers," Inaba told the outlet. "She was one of the first people to send me flowers and I just have so much love in my heart for her. She's a strong woman, and I know she's going through a lot, and I just send her all my love. I am so grateful for her."
As for how her new co-hosting job will affect her DWTS responsibilities, Inaba said The Talk works perfectly with her schedule for the ABC competition series.
"I've been guest co-hosting for, I think, over a year now," she explained. "Oh, it's going to make me cry — it got so... I felt like I ran a marathon. Like, since the first time I was on the set, I just felt like I love these women and I have so much to grow by being with them, and I just cried. I actually laid down in my hallway and, 'Oh my God. I actually get to do this for a living? This gets to be my job? I get to come here and be with these incredible women and learn and share with them?' I'm lucky, very fortunate."
Chen announced her exit from the series in September after her husband, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves was asked to step down from the position due to sexual assault allegations against him.1comments
"I have been at The Talk since the day it started nine years ago, and the cast, crew and staff have become family to me over the years," she said. "But right now I need to spend more time at home, with my husband and our young son, so I've decided to leave The Talk. I want to thank everyone at the show for the wonderful years together. I will always, always cherish the memories we have together."
Inaba was one of many guest co-hosts who came in to fill in after Chen's exit, with Marissa Jaret Winokur, Holly Robinson Peete, Aisha Tyler and Leah Remini also coming in during other episodes. Inaba joins other regular co-hosts Eve, The Conners star Sarah Gilbert, Sharon Osborne and Sheryl Underwood.