Mounties flank Regis and Kelly as they take P.E.I. with first of four shows
CHARLOTTETOWN -- Television stars Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa were flanked by eight Mounties Monday as they greeted thousands of cheering fans and brought their New York-based show to Charlottetown.
The popular morning duo, who normally host "Live! With Regis and Kelly" from Manhattan, kicked off their visit to P.E.I. with plenty of praise for the province's green rolling vistas.
The show was staged outdoors at the city's Confederation Landing Park with the waterfront in the background.
"It's not that well known but it really is a masterpiece of a place, isn't it?" Philbin said during an interview with style guru Carson Kressley.
Kressley said he'd never been to Prince Edward Island and was loving the trip.
"It's a real hidden gem," he said.
Other celebrity guests included "Twilight" star Peter Facinelli and country sensation Lady Antebellum.
Monday's show was one of four to be shot in Charlottetown, which will air through Thursday on CTV. Other guests are to include Stephen Moyer of "True Blood, " John Corbett of "Sex and the City" and Canadians Elisha Cuthbert, Caroline Rhea and Melanie Fiona.
Soon after taking the stage, Philbin turned the cameras to four women in the front row who said they waited all night in the rain to make sure they got a good spot in the audience.
CTV said there were 4,500 people on hand to watch the show's taping.
The first guest was a local chef who presented samples of the region's famous seafood.
Philbin drew laughs as he nibbled gingerly at a hotdog made from mussels and refused to sample an ice cream made with oysters.
Tuesday's show was to feature a reinterpretation of the P.E.I. literary and stage classic "Anne of Green Gables," titled, "Kelly Anne of Green Gables."
Philbin said he was especially in awe of the Mounties, who walked the duo to the outdoor stage.
"In previous visits up here to Canada I have said as a young boy I just admired the Royal Canadian Mounted Police so much -- the uniforms and the way they took care of the country," Philbin said.
"It's a pleasure now to have eight of them here escorting us out here today."
Ripa gushed over the food, recounting a curry meal she enjoyed at a local pub over the weekend and said she spotted an eagle during a horseback riding trip with Kressley for a taped segment.
"I kind of feel like we're in the middle of painting," said Ripa.
Prince Edward Island's government spent $800,000 to help bring the show to the province, while the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency contributed $200,000.