Ryan Seacrest backs CNN's New Year's Eve alcohol ban

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Ryan Seacrest has backed CNN bosses' decision to ban the hosts of its New Year's Eve show from drinking alcohol while on the air.

Seacrest, who presents rival show Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, was the butt of CNN host Andy Cohen's boozy on-air jokes last year - and thinks it's probably for the best for hosts to avoid drinking this time.

He told Entertainment Weekly, "I don't advocate drinking when one is on the air. I don't know how that started as a tradition, but it's probably a good idea (to scale back), CNN. There's some pretty respectable people - or at least one, right? I think there's a serious journalist and then a friend of mine who has a lot of fun, but it's probably a good idea."

Cohen, who had been drinking with co-host Anderson Cooper while on the air, mocked the American Idol host during 2021's festivities, referring to a new line-up of the band Journey without classic frontman Steve Perry as a "Ryan Seacrest group of losers". He subsequently apologised to his rival, saying his comment was aimed at the Perry-less Journey as he's a "big Steve Perry fan".

Seacrest made light of the situation, telling EW: "I think they had something to say about my show at one point, which was I'm sure from the alcohol because I don't think they would say what they said about our performers if they weren't drinking. But, you know, I think our show's a bigger, broader show, and we will not drink until 1:05 in the morning."

According to Variety, CNN's chairman Chris Licht has banned correspondents from drinking on the air this year - but the rule does not extend to Cohen and Cooper - who are still free to indulge in an on-air tipple or two.