From the driver’s seat to Strahan’s seat? Kelly Ripa is still searching for a new cohost on Live, and it looks like Jeff Gordon is open to the possibility of becoming Michael Strahan’s replacement.
“I am flattered that my name has been associated with that,” Gordon, 44, told The Associated Press on Saturday, June 25. “I’ve always maintained a great friendship with the show, some of the producers and folks within the show. I had a great time cohosting, and I certainly would welcome it.”
However, he was quick to mention that his job as a NASCAR analyst, which he began in February, comes first. “My priority is Fox and Fox Sports, and NASCAR,” he said. “I will definitely be back in the booth next year; if there was something that could fit into and around that, great.”
The NASCAR great, who has cohosted with Ripa several times throughout the years, skirted a question about whether he’s been in talks to join the show after Strahan’s departure. “It’s been really interesting to see that unfold, but I really don’t have anything that I can say about that,” he said.
Strahan left the ABC talk show on May 13 after he announced he was leaving for a full-time gig on Good Morning America. Ripa was blindsided by the news and was absent from Live for a week. She took a “sick day” from work the day after she learned of her cohost’s exit, then took a preplanned anniversary vacation with her husband, Mark Consuelos.
Last week, Strahan told Chelsea Handler on an episode of Chelsea that he “needed a break” from the morning show. “I really haven’t missed it,” he admitted. “But I loved it. Don’t get me wrong: I loved it. When you get a break, sometimes you kind of go, ‘Wow, I kind of needed it.’ I needed a break.”
Strahan was originally scheduled to leave in September, but his departure was moved up by several months in order to give Ripa and producers time to find a replacement. Since Live takes an extended summer break in August, viewers are hoping that the new cohost will be announced before the hiatus. Other possible names that have been mentioned include Rob Lowe, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.
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