It was worth the wait for the perfect replacement! Ryan Seacrest has joined Kelly Ripa as the new cohost of Live! almost a year after Michael Strahan left his seat at the desk.
After their first Live With Kelly & Ryan show on Monday, May 1, the longtime friends revealed that they initially discussed working together on a show “like a decade ago,” but the timing wasn’t right. “You were so ensconced with your other jobs and living in L.A.,” Ripa said of Seacrest in a chat with reporters after the live show. “We’ve always enjoyed working together. That’s never been a question. It’s just been being on the same coast at the same time.”
The former American Idol host, 42, will be relocating to New York City to film the daytime talk show. He will also record his radio program, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, in the Big Apple, but he will fly back to Los Angeles on weekends.
The duo have cohosted together several times in the past. “She came over the night before the Academy Awards and we knew we were on a path to completing it, but we weren’t quite sure we’d get there,” Seacrest said. While Ripa, 46, said it was “group decision,” Seacrest joked that it was all up to “the boss,” a.k.a. Ripa.
The pair said that they feel at ease cohosting together, but it’s hard to describe their chemistry. “We like each other so we enjoy our time together,” the former soap star said, while the radio personality added, “I think it’s just the naturalness to being next to each other that hopefully comes across. I think 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-ish. I think you feel the same way.”
Ripa gave her new colleague a “100 out of 10” for his first day on Live!, but joked that the “hazing” starts in NYC’s brutally cold winters. “I keep saying winter is going to be the most daunting,” she said.
Seacrest continued, “But honestly, it’s not daunting. She’s loved by this country, she’s got this companionship with the audience that is so admirable, so I’m just happy to wing with her.”