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    Kelly Ripa's Almost "Live" TV Birth

    It's a boy for perky sidekick Kelly Ripa and her husband, actor Mark Consuelos.

    Ripa called her talk show cohost Regis Philbin from her hospital bed during today's taping of Live to break the good news.

    Ripa delivered second son Joaquin via Caesarean section on Monday at 9:31 a.m., in New York while Live was on the air. Ripa reportedly tried to call Philbin while giving birth in the delivery room but couldn't find a phone.

    This is the third child for the camera-friendly couple--first son Michael is five and a half, daughter Lola is almost two. Ripa announced she was adding to her burgeoning brood on air last September.

    A middle name has not been chosen for the baby, who weighed in at eight pounds, five ounces, but Ripa joked that they were considering Regis because then they could call the kid J.R.

    "Mark and I are so excited to share our news with everyone," Ripa said in a statement released today. "We are the proud parents of a healthy baby boy! We can't wait to bring Joaquin home to meet all of our friends and family."

    One of the hardest working women in show biz (Ripa still occasionally pulls double duty on All My Children and guest starred on NBC's Ed for three episodes last year), the blonde will take a well-deserved maternity break before returning to work in May. Ripa took all of a month's leave when daughter Lola was born in June 2001.

    Regis Philbin's better half, Joy Philbin, will stand in this week, while rotating celebrity guests will cover for Ripa in her absence. Jane Krakowski of Ally McBeal fame will cohost next week.

    Ripa and Consuelos have been married almost seven years (an eternity in Hollywood terms). The winsome twosome met 12 years ago on ABC's All My Children and played TV sweethearts Mateo Santos and Hayley Vaughan.

    Jersey girl Ripa won the coveted role opposite cranky Philbin on the daytime gabfest two years ago after a nationwide search was conducted to replace former cohost Kathie Lee Gifford. Ripa has maintained she will return to All My Children from time to time.

    Soap stud Consuelos left All My Children last year to pursue a film career. Up next is a role in The Great Raid, a WWII drama starring Benjamin Bratt and Joseph Fiennes.

    Could this mean Reeg may soon have to find himself a new foil? Last summer Ripa told TV Guide, "I've always said to Mark, as soon as his film career takes off, I'm staying home with the kids. That's sort of my ambition."

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