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Kelly Ripa has finally announced her new cohost on “Live,” nearly a year after the departure of former cohost Michael Strahan. In an unsurprising move, Ryan Seacrest is taking the spot next to Ripa.
Seacrest joined her on the daytime talk show Monday morning.
Ripa posted a video to Twitter on Sunday afternoon showing her sipping from a “Live with Kelly” mug that also included a question mark. She said in the video, “Tune in tomorrow. Trust me.” Before making the announcement, Ripa opened Monday’s show on an optimistic note.
“Today, the next chapter of the ‘Live’ story is about to be written,” she said. “Today, my new cohost will officially be joining me on ‘Live.’ And today is a very good day.”
Ahead of bringing Seacrest out, Ripa thanked her many guest cohosts over the last year, which have included Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Jerry O’Connell, and Fred Savage.
“I would first like to thank all of the men and women who sat next to me cohosting with me this past year,” Ripa said. “Thanks is not a big enough word, but they took time out of their busy schedules and took time away from their day jobs to hang out with me in the morning. And part of what makes today so special is by helping out we all became family.”
After Seacrest joined Ripa at the “Live” desk, she announced that it was also her 21st wedding anniversary to actor Mark Consuelos.
To which Seacrest responded, “Well, I’ve made it through, what, seven minutes on my first anniversary being with you. This is a full commitment. I’m excited about it.”
Seacrest has guest cohosted “Live” five times since Strahan left. He is known for hosting “American Idol” for 15 seasons, as well as for his work as the host and executive producer of E!’s “Live from the Red Carpet” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
Seacrest has moved from Los Angeles to New York City for the “Live” job and will continue hosting and executive producing his syndicated morning radio show, “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” and his Top 40 radio show from a new NYC studio.
At the same time, Seacrest had been contributing to NBC’s “Today” since 2012. He was also reportedly a top candidate for roles on the morning show that ultimately went to Carson Daly and Billy Bush. As the cohost of “Live,” he will now compete with the the third hour of “Today.” Ripa’s several mentions of “Today” in her lead-up to the Seacrest announcement may have been a thinly veiled reference to the competition and the rival show’s history of passing over Seacrest.
News of Strahan’s exit from “Live” for “Good Morning America” last May led Ripa to skip the show for two days in protest of the way the situation was handled.
Watch Seacrest join “Live” as its new cohost below: