Hoda Kotb marks celebratory occasion with Kathie Lee Gifford - but it’s bittersweet

The pair could not be together

Hoda Kotb wished her friend Kathie Lee Gifford a happy birthday but shared how sad she is that they can not be together in person.

The TODAY host previously worked alongside Kathie, who left the show in 2019, and Hoda posted a snap from their time together behind the desk.

"Boy do I wish I could squeeze you today ! Happy bday Kath!!!" wrote Hoda, alongside the picture which saw Hoda giving Kathie - who turned 68 - a big hug as the two smiled for the cameras.

MORE: Today's Hoda Kotb makes difficult parenting confession

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WATCH: Hoda Kotb breaks devastating news live on Today

For 12 years Kathie worked alongside Regis Philbin on Live with Regis and Kathie but she left the show in 2000 and began working with Hoda.

The two worked closely together on TODAY with Kathie Lee and Hoda, the fourth hour of the Today show; Kathie Lee left the popular programme in 2019.

That same year the duo won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host. After Kathie Lee left, the show was renamed TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, with Jenna Bush Hager joining the programme.

Hoda shared this sweet throwback

Last week, it was Kathie's turn to wish Hoda a happy birthday, as the news presenter celebrated turning 57.

"Everyone, please join me in raising a glass to my dear friend, who I love to describe as an Egyptian goddess and Sunshine in a Bottle. Happy Birthday, Hoda-woman," Kathie captioned the snap of the tw behind the TODAY desk and with glasses of wine in their hands.

The pair worked together for years on TODAY

The pair have remained close friends and Hoda was at Kathie's son Cody's wedding in 2020; Kathie shares Cody and daughter Cassidy with her late husband, Frank Gifford.

Viewers of Kathie's shows watched her children grow up in front of their eyes, and they made several appearances on the hit TV show over the years.

Cassidy was also married during the pandemic, saying "I do" to husband Ben Wierda in June.

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