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Livid At ‘Live:’ Kelly Ripa Did NOT Want To Hire Ryan Seacrest As Cohost

May. 2 2017, Published 9:56 a.m. ET

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Kelly Ripa shocked fans with her ecstatic announcement on Monday that Ryan Seacrest was signing on as the long-awaited cohost of her hit morning show, Live!

But RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal that the 46-year-old’s big smile was all a front, as the A-list host and producer, 42, was NOT her first choice.

The decision to hire Seacrest was “ultimately ABC president Ben Sherwood’s call,” a well-connected network insider revealed.

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Meanwhile, the difficult Ripa “preferred someone less well-known.”

“She wanted someone that she could boss around, and that isn’t Ryan,” the source continued. “He’s as big of a star as she is!”

As fans know, Ripa has been hosting the popular ABC show solo for about a year — since her former cohost, Michael Strahan, infamously quit last April and left the mother of three in a rage.

Repeat guest hosts included Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen and Jimmy Kimmel, but ultimately Seacrest most impressed ABC honchos.

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