Ryan Seacrest Named New Co-Host of ‘Live! with Kelly’

Kelly Ripa Ryan Seacrest
Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for VH1 & Logo Communications;John Sciulli/Getty Images for MOCA
Former 'American Idol' host Ryan Seacrest has been named co-host of 'Live!' alongside Kelly Ripa.

After a months-long search for Michael Strahan’s replacement, Kelly Ripa announced Monday that Ryan Seacrest will fill the empty Live! with Kelly co-host chair effective immediately. Seacrest joined Ripa on the show, taking his co-host chair about seven minutes into the program.

“And now, now on with the show. Are you ready?” Ripa asked the cheering audience. “You’re going to meet my new co-host. He or she is ready to come out and start his or her new job. Would you like to meet him or her? Well you will…right after the break.”

Once back from commercial, Ripa and Seacrest walked out hand in hand, hugging before greeting the audience.

“Well, hi, good morning. Nice to see you partner,” Seacrest said to his new co-host as he kissed her on the cheek.

“Well, I’ve made it through seven minutes of my first anniversary of being with you, so I feel like this is a full commitment,” Seacrest continued. “It’s been funny, because Kelly and I, we’re friends; we’ve known each other for a long time. And when we found out this was going to happen, we were told to keep it a secret. And we’re not great at that. So it’s funny because I sent a text to some of my close, close friends and co-workers. I said, ‘I’ve got great news.’ Responses were this from people who know me well: you’re engaged; you’re having a baby; you’re coming out of the closet.”

Seacrest confirmed none of his friends assumptions were true, but Ripa encouraged him to make any or all of those announcements on Live! when the time was right.

The former American Idol host has guest hosted the morning program five times in the past year. A slew of other celebrities, including Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper and Fred Savage have sat next to Ripa since Strahan abruptly departed for Good Morning America in May 2016. Ripa began Monday’s program by thanking her guest co-hosts before teasing the audience in studio—and at home—that her new co-host was ready to get started.

Reaction on Twitter to Seacrest’s appointment was mixed.

Seacrest will make the move to New York immediately to begin his co-hosting duties, and will continue hosting and executive producing “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his nationally syndicated radio show, as well as a nationally-syndicated Top 40 radio show.

Seacrest will also continue as host and executive producer of E!’s Live from the Red Carpet award shows, as well as ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.

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