Lionel Richie Jokes Daughter Nicole and Paris Hilton's Return to Reality TV 'Scares Me': 'They Haven't Changed'

"I don't know if the world knows this, [but] they started this mess and I was the first guinea pig daddy to go along with this," Lionel Richie quipped as he spoke about his daughter's new show with Paris Hilton

<p>Disney/Eric McCandless/Getty; Peter Kramer/Getty Images)</p> Lionel Richie (left) and Paris Hilton (center) with Nicole Richie (far right)

Disney/Eric McCandless/Getty; Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

Lionel Richie (left) and Paris Hilton (center) with Nicole Richie (far right)

Lionel Richie has strong feelings about his daughter Nicole Richie’s return to reality TV.

On May 13, Nicole, 42, teased her and Paris Hilton's new Peacock series, which comes over 15 years after their reality show The Simple Life aired its final episode. "New Era. Same Besties. 👯‍♀️ Coming soon to Peacock," the duo wrote in a joint Instagram post at the time.

Now, Lionel, 74, is weighing in on his daughter's new endeavor with Hilton, 43. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight following the American Idol finale on Sunday, May 19, Lionel warned about what's to come from the longtime friends.

“They're older but they haven't changed, trust me," he joked. "Let me tell you something, those two scare me just standing next to each other."

Related: Lionel Richie Jokes He and Luke Bryan Will Have to 'Kidnap' Katy Perry After Her American Idol Exit (Exclusive)

The father-of-three continued, "I don't know if the world knows this, [but] they started this mess and I was the first guinea pig daddy to go along with this."

<p>Jeff Vespa/WireImage</p> Paris Hilton (left) and Nicole Richie in 2001

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Paris Hilton (left) and Nicole Richie in 2001

The Simple Life, which aired from 2003 to 2007, saw the two socialites traversing the U.S. while picking up various jobs, from working on a farm to interning at a retirement home. The reality series aired on Fox for the first three seasons before moving to E! for the final two.

Related: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie Tease 'New Era' as They Confirm New Peacock Reality Series

Lionel recalled the shock he felt while following Nicole and Hilton’s antics during the show, telling ET, "When they first started doing things like driving down the freeway backwards and I kept saying, 'What are you guys doing?' [She'd say] 'It's reality television, Dad!' And now these two are back together, oh my god, world, hang on to your seat.”

The American Idol judge jokingly added, "Thank god I'm older," before laughing about how his "medication" will help him cope with "this next phase of our lives."

However, he still expressed his support, saying: "I'm very happy for both of them."

<p>Rodin Eckenroth/Getty</p> Lionel Richie with Nicole Richie in April 2024

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

Lionel Richie with Nicole Richie in April 2024

Related: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's Friendship Timeline: From Childhood Pals to Simple Life Costars

Earlier this month, Nicole teased a reunion between her and Hilton by sharing a collage of photos from throughout their friendship on Instagram. “From Day 1: Sill and Bill 👭," she wrote.

Hilton reposted the photos to her Instagram Stories and commented "Sanasaaaa 💖💖💖.”

Back in 2018, Hilton asked fans in a Twitter poll if the popular reality series should return and over 80 percent of her followers answered “yes.” A few years later, the two celebrated the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the series, which Hilton dubbed "the show that started it all.”

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In a 2023 interview with PEOPLE, the Cooking With Paris star opened up about how people misconstrued her life due to what they saw on the small screen. The reality star said she was playing a "character" and has since "grown as a person."

"I’m an adult now, but just to be judged and have so many misconceptions based on a character that I had invented myself was frustrating," she clarified.

Nicole also caught up with PEOPLE last week and said her two children, Harlow and Sparrow, whom she shares with husband Joel Madden, are unfazed by her new TV show.

"I mean they're like, 'Can you drive me to Sephora?' So I don't know," she joked. "But yeah, I mean everyone's very excited for me."

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