Ryan Seacrest has been chosen to be Kelly Ripa's new LIVE co-host, almost exactly a year after Michael Strahan's departure.
The announcement was made on the show Monday. "It's going to be a busy year," Seacrest quipped. He and Ripa then aired footage of him entering the building early Monday morning. He had to hide in his car so no one would see him driving in. Ripa admitted only her kids knew whom she had chosen and said she was shocked they didn't leak. "And our house we don't call it a secret anymore, we call it a Seacrest. We have changed the name of the deodorant to Seacrest, because that's how secretive we have all been," she joked. "We have three teenagers, and I have to tell you that you can trust my kids with anything. I have never seen kids on lock down like my three.
"Really, I was blown away by how good they were with keeping their mouths shut."
"They are better than my mother," Seacrest added. "she sent an email to our friend of ours, George, and she forwarded it to me last night. And he said these words, don't worry, the secret is safe in our bosom. And I thought, I will say hooray, she is older than I am and that's how they speak to their friends. Hello, mom. Great to see you this morning.
During a commercial break Seacrest talked to the audience and confessed he had "no idea" what he was doing. "I'm a newcomer to this so thank god [Kelly's] here to hold my hand," he joked.
He later added on-air, "I don't deserve this! I don't deserve to be here! I'm going to keep it close to me."
Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution/Pawel Kaminski
Seacrest will be bi-coastal, staying in New York City four days a week and spending the rest in Los Angeles.
A slew of celebrities had filled in as Kelly's guest co-hosts throughout the past year and were seen as contenders for the job. The list included Jerry O'Connell, Anderson Cooper, Fred Savage, Jussie Smollett, Christian Slater, Andy Cohen, Joel McHale, Josh Groban, Carrie Ann Inaba and Kelly's husband Mark Consuelos—all of whom made multiple appearances.
Other guest co-hosts included The Bachelor host Chris Harrison, Jimmy Kimmel Live! host Jimmy Kimmel, The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Octavia Spencer, Daniel Dae Kim, Common, Alex Rodriguez, High School Musical alum Corbin Bleu, Taye Diggs and Seal.
Michael left his job as LIVE co-host in mid-May 2016 for Good Morning America.
He announced his departure a month earlier, catching Kelly by surprise. She was "livid" about being kept in the dark and boycotted the show for half a week. ABC then apologized.
She then returned to LIVE and launched some not-too-subtle zingers about her job.
A source had said last March that there was no timeline or rush to fill Michael's role, adding, "Kelly loves having a rotating co-host. She's really enjoying herself."
Stephen Colbert poked fun at Kelly and the co-host search on The Late Show a month earlier, joking to her, "When are you gonna put a ring on it, girl?"
"Are you proposing?" Kelly replied.
She had teased the LIVE co-host announcement Sunday on social media, posting a video showing her holding a mug that reads "LIVE Kelly ?"
"Tune in tomorrow," she says in the clip. "Trust Me."