Ryan Seacrest shocked fans last week with his announcement he was leaving Live with Kelly & Ryan after this season. But for everyone who worked on the show it was a relief months in the making! Not because they dislike him, of course — because they were worried!
According to multiple sources spilling to Page Six over the weekend, the American Idol host’s frequent and obvious exhaustion was concerning for both his coworkers and friends. The insiders said the 48-year-old would regularly leave set looking wiped. And no wonder! He’s been pulling triple duty hosting the daytime hit, Idol, AND his radio show, On Air With Ryan Seacrest for FIVE YEARS straight now!
He’s always been one of the hardest workers in the biz — often taking on multiple jobs simultaneously. But no one can keep up that kind of schedule forever. Even rockstars like Ryan get older. Someone close to Ryan explained he found his work schedule “punishing”:
“It’s not just Live. Ryan has to travel to audition cities for Idol — they just went to Hawaii. It’s exhausting… It’s a grueling schedule. There are double tapings and he runs between his radio show and Live. He’ll have a 10-minute break and they’ll say, ‘Come and do some one-liners for the radio show.'”
That’s not to mention the constant travel between New York and LA, where his 25-year-old girlfriend Aubrey Paige lives. Oh, and producing shows like The Kardashians for Hulu! He’s a busy guy! The source continued:
“He’s not quite burned out, but he knows himself [and knows] he needs a break. In the last couple of years he’s valued his time off with his family and his loved ones.”
Over the past six months, said the outlet’s sources, the long hours were really getting to the TV veteran, and he was taking a lot of absences from the show not because he was going to be busy but because he was just DONE. One insider said:
“Some of Ryan’s absences created tension with everyone involved on the show. But everyone cares about him and respects him and just wants to make sure he’s OK.”
Co-host Kelly Ripa, on the other hand, has been doing the show for 23 years, and it’s just in her DNA at this point. The 52-year-old has almost never missed a day in all that time — and she has three kids! So his absences over the past six months were even more noteworthy compared to her.
Thankfully for the show, Kelly had a great co-host sitting at home during those surprise days off! She brought in Mark Consuelos on to fill in a few times, including apparently at the last minute. And fans LOVE their natural chemistry! So when Ryan decided to say goodbye to his $10 million per year salary, it was an easy call to just make the married couple the full-time co-hosts.
According to Page Six‘s insider, any friction between Kelly and Ryan melted away when he made his decision — and she just got to be his supportive friend again instead of his annoyed co-worker:
“They started talking about Ryan leaving last summer, and when they announced Ryan’s departure, both Kelly and Ryan wanted to put whatever issues — arising from the workplace and Ryan’s other responsibilities — they had behind them. They’ve known each other for 20 years and, regardless of recent strains, it is a real friendship.”
Frankly Ryan has been a real trooper to make it this far! As the close source noted, he only signed on to a 3-year contract to do the morning show at first — the last three years were an extension! We’re surprised he didn’t take a break in 2020 after that really scary moment on Idol when everyone thought the poor guy was having a stroke! He later explained it was just “exhaustion” causing his eye to droop and his speech to slur — meaning he’s been dealing with this for a while now!
We’re impressed with him for taking another bite at that apple — $10 mil/year for 3 years is another $30 mil in the bank — but you can’t spend any of that if you drop dead at 50, man! It sounds like he’s finally choosing his well-being over his Wells Fargo account. The confidant said he’s looking forward to a lot more downtime:
“He’s really interested in learning how to make wine, he has a passion for cooking, and this is the kind of thing he wants to invest in.”
Watch him turn that into a travel show on Discovery! LOLz!
In all seriousness we’re so happy this is how Ryan’s daytime TV career is ending. You have to put your health first, y’all! You can’t be Live if you’re no longer living!
What do YOU think of Ryan’s decision to leave the show after six seasons??
[Image via Live with Kelly & Ryan/YouTube.]