Canadian to replace Regis?

Since the departure of Regis Philbin last November, the mystery remains around who will replace him...

Since the departure of Regis Philbin last November, the mystery remains around who will replace him alongside Kelly Rippa. Pat Kiernan, host for the channel NY1, was asked three times since last March as co-host. (Disney-ABC Domestic Television)

Marie-Joelle Parent, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:21 PM ET

"Live! with Kelly -- and Pat?"

Canadian Pat Kiernan hopes so as the search for Regis Philbin's replacement continues.

The Calgary-born Kiernan, who's the morning news anchor for NY1, has already co-hosted Live! three times since March.

"I was anxious the first time," he tells QMI Agency in a phone interview.

"I barely slept 20 minutes but the other times, I had a greater level of comfort. The mandate of that show is that you have to be prepared for anything."

Co-host Kelly Ripa has been holding auditions since Philbin vacated his chair in November with the likes of Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers, singer Josh Groban, and actors Neil Patrick Harris and Alec Baldwin. Even Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos co-hosted a show.

Kiernan has long dreamed to be on Live! He said as much in a 2011 article in New York Magazine.

The national morning show is watched by 3.7 million people in the U.S.

For almost one million New Yorkers, however, the 43-year-old has been a part of their daily routine for the last 15 years.

No one aside from the Today show's Matt Lauer has been on a New York morning show longer.

"I always thought (Live!) was a show I would have loved to do," he says. "It would be a great opportunity to get on a national platform."

Kiernan studied business in Edmonton where he worked in radio and in TV for a few years before moving to New York in 1995.

"I don't have a glamorous life like Groban," he says of other prospective co-hosts. "My life is a little more ordinary, but I think with my anchoring years of experience I have a good eye for finding stories people are interested in. I think I've proved that I know what I'm doing."

His fans seem to think so. He's become the darling of several big-name bloggers, such as writers for Gothamist and Gawker. He is also on the Huffington Post's list of preferred Live! candidates.

Executive producer of Live!, Michael Gelman, says Kiernan had some great auditions.

"We loved having him on the show, he's really sweet," Gelman tells QMI. "Pat did a great job; he grew more comfortable every time. We are not commenting on his chances, but I will say this: We got good feedback so far for him."

Gelman explains Disney, which owns the show, is taking its time in replacing Philbin.

"We are waiting until we are sure, until we find the right person," Gelman says.

"I like to say we are dating. New people haven't even tried out yet. We need somebody who is special, who can interview, who has charisma, who can fit in this eclectic show and who has chemistry with Kelly."


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