On Monday, May 1, Ripa and Seacrest made the big reveal live on air by walking out together in front of a backdrop featuring the show’s new name, Live with Kelly & Ryan.
Following Michael Strahan’s departure from the popular morning talk show a year ago, Ripa filled her co-hosting chair with a bevy of famous faces some of which (Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Jerry O’Connell) were considered contenders for the permanent spot. But it’s the former American Idol host and founder of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation who nabbed the prize.
Seacrest, who hosts the radio program On Air with Ryan Seacrest in Los Angeles, will bounce back and forth from each coast, spending four days a week with Kelly in New York City. He’ll record his radio show after Live from a studio in the Big Apple.
“I think [there’s] nothing really daunting about it,” Seacrest told reporters after Monday’s show. “I think just, for me, you know, I’m shifting my life to be on another coast, and I did that 12 hours ago — so I’m still trying to figure out what my address is!”
The announcement was held under a cloud of secrecy with only the key participants, the Live crew and the families of Ripa and Seacrest in the loop.
“We have three teenagers, and I have to tell you that you can trust my kids with anything. I have never seen kids on lock down like my three,” Ripa said on Monday. “Really, I was blown away by how good they were with keeping their mouths shut.”
“They are better than my mother,” Seacrest added. “She sent an email to our friend of ours, George, and she forwarded it to me last night. And he said these words, don’t worry, the secret is safe in our bosom. And I thought, I will say hooray, she is older than I am and that’s how they speak to their friends.”
Ripa told reporters she and Seacrest had talked about working together a decade ago but their busy lives on opposite ends of the country prevented it. The stars finally aligned for the two friends.
“We’re just being with each other,” said Ripa. “We like other, so we’re enjoying our time together!”
“There’s just a naturalness to being next to each other that hopefully comes across,” added Seacrest. “When we’re hosting the show, I don’t know what she’s going to say, but I kind of know when she’s going to say something, and I think she feels the same thing.”
Ultimately it will be the viewers who decide whether Live with Kelly & Ryan is a hit.
“I hope to be people’s friends, connect with them, bring some energy and a smile to her face every day,” Seacrest said. “If I can do that, then I’ll get to keep the gig, I hope.”
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(Photo Credit: Disney/ABC)