The only worry on Michael Strahan's mind when he made his entrance Tuesday as the new co-host of "Live!": "Don't trip," he summed up after the show. He didn't. When Kelly Ripa introduced him, the former football player jogged onto the set and gathered her up in a bear hug and lifted her off her feet.
"When I was hugging Kelly, that's when I was calming down," Strahan explained. The rest of the hour was clearly a snap for him and for Ripa, who was getting a permanent partner nine months after Regis Philbin retired and after having welcomed Strahan and 58 other guests in the chair beside her. Taking his seat on Tuesday, the former New York Giant joked that it felt "comfy, like it was molded for my body."
Strahan was relaxed, amiable and playful, and drew "ahhhs" from women in the audience when he presented Ripa with a dozen red roses. "It's so nice to have a co-host literally sweep you off your feet," Ripa told viewers, "and I know that he can bench press me if he wanted to."
Ripa played a clip of Strahan's first appearance on the show in 2008, shortly after the Giants won the Super Bowl. Philbin asked Strahan what he would want to do after retiring from football, and Strahan said that Philbin's job looked pretty good. "I was joking," Strahan said on Tuesday, "and I'm glad the joke came true."French to honor McCartney
Paul McCartney will be honored by the French for his services to music. A presidential spokesman said that 70-year-old McCartney will receive a Legion of Honor award from French President Francois Hollande in a ceremony Saturday in Paris. McCartney will join the ranks of other singers to have received the honor, including Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli, who were honored by former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
RETROSPECTIVE: David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit will be among some 300 items shown at a London exhibition that traces the singer's career through five decades. The retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum will also feature Bowie's instruments, 60 costumes, sketches, handwritten lyrics, diary entries and album artwork. "The exhibition opens next March.
SUIT SETTLED: Michael Jackson's estate and a businessman working with the singer's mother have settled a copyright infringement case for $2.5 million. The settlement was announced right before a trial on damages was set to begin. The estate had sued Howard Mann and his businesses in January 2011, claiming he had violated Jackson copyrights in a book and other merchandise he sold in collaboration with Katherine Jackson.