Kelly Ripa Calls Anderson Cooper the Live Co-Host That 'Got Away,' Would Consider Working With Billy Bush

Kelly Ripa's New Co-Host

As the (seemingly endless) search for Kelly Ripa‘s permanent Live co-host continues, a surprising new name is being thrown into the ring: Billy Bush.

During an appearance on Wednesday’s Watch What Happens Live, host Andy Cohen presented Ripa with a colorful list of potential co-hosts — ranging from Sally Jesse Raphael to the Kardashians — and she seemed open to all of them, including disgraced news anchor Bush.

Her reasoning? Why, she’d love to get to the bottom of what really happened during Bush’s infamous Access Hollywood bus ride with Donald Trump in 2005, of course.

Ripa’s fellow guest Anderson Cooper — whom Ripa referred to as “the one that got away” when he decided to re-up with CNN, thus taking him out of the Live running — also shared his thoughts on Bush’s future in the business:

“We work in an industry where it’s up to viewers who they want to watch,” Cooper told a caller who asked if he thought Bush was unfairly penalized for his part in bus-gate, considering the other guy involved became our next president. “I understand why the [Today] show made the decision they did. This is a tough industry, and I think Billy Bush understands the industry. I think he had a settlement, and I’m sure he’ll bounce back in on way or another.”

But no matter who ends up clinching the coveted spot alongside Ripa, don’t hold your breath for the Live host to make a decision anytime soon.

“We really didn’t set a timeframe for ourselves,” she explained. “We wanted to wait until we found the right person. What we didn’t anticipate is that we’d have such an outpouring of interest, so the list got very long very quickly.”

Who would you like to see as Ripa’s permanent co-host? And what are your thoughts on Bush’s future (or lack thereof) in the industry? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.