Living with Kelly and Ryan will be a family affair.
With the inevitable name change.
After six seasons co-hosting the morning show with Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest announced on February 16 that he was leaving the program, calling it a “difficult decision” and a “bittersweet one”.
“Working with Kelly for the last six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,” Seacrest said in a statement.
“He has been a wonderful partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.”
Adding that he “made memories to last a lifetime” with the entire staff and people backstage, Seacrest continued:
“It’s been an unforgettable journey and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”
Indeed, Ripa’s partner, Mark Consuelos,—who has sat beside his wife as guest host on numerous occasions—will be taking over permanently.
In response to the news and decision, Ripa today said the following:
“I am so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dearest friend for decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan.
“Ryan’s energy, passion and love of entertainment is one of a kind.”
Ripa has been part of the Live family since 2001.
She replaced Kathie Lee Gifford, working alongside the late Regis Philbin for 10 years before its final episode in November 2011, when Michael Strahan joined – followed by Seacrest.
“I can’t thank you enough on behalf of all of us,” Kelly said on Thursday’s event.
“There’s no one else like you.
“No one really can do what you do. I know you in real life as well as TV life. I say this about very few people: what you see is what you get.
“This is not acting, this is good people. I am endlessly impressed by you.
Conseulos has been married to Ripa since 1996; he’s a very familiar face to viewers.
“As a fan favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the Live family,” producer Michael Gelman said in his own statement.
“Having him join the show is very special to us and we are sure viewers will feel the same way.
“Farewells are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms.”