Michael Strahan debuts on 'Live!' with Kelly Ripa
Thought it was the worst-kept secret in the industry, Kelly Ripa revealed Tuesday that former Giants star Michael Strahan is her new permanent co-host on "Live!"
The surprise of the announcement was spoiled last month after numerous leaks singled out Strahan, 40, as the man who would replace the 80-year-old Regis Philbin on the top-rated morning show.
"I'm so happy to be part of this," Strahan said on the show. "You know how they say, 'It's a dream come true'? I truly can't say that because I didn't know I could even dream this."
Strahan impressed ABC execs during his multiple tryouts on the show, with many spectators noting the candid brother-sister dynamic he shared with Ripa, 41.
"There was definitely something special" between the two, said Michael Gelman, executive producer of the show, according to USA Today. "They're able to have this fun, and they have a shorthand together, and it just works," he said. "Having him come back all these times made it easier."
Strahan was selected after nine months of on-air tryouts from nearly 60 contenders, including Alec Baldwin and NY1's Pat Kiernan, following Philbin's departure from the show last November after 28 years.