Michael Strahan Is Kelly Ripa's New Permanent Co-Host

Ripa had been without a permanent co-host since Regis Philbin departed the show in November

Kelly Ripa introduced Michael Strahan as her new co-host this morning.

When he joined her on the show, rechristened "Live! with Kelly & Michael," Strahan called the gig "a dream come true."

Ripa welcomed her new partner on the air just after the show began at 9 a.m. EDT, saying he would help usher in "a new era of our show" after a long search for a new cohost.

"Stop sending me your résumés to my home address," she joked to her viewers.

Strahan, 40, is a former NFL star and currently a host of "Fox NFL Sunday." Back in 2008, as a guest on the show, he had joked to Ripa's then-cohost Regis Philbin that he might one day take his place hosting the show.

Although producers had not commented on who would fill the void left by Regis Philbin when he retired last November, Strahan had been in negotiations and was expected to take on the role.

The syndicated weekday talk show had left Ripa without a permanent co-host since Philbin departed the show. Since then, she has welcomed 59 guest co-hosts, several of whom, including Strahan, were under consideration for the permanent job. Strahan has made several guest appearances this year.

Philbin, the original "Live!" host, exited at age 80 after presiding more than 28 years alongside several co-hosts. Ripa became his on-air partner in 2001.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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