Kelly Ripa is facing a new change at work later this year, after it was revealed on Thursday that her co-star of six-years, Ryan Seacrest, will be leaving the show at the end of the current season.
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The news came as a surprise to many viewers, although there had been a clue earlier in the year that may well have gone unnoticed.
Kelly’s new co-star – her husband Mark Consuelos – had appeared on the show last-minute at the end of January, foreshadowing the new partnership.
VIDEO: Mark Consuelos joins Kelly Ripa on Live! following news of his new role on show
Mark didn’t reveal why Ryan was off, but instead explained that he had been asked to sub last-minute, and was more than happy to do so.
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“I love these last minute things, it’s awesome, we’re going to have fun!” Mark said at the start of the show on 30 January.
“Don’t you love a last minute wake up call?” Kelly added, having previously joked that it was “bring your DILF to work day”. The pair then continued to open up about their weekend trip to visit their youngest son Joaquin, who is studying at the University of Michigan.
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest have worked on Live! together for six years
Mark opened up about his new role shortly after Ryan announced his departure on Thursday’s show.
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In an upbeat Instagram post alongside a picture of himself with Kelly and Ryan, he wrote: “Congrats on your next chapter @ryanseacrest. I love you like a brother. I know I have some big shoes to fill … well actually they’re only a size 9, but you know what I mean. @kellyripa my ride or die. This is going to be amazing!
“I can’t believe after all these years of listening to you talk for free, I found a way to get paid for it. Is this a great country or what?”
Mark Consuelos had hosted Live! earlier in the year, foreshadowing his new role
Ryan joined the show back in 2017, following in the footsteps of Michael Strahan and before him, of course, Regis Philbin.
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He announced the news on Thursday’s episode, telling fans and Kelly: “I will always be forever grateful,” after which Kelly insisted: “You are family here, we love you, we are so proud of you.”
Ryan will be moving from New York City to Los Angeles, where he can focus on his other projects, including hosting American Idol.
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