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Ryan Seacrest Calls Dick Clark 'One of the Greatest Influences in My Life'

Dick Clark, Fergie and Ryan Seacrest in 2008. ABC/CRAIG SJODIN(NEW YORK) -- Among the millions of fans saddened by the passing of Dick Clark is one very special one: Ryan Seacrest.  Often compared to Clark, Seacrest first joined the legendary broadcaster as co-host of ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in December of 2005, and also became an executive producer of the show.

In a statement to ABC News Radio, Seacrest said, "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel."

Seacrest added, "It was a dream come true to work with him every New Year's Eve for the last 6 years. He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I'll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him.”

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ABC News Radio