Ryan Seacrest is officially stepping down from his daytime hosting gig.
During a Thursday morning broadcast of Live with Kelly and Ryan, the 48-year-old announced this current season will in fact be his final. He began:
“Kelly and I have some news here. This is something that she and I have been talking about for a long time, and it was a tough, tough decision. Last year, we spoke and I made the decision to make this my last season as co-host with Kell here on Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is bittersweet.”
Kelly Ripa then chimed in, calling Ryan a “gem” and one of her “best friends,” adding:
“The greatest part of this entire experience has been that you’ve gone from being a friend, to a family member.”
Aww, so sad! We LOVE Kelly and Ryan’s dynamic, so it comes as no surprise that his departure is so difficult for both of them. Ryan went on to lay out his future plans:
“What I plan to do is once American Idol starts from Los Angeles live later this spring, I’ll head out to the West Coast and host that show.”
However, he noted that we may not be seeing the last of him in the New York just quite yet:
“You’re not getting rid of me because I’m coming back to guest host and fill in, right in this chair.”
We like the sound of that! He then fixed his attention on Kelly, telling her just how much her kindness has meant to him over the last six years:
“I have to say, to you as a dear friend coming in, but as a best friend in this moment — to have your kindness, your thoughtfulness, your levity, your friendship — I look up to you, I respect you so much, I love the fact that we get a chance to sit here every day and connect with you at home in your kitchens, in your living rooms, at work — there’s nothing like this on television.”
“You are family here. We love you. We are so proud of you.”
However, through all the sadness, the two did drop a bit of exciting news regarding Ryan’s replacement! Kelly explained:
“Because we are so aware of the importance of continuity and consistency, and the familial vibe that we all have here, it only makes sense to not just our viewing audience at home, but our audience here within our staff, our support system, our extended family, to bring in somebody that we know and love, and whose really always been here.”
“The only person I can think of that is capable of holding [Ryan’s] torch the way you have held it, and that would be my husband, Mark Consuelos.”
Whaaat?? That definitely makes Ryan’s departure a bit of an easier pill to swallow! Ryan added, “it’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.” Watch their full announcement (below):
Ryan later took to Instagram to thank his “work wife” yet again, noting:
“When I signed on to host Live in 2017 it was meant to be for 3 years, but I loved the job and working with Kelly so much that I extended my time and last year I made the decision to stay on for one more final season.”
See his full post (below):
While we’ll miss the legendary television host’s charismatic personality, we’re excited to see Kelly and Mark co-host as husband and wife!
What are YOUR thoughts on the news, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments down below!