Kelly Ripa Co-Host: Regis Philbin Weighs In On ‘Live’ Options

The Kelly Ripa co-host search continues, and Regis Philbin could be the solution to ABC’s six-month-long search. The 85-year-old showbiz legend, who used to host Live!, has commented on his possible return as Michael Strahan’s replacement.

Regis Philbin originally started Live! in 1988 along with Kathie Lee Gifford. Therefore, he would be the perfect co-host for Live With Kelly! However, Philbin, who holds a Guinness World Record for spending the most time in front of a TV camera, has shrugged off the idea of returning to the show.

Philbin told TMZ that his return to Live! is unlikely because he is tired from his decades-long TV career. Philbin also skillfully evaded a question on who he thinks should replace Strahan and become Kelly Ripa’s co-host. Check out what Regis had to say in the video below.

Regis Philbin worked as Kelly Ripa’s co-host in 2001 when the latter made her Live! debut. Philbin worked with Ripa until November, 2011, when his exit made way for Strahan, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa
Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa. [Image by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]

The position of Kelly Ripa’s co-host became vacant in April when Strahan quit the show after four years. The former New York Giants player, who now works on Good Morning America, reportedly quit Live! without informing co-host Kelly Ripa.

Kelly Ripa is said to have heard about Strahan’s departure only hours before Disney, ABC’s parent company, announced the decision, Nickiswift reported.

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, allegedly ordered the former NFL athlete not to inform Ripa about his decision to quit.

Following the news of Strahan’s exit as Kelly Ripa’s co-host, the 46-year-old, who was obviously taken aback, decided to take some time away from work.

“I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts [on the situation]. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right,” Ripa said on her return to work. “What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary, in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication, and consideration and most importantly, respect in the workplace.”

“The best thing to come out of all this… is that our parent company has assured me that Live! is a priority,” Ripa added. “There is a commitment to this show, and the people who work here and, most importantly, to you, the viewers who have watched us every day for 30 years.”

Kelly Ripa co-host
Kelly Ripa in New York City. [Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival]

The search for Kelly Ripa’s new co-host has seen about 51 high-profile personalities appearing as guest Live! co-hosts. These personalities include CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Fox News Megyn Kelly. Their appearances on the show have sparked several reports about who ABC would pick to fill the spot on a permanent basis.

Over the past few months, several names have been touted as Strahan’s permanent replacement.

Jerry O’ Connell, 42, one of the favorites, has expressed his willingness to work as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on Live!, People reported. Bravo host Andy Cohen, who has appeared as a guest host on the show, is also among the favorites for the vacant position.

“She’s number one, she’s the best, she’s beautiful, she’s funny, and as a parent, she’s inspiring,” Connell said concerning Ripa. “Whatever Kelly wanted me to do, I would do it, If she needed me a couple of days a week, I would help her out.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, former Atlanta Falcons player Kroy Biermann is the newest personality to be linked with the job. Last week, Biermann became a contender to be Kelly Ripa’s co-host after his wife recommended him for the post. Biermann’s wife, reality television star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, made the recommendation on social media in response to a question from E!.

Who would you like to see as Kelly Ripa’s co-host?

[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/AP Photo]