Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 9/4/12
Kelly Ripa officially introduced her new morning talk show co-host Tuesday and it was ... surprise ... Michael Strahan.

In television's worst kept secret since Clint Eastwood's bizarre appearance at the Republican National Convention, Ripa introduced the former New York Giants defensive end as her new permanent co-host on the newly unveiled  "Live! With Kelly and Michael."

After auditioning nearly 60 guests as co-hosts, Strahan has finally filled the void left by Regis Philbin after he retired from the show last November.

At his introduction, Strahan jogged from an SUV on the street and entered the set amidst streams of confetti and hugged Ripa, the woman he will banter with every weekday over coffee.  He sat next to her in front of a new "Live! With Kelly and Michael" logo.

Ripa joked to the audience that she feels like she just "gave birth to a new co-host" after the long auditioning process.

The raspy-voiced Ripa then teased Strahan about how the staff painted the waiting area "49ers' colors."

"It can always be changed with a little paint," joked Strahan before giving her a dozen red roses.

Gotta love the cute interplay already between Strahan and his "TV wife."

The former NFL star first appeared on the show with Philbin and Ripa in 2008 and jokingly predicted that one day he would host the show.

 Strahan, 40, is currently a host for "Fox NFL Sunday" and also starred in the short-lived Fox sit-com, "Brothers," in 2009.  He can be seen endorsing a number of products on television commercials.

Philbin left the show after hosting it 28 years alongside a number of different co-hosts.  Ripa joined him in 2001.

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