Kelly Ripa reacts as Ryan Seacrest quits morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan on air

Kelly Ripa has reacted to Ryan Seacrest’s decision to quit their show live on air.

On Thursday (16 February), Seacrest announced plans to leave Live with Kelly and Ryan.

The presenter said that he had discussed the move with Ripa, calling it a “tough” and “bittersweet” choice.

Seacrest announced the news while sat next to Ripa, who held his arm as she paid tribute to her co-host.

“The greatest part of htis entire expeirence is you have gone from being a friend to a family member,” Ripa said, adding: “You are family here, we love you – we’re so proud of you.”

She continued: “I cheer you on endlessly. I know how much of a sacrifice it’s been, I know how exhausting it is going back and forth – I fully understand your decision making.”

Seacrest splits his time in between New York, where the syndicated morning show is filmed, and Los Angeles, where he records American Idol.

Ripa also revealed that Seacrest, who signed on as co-host in 2017, “was supposed to be here for three years”. He will leave the show in the spring after six years.

“I can’t thank you enough,” she said. After growing emotional, Seacrest said: “I’m getting emotional. I promised Kelly I would not cry.”

Seacrest will return to guest host, but he has not made it clear how often this will occur. After he announced his decision, Ripa revealed that her husband, actor Mark Consuelos, will be his replacement.

After the episode’s broadcast, Seacrest said in a statement on Instagram: “Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career.

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest (YouTube)
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest (YouTube)

“She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.”

He continued: “I also want to thank Michael Gelman [executive producer] and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America.

“It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”

Seacrest will remains as host of talent show American Idol, and will also continue to present Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest each 31 December.

Ryan Seacrest discusses his decision to quit ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’ on Instagram (Instagram)
Ryan Seacrest discusses his decision to quit ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’ on Instagram (Instagram)

Seacrest joined Live two years after Michael Strahan abruptly left the series.

Ripa was joined by a selection of guets hosts, and would often host the show solo, until Seacrest signed on.

Midway through Seacrest’s time on Live, the hosts were forced to broadcast remotely from their homes due to the pandemic.