Kelly Ripa has had her eye on Ryan Seacrest for some time.
After announcing that the 42-year-old TV personality would be her permanent co-host on Live!, Ripa joined Seacrest at a press conference, and revealed how this decision came about. “I feel like we first talked about it almost a decade ago,” Ripa told ET’s Carly Steel. “You (Ryan) were so ensconced with your job and living in L.A. We’ve always enjoyed working together. That’s never been a question — just [needed to be] on the same coast at the same time.”
“When we had first talked about it, I think both of us certainly thought, ‘Wow, that would be a dream if we could figure it out,'” Seacrest added.
Ripa also rated the former American Idol host‘s first day on the job, giving him a “100 out of 10.”
“He’s a seamless broadcaster. There is nobody better,” she elaborated to ET. “There is nobody that acrually understands what 30 seconds of conversation actually means in time, in real time, like Ryan does. So, he makes everything easy. It’s like a vacation day.”
As for their chemistry, Ripa, 46, said they “learned each other’s rhythms early on.”
“There’s just a naturalness being next to each other that hopefully comes across,” Seacrest added. “When we’re hosting the show, I don’t know what she’s going to say but I kind of know when she’s going to say something. I think you (Kelly) feel the same way.”
Seacrest went on to explain how he plans to juggle his new co-hosting gig with his other jobs — which include hosting a daily radio show, heading up a clothing line and executive producing several TV shows — as well as dividing his time between New York City and Los Angeles. “I’ll be here during the week and then at the end of the week, the show usually isn’t on Fridays,” he noted. “I’ll fly back to Los Angeles and work from there. I have a studio — an iHeart studio — here in the building [in NYC], so immediately after Live! on television, we go live on the radio.”
“I keep volunteering if he needs any help on the radio,” Ripa quipped. “I am ready and able. Got my vocal cords.”
A production source close to the show told ET after the announcement was made that “most of the staff was in the dark about the decision” to hire Seacrest, and only “a very small group knew when an announcement was going to happen.”
The source added that the staff is “relieved that the search is over,” as “it was a lot of work booking guests and a co-host.”
As for Seacrest’s other jobs, that “isn’t a concern” to the staff, as former Live! co-host Michael Strahan also had other obligations. “It’s being worked out so that Ryan is able to focus on Live! properly,” the source noted. “Kelly is in support of his other jobs.”