By Shiryn G., EnStarz | Sep 04, 2012 11:13 AM EDT
Regis Philbin was officially replaced on Sept. 4 by Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa's new co-host on the newly named show "Live with Kelly and Michael."
When Ripa was announced on set Tuesday morning, the announcer said, "For the last time as a single lady, please welcome Kelly Ripa."
"Now it's time for a new era of our show," she said, before introducing Strahan on stage. The former New York Giants player and father of four gave Ripa a bouquet of red roses and picked her up, literally, for a huge hug before taking his seat by her side.
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"It's so nice to have a co-host literally sweep you off your feet," Ripa said. "And I know that he can bench press me if he wanted to."
Strahan also towers over Ripa in height, though they're seats are adjusted to minimize the difference.
Their first guests together were Claire Danes, Phillip Phillips and members of the USA Olympic-winning women's gymnastics team.
Strahan, 40, is the new permanent co-host of the show; Philbin left in November and "Live" has gone through countless guest co-host's to see who they would pick.
Phiblin created the show and Ripa became his co-host in 2001.
News leaked of Strahan's winning the coveted spot two weeks ago, and Strahan apologized on Tuesday's show for having to play dumb and not reply to tweets or messages about the rumored, but true, settlement.
Ironically enough, Strahan joked with Philbin back in 2008 about taking his spot at co-host on the show, not realized at the time that it would actually happen. On Tuesday's show, Ripa played a clip from Strahan's first appearance on the show - right after the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008.
Phiblin asked Strahan would he would do after his football career would be over one day and Strahan jokingly said that he would not mind replacing Philbin.
I was joking," Strahan said on Tuesday. "And I'm glad the joke came true."
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