Ryan Seacrest Leaving ‘Live With Kelly & Ryan’: Mark Consuelos Joins – Hollywood Life

Ryan Seacrest Leaving ‘Live With Kelly & Ryan’: Mark Consuelos Joins As Kelly’s New Co-Host

Ryan Seacrest announced on February 16. that he's leaving as a co-host of 'Live with Kelly & Ryan.' Kelly Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, will be the show's new co-host.

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There’s a new co-host shakeup at Live with Kelly & Ryan. Ryan Seacrest revealed during the February 16 episode of the daytime talk show that he will be stepping down as Kelly Ripa’s co-host after 6 seasons. Ryan said on the show that leaving was a “tough decision” to make this season his last as a full-time co-host. “You are a gem. You are one of my best friends. The greatest part of this entire experience is you’ve gone from being a friend to a family member. You are family to us,” Kelly said to Ryan as he made his announcement.

Ryan plans to head back to the west coast where he will continue to host American Idol. Ryan will transition out of being the main co-host this spring as the Idol live shows get underway. However, Ryan said that he will be back to guest host Live and fill in when he can.

“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,” Ryan said. “She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together. I also want to thank Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people, and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”

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Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa have been ‘Live’ co-hosts since 2016. (ABC)

The American Idol host joined Kelly as a co-host in 2016. He initially signed on for 3 years and instead up staying for 6 years. “I’m so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan,” Kelly said in a statement. “Ryan’s energy, passion, and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.” During an emotional moment, Ryan told Kelly that he looks up to her. “I respect you so much,” he said to her on Live.

Ryan’s hosting days are far from over, though. He’s back as the host for American Idol season 21, which premieres on February 19. Over the past several seasons, Ryan had a grueling schedule filming Live with Kelly & Ryan and flying to Los Angeles to film the Idol live shows week after week. He also hosts Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve every year.

Kelly’s husband of 27 years, Mark Consuelos, is joining the show full-time as her co-host. The show will be retitled Live with Kelly & Mark. The couple met and fell in love on the set of All My Children in the 1990s. They have three children together: Michael, Lola, and Joaquin.

When Ryan was out, the Riverdale alum would often serve as Kelly’s co-host. Kelly stressed that “continuity” was important to her and the Live family. “The only person that I can think of that is capable of holding your torch the way you have held it is my husband, Mark Consuelos. In what Ryan and I are calling the weirdest social experiment,” Kelly said on Live.

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Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa during their Valentine’s Day episode. (ABC)

Kelly has been a mainstay on daytime television since 2001 when she joined Live as Regis Philbin’s new co-host. After Regis’ departure, Michael Strahan joined the show as a co-host in 2012. He was Kelly’s Live co-host for 4 seasons until 2016. Following his exit, Ryan joined the show.