In her corner! Jerry O'Connell, who has cohosted numerous episodes of Live alongside Kelly Ripa, opens up to Us Weekly exclusively about Michael Strahan leaving the show and whether he has been approached to take the gig.
Last month, Strahan, 44, announced on Live With Kelly & Michael that, after cohosting the morning talk show with Ripa for four years, he was leaving for Good Morning America. The day after his announcement, Ripa took an unplanned day off from the show, and when she returned to the air, she said she hoped the turn of events would start a conversation about "respect in the workplace."
O'Connell, 42, sang Ripa's praises to Us Weekly on Monday, May 9, at a press event to promote his upcoming recurring role on ABC's Mistresses.
"To get to work next to Kelly Ripa would be anyone's dream in that field," the Crossing Jordan alum says. "Kelly is the best of the best. … Having worked with her there at Live, Kelly is the best. I'm always Team Kelly."
O'Connell — whose name has been bandied about as a possible candidate to replace the NFL Hall of Famer — says that he has not been in contact with anyone from the show since the departure news broke. However, the Stand by Me actor, who has twin daughters with wife Rebecca Romijn, acknowledged he would have a tough time turning down a chance to cohost with the morning TV mainstay on a regular basis. Strahan's final Live episode airs Friday, May 13.
"It would be an honor — I would do anything Kelly asked me to do," O'Connell says of joining Ripa, 45, permanently. "That's how much I respect her."
As to whether he was surprised that Strahan would leave so suddenly, the actor says, "Wasn't everybody surprised — including Kelly? Everyone was, right? But it's gonna be fun. Kelly's the best. Kelly's the best! I'll watch Kelly with anybody."
Live With Kelly & Michael airs weekdays in nationwide syndication. Mistresses returns to ABC Monday, May 30, at 10 p.m. ET.
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