Kelly Ripa’s New ‘Live!’ Co-Host: 7 Things to Know About Michael Strahan
Strahan will take the seat alongside Kelly Ripa as her permanent co-host on Live! With Kelly — a post that’s been vacant since Regis Philbin stepped down last November — Broadcasting & Cable reported Tuesday.
The news broke just a day after Live! announced that Kelly’s new partner in crime would join her for the debut of the show’s new season on Sept. 4.
Strahan, 40, has made many appearances — 16 in this year — as Ripa’s guest host since Philbin’s departure. He once even stripped his suit off a la Magic Mike while Channing Tatum was on the show.
Given his rapport with Ripa, rumors have pointed to him as a frontrunner — out of 59 auditioned contenders — for the position.
“I try to not think about it as replacing Regis because nobody could ever do that,” Strahan told HLN in May. “When you put it in that aspect, when you think about it [like that], it’s just too big. So I just look at it as an opportunity to go on TV and tell stories and have fun.”
So what’s the down-low on this former footballer?
Celebuzz is breaking down all you need to know about Ripa’s new co-host.
1. He won the Super Bowl with the Big Blue.
Strahan is a returned New York Giants defensive end. The lifelong athlete, who played at Texas Southern University, helped the G-Men capture the Super Bowl XLII title, taking down the previously undefeated New England Patriots. Shortly after that win, he retired after 15 NFL seasons in 2008.
2. He already appears on a TV show.
Strahan serves as one of the hosts of Fox NFL Sunday, a popular pregame program that runs during football season. If reports of Strahan landing the Live! co-host spot prove true, he won’t drop his Fox gig. But the busy schedule will turn Strahan bi-coastal: Live! shoots in New York City, while Fox NFL Sunday is produced out of Los Angeles.
3. Once upon a time, he had his very own sitcom.
Strahan starred in a short-lived FOX sitcom called Brothers, in which he starred as a former NFL star (shocker) dealing with post-gridiron life. The ex-Giant also made numerous guest appearances on other shows, such as Chuck, and appears in commercials for Subway, Snickers, Dr. Pepper and Right Guard.
4. He is engaged to Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife.
After two failed marriages, Strahan is now engaged to Nicole Murphy, who was married to comedian-actor Eddie Murphy for 13 years. From his previous relationships, Strahan has four kids, including seven-year-old twin girls. Nicole has recently stepped out of the shadow of her famous ex, making a name for herself on the new VH1 show, Hollywood Exes.
5. He adores Kelly Ripa.
“I think the show fits my personality,” Strahan gushed to HLN of Live!. “I get along with Kelly great. I love her. She’s really a sweetheart. But it’s a contrast. Here I am, this big athlete guy. Here she is, this little woman. But I think we relate in a lot of ways because of kids and family, and life in general.”
6. He’s pro PETA.
Following the 2007 arrest of Michael Vick on dog-fighting charges, Strahan appeared in a public service announcement for PETA, urging viewers to make dogs part of the family by allowing them indoors during the winter.
7. He went through a headline-hitting divorce.
In his 2005 bitter divorce battle with now ex-wife Jean, Strahan was accused of domestic abuse and carrying on multiple extramarital affairs. A judge eventually awarded Jean a whopping $15.3 million, a sizable chunk of Strahan’s reported $22 million net worth.
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