It's Official: Michael Strahan Named Kelly Ripa's Permanent Live Co-Host

Live with Kelly and MichaelThe worst kept secret in the TV biz has finally been made official: Kelly Ripa introduced former NFL star Michael Strahan as her new co-host Monday morning on the newly-rechristened Live! With Kelly and Michael.

“As a guest co-host, Michael’s chemistry with Kelly was off the charts, and continued to grow each time he visited the show,” said longtime Live EP Michael Gelman. “The interaction between the co-hosts always has been what makes this show different from any other on television. Kelly and Michael’s ability to play off of one another and just plain have a good time together creates great TV for the audience.”

Ripa has served as sole permanent host of Live With Kelly since Regis Philbin stepped down last November 18. During that time, a whopping 59 different men and women joined Ripa behind the Live desk following Philbin’s departure. But in recent months, the list of serious candidates was narrowed down to three: Strahan, SNL vet Seth Meyers, and classical singer Josh Groban.

Strahan’s Live duties reportedly won’t affect his other broadcasting gig on Fox NFL Sunday.

Thoughts? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Still on the fence? Hit the comments!