'The Talk' Announces Akbar Gbajabiamila as New Co-Host

The Talk has a new co-host! On Thursday, it was announced that Akbar Gbajabiamila will be joining Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, and Jerry O’Connell as the show’s second male panelist.

The 42-year-old former professional football player is a co-host of American Ninja Warrior. He’s also an analyst for the NFL Network. He retired from the NFL in 2008 after playing for the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.

“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,” Gbajabiamila said. “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.”

Heather Gray, the show’s executive producer and showrunner, said, “It’s a new day in daytime for season 12 of The Talk, and we are thrilled to welcome Akbar to the family. His engaging personality, openness and quick wit really impressed us when he appeared as a guest co-host last season.”

“Akbar’s candor and humor come with ease and are great additions to the conversation,” Kristin Matthews, executive producer and showrunner, added. “Also, his relatability as a husband and father creates a special connection with the viewers that is invaluable.”

We’ve got a new host in the house! 🎉
We are SO excited to announce that @Akbar_Gbaja is joining The Talk family! #LetsChatpic.twitter.com/im2uLB2ATd

The news comes just days after it was announced that Elaine Welteroth was leaving the CBS talk show after one season. Carrie Ann Inaba exited the show last month after three seasons.

In July, O’Connell joined the panel as the first male co-host. In addition to Gbaja-Biamila, it is believed that there are also still plans for another female co-host to be added to the group. 

“It’s an exciting time. It’s something new,” O’Connell said at the time of being the show’s first full-time male co-host. “It’s new and it’s a change. Change is good. Change is good. You have to do things that scare you and shake it up a little bit.”

He added that his co-hosts were “so welcoming.” 

The Talk‘s 12th season will kick off Monday, Sept. 13 on CBS.

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