'The Talk' confirms second male co-host following Carrie Ann Inaba, Elaine Welteroth exits

The Talk
Photo credit Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for ESSENCE
By , Audacy

“The Talk” is getting another male perspective.

The CBS talk show has tapped Akbar Gbajabiamila to join the current co-hosts Amanda Kloots, Sheryl Underwood, and Jerry O’Connell for the upcoming 12th season.

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"A new day in daytime for season 12 of The Talk, and we are thrilled to welcome Akbar to the family,” executive producer and showrunner Heather Gray said in a statement.

Gbajabiamila is best known for being the host of NBC’s competition series “American Ninja Warrior.” He was also an NFL linebacker and defensive end with the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Miami Dolphins.

After a stint as guest host last season, Gray emphasized that his “engaging personality, openness, and quick wit” made him a good fit for a more permanent role.

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Fellow executive producer and showrunner Kristin Matthews said his "candor and humor come with ease and are great additions to the conversation. Also, his relatability as a husband and father creates a special connection with the viewers that is invaluable."

Gbajabiamila couldn’t be more thrilled with his new role, stating: "It is an absolute honor to be joining The Talk as a host! I am so excited for this new generation of such a long-standing establishment. To be a part of this diverse group is truly a dream and a new statement for The Talk. In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self every day and advocating for conversation over confrontation."

He even got some pointers from former athlete and current “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan.

"I just cold-called and said, 'Hey, you know, I love what you're doing. I'm excited about what you're doing. Can I shadow you?'" he told People.

The news comes following the resignations of Carrie Ann Inaba and Elaine Welteroth.

Earlier this week, Welteroth announced her departure after just one season on the show.

"It is an absolute honor for anyone, but especially a young Black woman, to occupy space on-air where our perspectives are largely underrepresented," Welteroth said in a statement shared on Instagram. "It was gratifying to be able to show up as my authentic self in front of a live national audience every day in a world as divided as ours and to stay true to myself and what I stand for."

In August, Inaba announced her exit after three seasons to focus on her "health and well-being."

“I enjoyed my time at The Talk as co-host and moderator and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to grow with the entire Talk family as well as truly connect with viewers on such a personal level,” the famed choreographer said in a statement. She confirmed that she would be returning for season 30 of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Her departure came a few weeks after original host Sharon Osborne announced her exit after she got into a heated exchange on air over Piers Morgan’s controversial remarks about Meghan Markle. Following Obsorne’s departure, O’Connell took the seat as the first male co-host.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for ESSENCE