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The Talk announces new host Akbar Gbajabiamila for season 12

Akbar Gbajabiamila has been confirmed as a new co-host on The Talk (Picture: Getty Images)

The Talk has announced former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila will be a new host on the daytime talk show for season 12.

Just days after Elaine Welteroth exited the series following one season on the CBS program, American Ninja Warrior star has been confirmed as a new co-host alongside Amanda Kloots, Sheryl Underwood, and Jerry O’Connell.

Before his entertainment career, he spent five years playing for the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Miami Dolphins in the NFL before retiring in 2008.

The 42-year-old said in a statement: ‘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.’

He continued: ‘In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self everyday and advocating for conversation over confrontation.’

Executive producer and showrunner Heather Gray added: ‘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.’

Her co-showrunner and EP Kristin Matthews also stated: ‘Akbar’s 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.’

This week saw Elaine Welteroth choose to leave the program as a full-time panelist so she could turn her attention to ‘upcoming creative projects’.

Elaine Welteroth, Jerry OConnell, Sheryl Underwood, and Amanda Kloots

Akbar will join Jerry OConnell, Sheryl Underwood and Amanda Kloots after Elaine Welteroth quit the show (Picture: Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)

The journalist was the most recent presenter to leave the series, following the likes of Carrie Ann Inaba, who departed in August to ‘focus on her wellbeing’.

Sharon Osbourne also left The Talk in March following a heated on-air row with Sheryl Underwood.

She was defending Piers Morgan from allegations of racism after he said he did not believe what the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell interview.

Season 12 of The Talk premieres on September 13 on CBS in the US.

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MORE : The Talk’s Elaine Welteroth quits show after less than one year on air


MORE : The Talk’s Carrie Ann Inaba ‘replaced by NFL’s Victor Cruz’ in show shake-up as she takes ‘wellbeing’ break

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