Regis's New Playmate

05/27/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT

You can stop sending those headshots to Regis -- the "Live With Regis" cohost position has officially been filled, by "All My Children" actress Kelly Ripa, 30, reports the Associated Press. Philbin confirmed Monday that Ripa, who has filled in as cohost several times since September, will be starting her new job next Monday, when the show's title officially changes from "Live With Regis" to "Live with Regis and Kelly." Philbin and his producer, Michael Gelman, weren't in much of a hurry to name a successor to Kathie Lee Gifford, who left last July, since the show's ratings went up during the tryout period. But Philbin says he knew immediately that Ripa, who's married to fellow "All My Children" actor Mark Consuelos, was something special. "We kind of knew it the first time she was on," he said. "She has an ebullient personality and has a lot of the qualities we were looking for." Like Philbin, who does double duty as host of ABC's primetime smash hit game show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," Ripa said she'll keep working on "All My Children." "I think it's like an ABC policy -- you must work two jobs," Ripa said on the morning show Monday. "Between the two of us," Philbin replied, "we've got 40 percent of the schedule covered. If we go down, ABC is over."
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