By MICHAEL GLYNN
Kelly Ripa has cast her vote for Regis Philbin‘s replacement and — surprise, surprise — it’s for her hubby Mark Consuelos! As The National Enquirer revealed, producers of Live with Regis and Kelly have been secretly plotting to replace the 73-year-old host with a much younger guy — such as Dancing With The Stars frontman Tom Bergeron. They’ve even gone so far as to plant a “spy” on the set of the show to assemble a secret dossier of Regis’ gaffes.
Now we hear that Ripa has weighed into the fray. But instead of throwing her support behind her onscreen partner she’s been actively promoting her own husband! “It’s no secret that Kelly would really like to see Mark replace Regis,” said a TV exec close to Ripa. “Whenever producers have pondered possible replacements for Reege, Kelly always pipes up and adds her two cents, saying things like, ‘What about Mark ?'”
In fact, it was Kelly’s doing that Mark subbed for Regis, co-hosting Live with his wife in January. He then returned to the show as a guest on April 25.
“Kelly has been using her now-considerable clout to promote her hubby and his career,” said the source.
“She’s not exactly thrilled, to put it mildly, that he’s doing the TV show 1-800-Missing in Canada. Kelly would like to keep Mark close to her and their three kids.”
Said another source: “The bottom line is that executives will do whatever it takes to keep Kelly happy right now. If it means hiring her husband to be her co-host, they just might do it!”