Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Kelly Ripa Teases 'Off the Rails' Co-Hosting Gig with Husband Mark Consuelos


Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos have been happily married for 28 years, but how will their relationship fare when Consuelos joins the veteran daytime TV host on the newly titled Live with Kelly and Mark on April 17? "We're not afraid to go there," Ripa hinted in a new interview.

Beginning Monday, April 17, Consuelos will officially take over for Ripa's previous co-host, Ryan Seacrest, who announced his departure from Live with Kelly and Ryan in February. In a cover story for People, Consuelos and Ripa got candid about the delights and pressures of working together so closely -- and offered a glimpse at what fans can expect from the new era of the top-rated daytime show.

"To have Mark join me at that desk every day, it's a dream come true. We've been so uniquely blessed," Ripa told People, cheekily adding, "It's going to be off the rails!"


Consuelos said the opportunity to work alongside his wife is an "indescribable" one. He had previously filled in as a guest host on the show during Seacrest's tenure a whopping 92 times, noting that he always felt "safe" and "protected" by his wife's side:

"I had filled in so many times and had a blast every single time. Some people would die to have this opportunity. No one does it like she does. I can't think of anybody that I feel more safe with, and protected by, than Kelly."

Ripa and Consuelos were married in 1996 after meeting on the set of All My Children. Together, they share three children: Michael (25), Lola (21) and Joaquin (20).

"I'm a very practical person, but there was something about him," Ripa said of the first time she laid eyes on Consuelos, when a casting director for All My Children showed her a photo of the actor. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, it's my person. This is my husband. My future hubs.' I just knew it."


Now, the couple is relishing in being able to spend more time together.

"During the pandemic when Riverdale was shut down for about six months, it was the first time we had been together uninterrupted for, like, five years," Ripa explained. "I prefer the togetherness. I really enjoy being around him -- he's great company, so funny, so smart, insightful, pragmatic and super level-headed."

That said, Ripa and Consuelos stress that, like any healthy relationship, they butt heads. "I don't understand when people say, 'We never fight.' I go, 'Oh, they're in trouble,'" Ripa said.

Their secret to marital bliss? Simply, talk it out.


"I feel like we could have, over the years, let something small turn into [something big] and [instead] we just put our heads down, got together and said 'Let's work it out,'" Consuelos explained.

"Now we can work it out on camera!" Ripa joked, adding that the couple doesn't put too much stock in their disagreements. "We're not afraid to go there. We have the confidence in our marriage that no matter what we discuss, I don't mind being the villain in the argument, nor does Mark. Neither one of us needs to be the hero."

Live with Kelly and Mark premieres Monday, April 17, on ABC.

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