Ripa jokes she's ready to rename 'Live!' for Canada's Ben Mulroney
BANFF, Alta. -- Kelly Ripa says she's ready to rename her morning talk show if Canadian personality Ben Mulroney gets the sought-after job of co-host on "Live! with Kelly."
The peppy personality says it would be called "Live! with Kelly and Alpha-4," in reference to the Canadian TV star's childhood nickname.
"If you suck up to (executive producer Michael) Gelman, you never know, this could be your permanent chair," Ripa told Mulroney on Thursday as the show wrapped four episodes in the picturesque resort community of Banff, Alta.
Mulroney is the latest celebrity to try co-hosting duties with Ripa since former co-host Regis Philbin retired last year.
The stint is seen by many as an informal audition for who could fill that void.
During Thursday's show, the former prime minister's son told Ripa that Alpha-4 was a code name security officials used when they escorted him to school as a child.
Mulroney, currently co-host of CTV's "etalk," added that he appreciated the chance to share the stage with Ripa on home turf.
"The fact that I get to welcome you in my country with a great crowd of Canadians, this is to me the best thing," he said to cheers from an audience filling the 959-seat Eric Harvie Theatre at The Banff Centre arts school.
"The only thing better is that you put distance between Mark Consuelos hosting and me hosting because he is too pretty to follow."
Other guest hosts this week included Ripa's soap star husband Mark Consuelos on Monday, "The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison on Tuesday and "Twilight" co-star Peter Facinelli on Wednesday.
Each day of the Banff trip included pre-taped visits to scenic snow-covered mountains and a Canadian word of the day.
The word of the day Thursday was "Ogopogo," a mythical creature believed to live at the bottom of B.C.'s Okanagan Lake.
Guests on Thursday included Canadian actor David James Elliott and the Calgary Stampede Showband.
The New York-based "Live!" has previously made Canadian stops in Niagara Falls, Ont., and Prince Edward Island.