Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos are going back to their roots as co-stars! It’s been announced that when Ryan Seacrest exits Live this spring, the two All My Children alums will cohost the renamed Live with Kelly and Mark. “I know I have some big shoes to fill — well actually they’re only a size 9,” joked Mark. “But you know what I mean.” Hiring Mark as Kelly’s new cohost made sense to the team at Live. “Kelly wasn’t going to go through that whole public search for a cohost again. She never enjoyed that,” an insider tells Closer. “Her audience loves Mark. And he’s never going to surprise her and quit — she hopes!”

Of course, not everyone would want to live and work with their spouse! But it won’t be the first time for Kelly, 52, and Mark, 51, who met in 1995 at his audition for All My Children and began secretly dating soon after. “People tend to think there’ll be problems when you’re dating your co-star,” says Mark, who eloped to Las Vegas with his love a year later. “On paper, it should not have worked,” admits Kelly, who says they have always taken their vows seriously. “We fought for our marriage when it would have been easier to quit and throw in the towel.”

Along the way, Kelly and Mark have been partners in every sense. In addition to raising three children, Michael, 25, Lola, 21, and Joaquin, 19, the couple shares a production company and are co-owners of an Italian soccer team. Mark has frequently guest hosted on Live, while Kelly played the mistress of Mark’s character on a 2019 episode of Riverdale. She called it “a role I was born to play.”

Mark, who left Riverdale in 2021, has not given up his acting career. “Kelly’s fine with a fill-in cohost if Mark gets a juicy acting gig,” says he insider.

Mark Consuelos Replacement Live With Kelly
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In their personal life, Kelly and Mark say they adhere to largely traditional values. “We had a conversation where I said, ‘Hey listen, there’s really only room for one man in this relationship and it’s going to be me,’” Mark remembers saying. That may work at home, but it has the potential to create tension at Live where Kelly has been the star of the show since 2001. Will she let Mark take the lead on her own show? “A lot of couples in this business are egomaniacs. But with Mark, we’re constantly building each other up,” says Kelly.

The insider adds that perky, outspoken Kelly won’t change her on air personality for anyone — not even her husband. “Kelly’s a pro. She’ll definitely take the lead,” says the insider. “Meanwhile, Mark’s humor, intensity, and his insight into Kelly’s personality should be an eye-opener and make them very relatable to viewers. ”

Perhaps even too eye-opening! In 2019, the couple confessed to Live viewers that their daughter Lola walked in on them having sex — again! “She shuts the door and you hear, ‘You just ruined my birthday! And my life!’” recounted Kelly.

Kelly and Mark are excited to share the pleasures, pitfalls and daily challenges of their marriage with their audience — at least for now. “Live has been a dream job for Kelly, but I think this version with Mark will be her last,” says the insider. “Kelly dreams of relaxing more, vacationing, producing projects and maybe looking after a grandkid or two.”