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Kelly Ripa's new co-host: Anderson Cooper?

Speculation looms, despite packed schedule

Is Live! with Kelly and Anderson in the works? Could be, as one silver-haired fox has set himself apart -- at least in Kelly Ripa's eyes -- from the pack of literally dozens of men who have hosted alongside her ever since Regis Philbin left the show last November.

The gossip was unleashed yet again about Kelly Ripa's possible co-host, after Live! With Kelly announced Monday that it had picked Regis Philbin's replacement -- but was keeping the identity of said replacement a surprise until Sept. 4. Oddly enough, that's the day after Kelly kicks off the new season.

So what exactly does Live! with Kelly have up its sleeve? Us Weekly is helping to plant the seed that the "big surprise" is Anderson Cooper.

While Ripa has shared the hosting gig with the likes of Seth Meyers, Jerry O'Connell, Josh Groban, Nick Lachey, and even her husband, actor Mark Consuelos, guess who is at the top of her list? None other than the veteran news anchor who has parachuted in and out of the world's worst catastrophes.

"We have a connection like nobody else," Ripa told the mag back in August. "I worship him."

Problem is, last time we all checked, Anderson Cooper had plenty of professional responsibilities on his plate already -- with his CNN show and his syndicated talk show. This doesn't even take into account the reported personal turmoil he's been dealing with recently.

That's leading many to contend that the most likely host will be either funnyman Meyers of SNL fame (though he's denied the rumors) or singer Groban.

We can rule out at least one person: Ripa's hubby.

"No one would make me happier than Mark, but he values our marriage," the 41-year-old host told Vanity Fair. "He says that he doesn't see how we could stay married and both do that show."

Is Live! with Kelly and Anderson music to your ears?

Image courtesy of Ray Filmano/WENN.com
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