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February 12

February 12, 2001 – Kelly Ripa Officially Joins the Show Live with Regis and Kelly

Regis-and-Kelly

“It could only be Kelly. We knew that from her memorable debut onward.” – Co-host Regis Philbin

On February 12, 2001, new co-host Kelly Ripa officially joined ABC’s daytime talk show Live with Regis, which was renamed Live with Regis and Kelly.  Ripa had been picked after a long selection process, where host Regis Philbin spent a year with a handful of potential co-hosts, including the likes of Joy Philbin, Whoopi Goldberg, and Gloria Estefan; Ripa auditioned four months into this search. The combination of Philbin and Ripa gave new life to the show, with an average of 6 million viewers daily, and an increase in younger viewers of 80 percent. After Philbin left the show in late 2011, Ripa remained with the show, and it was renamed Live! with Kelly. Ripa’s new co-host, former NFL defensive end Michael Strahan, was chosen to join the show on September 4, 2012.

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