It’s Official: Kelly Ripa Introduces NFLer Strahan as New Co-Host

by | September 4, 2012 at 8:16 AM | Fall TV Preview 2012, Live! With Kelly, TV News

Kelly Ripa with new co-host Michael Strahan Tuesday on "Live" (Photo: David Russell/Disney-ABC Domestic TV)

Yes, it’s Michael Strahan.

He’s the new co-host of Kelly Ripa’s morning talk show, “Live with Kelly,” which will be retitled “Live with Kelly and Michael.”

Ripa made the highly anticipated (and widely expected) announcement on the show Tuesday morning, as it returned for its new season.

“It has been nine months [since Regis Philbin left the show],” Ripa said, “and I’m about to give birth to my new co-host!”

She noted that it had been about 200 shows since Regis left, and in that time, 60 guest-hosts came and went.

But her comments were brief, and a few minutes after 9 a.m. eastern time, she excitedly announced that Strahan, 40 — a former star with the New York Giants — was her new co-host. “Now it’s time for a new era of our show to begin,” Kelly said. “It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the newest member of our ‘Live’ family. We are honored to have him here — Michael Strahan!”

He was then seen getting out of a black SUV and entering the show’s Manhattan studio, as the audience cheered.

Watch Tuesday’s Announcement:

Joining Ripa on-stage, the 6’5″ football great hugged and lifted the 5’3″ Ripa, 41. “It’s so nice to have a co-host who can literally sweep me off my feet!” Ripa said. “And I know that he could bench-press me if he wanted to!”

“I’m speechless,” Strahan said. “I adore you and I am so happy to be here and be a part of this. You know how you say it’s a dream come true? Well, I truly can’t say that because I didn’t know I could even dream this,” said Strahan, sounding like a man who just won the lottery. And, in many ways, he had won a lottery — this job was just about the most prominent opportunity in the television business. And while we don’t know the terms of his deal, we assume he’ll make a ton of money.

“It’s so worth it in every sense of the word,” Ripa told him about his new job. “It’s a life-changing experience. It has changed my life.”

The two then sat together at the “Live” desk for the usual, extended host-chat segment — then welcomed guest Claire Danes, star of Showtime’s “Homeland.”

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