Ricki Lake hails 'rival and friend' Jerry Springer
Ricki Lake will remember Jerry Springer as a "rival and a friend for many years".
The TV icon - whose self-titled show ran from 1991 until 2018 - passed away at his Chicago home at the age of 79, and Ricki has paid a glowing tribute to her one-time rival.
Ricki - who hosted her own show for more than decade - told 'Entertainment Tonight': "Jerry was a colleague, a rival and a friend for many years. Jerry's persona was the polar opposite of what many remember of his show.
"He was a mensch, brilliant, hilarious, and what I remember most, absolutely devoted to his daughter."
Ricki also recalled competing against the TV star on 'Drop the Mic' - the musical reality series - in 2018.
She shared: "The [last] time I saw Jerry was in 2018 when we competed against each other on rap battles and in true form, he beat my a** and we had many laughs that day.
"He was always kind to me and he will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace."
What's more, Ricki took to Twitter to pay tribute to the TV star, describing him as a "lovely man".
Alongside a throwback photo, she wrote on the micro-blogging platform: "Just waking to the very sad news of the passing of my longtime talkshow rival and friend @jerryspringer. A lovely man. Here is the time he kicked my a** on @DropTheMicTNT. May he rest in peace. (sic)"
Jerry passed away after battling cancer for a few months.
Jene Galvin, a friend and spokesman for the family, subsequently told TMZ: "Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word.
"He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humour will live on."