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Kelly Ripa acknowledges that her dream co-host would be Anderson Cooper

He's too busy but she will finally announce her new partner Sept. 4

It's been nearly a year since her longtime TV partner, Regis Philbin, retired and since then, Kelly Ripa has been playing the field.

But early next month (4 September), the talk show host will finally settle on a successor to Philbin who she was teamed with for more than a decade.

The front-runners are reportedly Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live and singer Josh Grobin, both of whom have frequently guest hosted on the syndicated morning show which is currently called Live With Kelly.

Whoever does get the nod, they will have to begin the gig knowing they are not Ripa's first choice because of she had her way, her new partner would be Anderson Cooper.

'We have a connection like nobody else,' Ripa tells Us Weekly. 'I worship him!'

But Cooper, who came out publicly this summer as a gay man, is far too busy with his other TV gigs to even consider teaming with Ripa more than just occasionally.

He is not only host of the weeknight news show Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, he also hosts the syndicated daytime show Anderson which will begin its second season next month and is a correspondent for 60 Minutes on CBS.

Ripa and Cooper are close friends off-screen and even vacationed together (along with fellow television personality Andy Cohen) in Croatia earlier this month.

An actress who got her start on the soap opera All My Children and starred in the sitcom Hope and Faith, Ripa has found her niche as a morning show personality and she's eager to begin a new chapter with a new partner.

'It's fun [to see different co-hosts], but you want the girl to settle down!' she said.

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