Kelly Ripa has named Anderson Cooper as her dream replacement co-host on "Live! With Kelly," furthering rumors that the news anchor will have a permanent post on the show.
Following Regis Philbin's retirement from the show in November last year, Ripa has seen a steady flow of temporary co-hosts including Nick Lachey, Josh Groban, Jerry O'Connell, Seth Meyers, and even Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos.
Despite the many famous and funny hosts, Ripa, 41, has admitted that her ideal co-host would be Cooper.
"We have a connection like nobody else," the "Live!" host explained to Us Weekly of Cooper. "I worship him!"
Rumors of his filling in for Philbin alongside Ripa have swept the internet Tuesday, but there is little chance that it is true. Cooper, 45, already has his own show, "Anderson Cooper 360," as one of CNN's top news anchors.
Due to his many commitments and the syndicated television show on CNN, Ripa noted that "the search continues" for an official replacement on "Live!"
"It's fun [to see different co-hosts], but you want the girl to settle down," joked Ripa.
Ripa and ABC will officially announce her permanent co-host on Sept. 4.
Ahead of the announcement, "Live!" fans have gossiped about which rotating hosts are likely frontrunners, and who will assume the coveted position alongside Ripa.
It is believed that "Saturday Night Live" star and former temporary "Live!" co-host Meyers will be named Ripa's official partner, while others say that vocalist Groban will be named co-host on Sept. 4.
In the past, Ripa has commented on the complex selection process for finding a new co-host for the morning talk show.
"I've been through it from the other side," the charismatic blonde told the Associated Press earlier this year. "I sort of understand how it works, and what it is they're looking for, and how this process can't be rushed."
Although it is still unknown who the position will go to, one of Ripa's temporary co-hosts has been ruled out. Ripa's husband of 15 years will not serve on "Live!"
"No one would make me happier than Mark, but he values our marriage and he says that he doesn't see how we could stay married and both do that show," Ripa said of Consuelos in June, according to Vanity Fair.