After being announced as Ripa’s right hand man on the popular program, Philbin, who served as co-host for 28 years and retired in 2011, passed on some helpful information in a phone call that Seacrest has taken to heart.
“He said to me, ‘Ryan, I was most worried about doing something the night before so we had something to talk about in the first 20 minutes of the show, so just make sure you’re doing something,’ ” Seacrest, 42, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
But Philbin wasn’t the only former co-host that Seacrest heard from — Michael Strahan, who announced last May that he was leaving his Live post to become a full-time co-anchor on Good Morning America, also extended his congratulations by sending over a bottle of wine.
Ripa, 46, welcomed 67 guest hosts to the show since Strahan left, including Jimmy Kimmel, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Jussie Smollett, Neil Patrick Harris and Dwyane Wade.
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Speaking with PEOPLE after being announced as co-host, Seacrest admitted that he was feeling the heat from his competition.
“I hosted earlier this year and every time you’re in that seat you’re thinking, ‘Gosh, if this ever works out, then this is the audition tape,’ ” Seacrest said. “I would watch the other co-hosts and be like, ‘Darn it, they’re really good. Maybe everyone can do my job.’ ”
While Ripa said that hiring the former American Idol host was a no-brainer, she still had plenty of praise to sing about the other great guest hosts.
“I have to say, I was not disappointed or let down by anybody we had this year,” she said. “They all brought their A-game. It’s so funny — at a certain point you just say, ‘Oh my god, everyone is so talented. I should just leave and let them all fight it out.’ ”
Live with Kelly & Ryan airs weekdays (check local listings).