- Photo: Gus Ruelas, Reuters
Ryan Seacrest has opened up about hosting the first "New Year's Rockin' Eve" to occur without Dick Clark on Monday.
This year will mark the first time in almost 40 years that Clark will not be seen on the roof of One Times Square in New York City. The iconic radio and television personality died at age 82 this past spring.
Before assuming the hosting duties of the New Year's Eve show watched by millions of people, Seacrest discussed the bittersweet first year without Clark.
"It'll be emotional for us," Seacrest told Yahoo News. "Because he's not going to be with us for the first time ever."
The beloved New Year's Eve tradition where the Times Square Ball drops down the 77-foot pole has been going on since 1907.
Since its first formal telecast on NBC in 1972, the New Year's Eve spectacle, including the ball drop, has become a national phenomenon. This was in no small part because of Clark, who took over hosting the show in 1975.
Then, after a stroke prevented Clark from hosting the show in 2005, Seacrest was brought on in 2006 as a co-host.
"We'll reflect, but we'll also have some big celebratory moments with live performances," Seacrest added.
Moreover, the "American Idol" host imparted advice that he once received from Clark about the challenging New Year's Eve television show.
"Make it seamless," said Seacrest quoting Clark on covering the New Year's event. "Make it comfortable. Make it seem like anybody can do that job."
Seacrest has also acknowledged people referring to him as "the next Dick Clark," according to Billboard.com.
When asked how the comparison to Clark felt, Seacrest said "unworthy."
"There will never be another Dick Clark," said the 38-year-old television host. "There is and was only one."
Tonight, Seacrest will take over Clark's responsibility of counting down to midnight and hailing the New Year.
"I am both anxious and excited," Seacrest told Billboard. "I'm just a conduit to a worldwide celebration of hope and everything else the New Year brings. I feel the gravity of the privilege I have to serve this role but also just want to make Dick proud as I carry out the role of timekeeper on this special night."
The event will be televised on ABC and will see performances by artists such as Justin Bieber, PSY, and many more.
As the ball drops from One Times Square beginning at 11:59 p.m. EST on New Year's Eve, an estimated one million people in Times Square will watch, in addition to millions watching it on television from around the world. Once the ball drops, one ton of confetti will be released over Times Square.
"Goodbye and good riddance to the last Monday of 2012," Seacrest posted to Twitter on New Year's Eve.