Kelly Ripa on the Strength of Her 20-Year Bond with Ryan Seacrest: 'He's the Kid Brother I Never Had'



Ryan Seacrest is not just a co-host to Kelly Ripa — he's practically family.

Ripa, 52, has opened up about her deep connection with Seacrest, 47, and how it makes their job as co-hosts of Live with Kelly and Ryan so much easier.

"What's unique is that Ryan Seacrest and I have a 20-plus year friendship," Ripa said on MOnday's episode of Dear Gabby podcast. "We've known each other a really long time. He's the kid brother I never had."

"So we've known each other, and we trust each other, and we respect each other," Ripa continued. "We have a really unique off-camera friendship ... which doesn't happen very often. So we had that going in."

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest

Lorenzo Bevilaqua, ABC Entertainment

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Their bond helps Ripa maintain her status as a "lighthouse," as host Gabby Bernstein called her, while on air.

"Certain events are so earth-shattering and they feel so insurmountable," Ripa acknowledges, but having Seacrest by her side helps make the dark days easier.

"What is unique is that the two of us have, I don't wanna say a psychic ability, but we have a shorthand," Ripa said. "We have an ability to read each other in a way where I know where his breaking points are and he knows where mine are. And so when bad things happen we are able to — behind the scenes — connect and say, 'It's gonna be OK, I'll take this one, I got it.'"

She added that hosting Live has been "an honor to be welcomed into people's homes for 23 years."

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Seacrest similarly reflected on how his friendship with Ripa last March, mentioning their "psychic" ability to know what the other is thinking.

"When we look at each other and talk to each other, there's obviously a tremendous amount of trust and respect, but also we can read each other's mind," he said. "And I didn't know we could do that so well, but that's true every day."

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight from 2020, the co-hosts got emotional as they opened up about their close bond.

"He just brings a joyfulness, an enthusiasm, a professionalism and an authenticity to this place that I'm just so grateful to have here," Ripa said.

"I'm using every ounce of energy to fight back tears right now while she's saying that," Seacrest replied.