“I think [there’s] nothing really daunting about it,” Seacrest, 42, told reporters on Monday after the big announcement. “I think just, for me, you know, I’m shifting my life to be on another coast, and I did that 12 hours ago — so I’m still trying to figure out what my address is!”
“I keep saying winter’s going to be the most daunting part,” said Ripa, 46, who quipped that she’s going to let the cold weather months do the hazing for her.
“But honestly, it’s not daunting,” said Seacrest. “She’s loved by this country, she’s got this companionship with the audience that is so admirable, so I’m just happy to wing with her.”
According to the two, they’ve been wanting to work together on Live for years.
“We started talking about this, like, a decade ago,” said Ripa. “But you were so ensconced with your other job and living in L.A. But we’ve always enjoyed working together — that’s never been a question. It’s just been being on the same coast at the same time.”
As for how he’ll now split his time between coasts, Seacrest said he will shuttle back to Los Angeles at the end of every week.
“I’ll be [in New York City] during the week and then at the end of the week the show usually isn’t on on Fridays, so I’ll fly back to Los Angeles and work from there,” he explained. “And I have an iHeart studio here in the building, so immediately after Live on television, we go live on the radio.”
So how did he do on his first day on the job?
“Oh, I mean 100 out of 10,” gushed Ripa. “He’s a seamless, seamless broadcaster. There is nobody better. There is nobody that understands what 30 seconds of conversation actually means in real time like Ryan does, and so he makes everything easy — it’s like a vacation with him.”
Of their incredible chemistry, the two chalk it up to being great friends and truly enjoying each other’s company.
“We’re just being with each other,” said Ripa. “We like other, so we’re enjoying our time together!”
“There’s just a naturalness to being next to each other that hopefully comes across,” added Seacrest. “When we’re hosting the show, I don’t know what she’s going to say, but I kind of know when she’s going to say something, and I think she feels the same thing.”
Added Ripa, “And we’ve learned each other’s rhythms early on.”
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As for what Seacrest hopes to bring to the show, the veteran TV personality told PEOPLE he wants to really connect with viewers.
“I hope to be people’s friends, connect with them, bring some energy and a smile to her face every day,” he said. “If I can do that, then I’ll get to keep the gig, I hope.”
Live with Kelly & Ryan airs weekdays (check local listings).