“Welcome to this evening, it’s so nice to see our Live family and our Live family’s family. There really is no other place in our business like the Live show,” Seacrest, 48, kicked off his introductory speech on Wednesday, per social media footage shared by the daytime show’s official Instagram account. “I’m grateful to have been a part for six years. I wanted to get together and enjoy something that I like a lot, which is great food.”
The American Idol emcee — whose final Live episode airs on Friday, April 14 — went on to thank his cohost, Kelly Ripa, executive producer Michael Gelman and the entire crew for their friendship over the years.
“What am I going to miss? Well, for starters, I will miss the red herrings. I will also miss sharing the bathroom, well, with everyone,” Seacrest joked in his speech, before listing off Monica Mangin’s segments, the legendary Halloween show, the camera operators and the post-Oscars episode as other aspects of the production that he’ll fondly remember moving forward.
“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career. She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together,” Seacrest said in a statement at the time. “I also want to thank Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”
Ripa and the Riverdale alum, both 52, have been married since 1996 after first meeting on the set of All My Children. The New Jersey native went on to replace Kathie Lee Gifford on Live in 2001, joining Regis Philbin at the anchor desk. After Philbin’s 2011 retirement prior to his 2020 death, Ripa continued to helm Live with a rotating panel of guest and permanent cohosts. Consuelos, for his part, remained his wife’s No. 1 fan.
“This is my favorite show in the morning. When I was in Vancouver [filming Riverdale] and [Kelly and I] were separated when the borders were closed [amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdown], I got to watch you guys,” the Kingdom alum, who shares three children with the Live Wire author, gushed during the February 17 episode of Live. “And in Canada, it’s on 15 channels! On the West Coast, you can watch at 6 a.m. [via the] East Coast feed. So, I felt connected. I get to share a cup of coffee with you every morning before the show and now I’ll have one with you on the show, as well.”
He added at the time: “That chair that [Ryan is currently] sitting in is an iconic seat. It’s a great honor for me to sit there. It’s an iconic show and I think it’s going to be a blast.”
Ripa and Consuelos’ iteration of Live, which will be renamed Live With Kelly and Mark, kicks off on Monday, April 17.
“My brother, Mark. Congratulations. It’s wonderful to go through this process with somebody that I love so much that obviously knows [Kelly] better than I know her … ish,” Seacrest concluded on Wednesday, directly addressing the Spain native and their longtime friendship. “But congratulations. I can’t wait to watch or tape it, sleep in and watch. Probably that, but congratulations, Mark.”
The married couple told Us in February that cohosting the show is a major “full-circle” moment for them.
“Mark and I owe everything we have in our professional lives to ABC,” Ripa exclusively gushed to Us at the time. “We met there at the beginning of our careers and got married and had our kids while there. “So many wonderful moments have happened while with ABC, so it only makes sense for us to come full circle and work together once again for the show that has given us so much joy and so many years of memories.”