The rumors are true, former NFL player Michael Strahan is to become Kelly Ripa's new co-host on "Live! With Kelly" as Regis Philbin's permanent replacement. Strahan has beaten 50 plus candidates during nine months of on-air tryouts because he has "definitely something special" kind of chemistry with Ripa.
"You can't get on live TV every morning and fool people. We're two people who can laugh at themselves and laugh at each other," Strahan said in a news conference to reveal his recruitment. Exec producer Michael Gelman added, "They're able to have this fun, and they have a shorthand together, and it just works. Having him come back all these times made it easier."
Strahan had a warm welcome on Tuesday, September 4 with balloons and confetti showering him. "Now it's time for the new era of our show to begin," Ripa said, adding "It's so nice to have a co-host who can literally sweep you off your feet."
Strahan has filled in co-hosting position around 20 times since Philbin left in November last year. The show has now been retitled "Live! With Kelly and Michael".