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It's fair to say that when Ryan Seacrest (and his spiky highlighted hair) appeared on our screens in June 2002 to introduce a carousel of unknown singers on a new reality show called American Idol, he seemed like just a summer fling. Instead, he's become a long-term relationship and the go-to master of all ceremonies.
That's because he's an unflappable, skillful, ultraprepared, amiable — and did we mention unflappable? — master. The man can interview jittery celebrities on awards show red carpets for E!; banter with Kelly Ripa five mornings a week on Live! With Kelly and Ryan; cheerfully usher in the new year from Times Square in treacherous weather conditions on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve; and console just-ousted contestants on American Idol.
Indeed, Seacrest's continued ringleader gig on Idol is perhaps most telling of all: Even though he's living the dream, he still works as if he's chasing it.
This is an abbreviated version of TV Guide Magazine's latest cover story. For more, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.