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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Ryan Seacrest; UK Government Releases UFO Files
Aired May 15, 2008 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol" -- who will be the next superstar? The backstage drama, the inside scoop, the father who was booted from rehearsals and what's up with Paula.
Plus, the UFO files -- decades of top secret documents and photos revealed. What didn't we know until now and why did someone try to hide it? Are we alone or not?
Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin tonight with my good friend, Ryan Seacrest, the host of "American Idol." He also 733 other jobs. We'll discuss that later.
Let's get right to "The Idol," though. Over 100,000 people auditioned. Two finalists left.
Glad it's over?
RYAN SEACREST, HOST, "AMERICAN IDOL": It's always exciting to get to the end and finally crown the champion. We've got two Davids -- the battle of the Davids -- very different guys, very different styles.
KING: They'll both be on this show next Friday. Tell us what you think of the finalist David Archuleta. I just read a lot about him in "Newsweek".
KING: All these Mormons are finalists in reality shows.
SEACREST: What do you make of that?
KING: I don't know. I can't read (ph).
SEACREST: David Archuleta is extremely comfortable and poised and powerful when he sings. And then he almost becomes a different guy when you chat with him because he's...
KING: He's going to be a bad guest?
SEACREST: He -- I wouldn't say he's going to be a bad guest, but you might need extra questions because, you know, some guests speak longer than others. He's a little uncomfortable and fidgety when he's not singing, but he's a master with the songs. So he's got a great chance of winning.
And then the other one, David Cook, is very different. He's a rocker. He's a nice guy. And he's been through quite a bit. But here we are, you know, it's the big dance.
KING: Now, Archuleta's father, Jeff, is he a stage dad?
SEACREST: Well, he's there often. And let me say this about Jeff. He's always been very kind to me. I've talked to him in the elevator. We just talked about general things, you know, what do you like about L.A. , how are you doing here with the competition, are you enjoying yourself?
And he's been very cordial, very sweet, very nice. I've never seen him do anything wrong. But there were stories -- and I don't have the official story. There were stories that they removed him backstage because he was coaching too much.
KING: Was he banished or you don't know?
SEACREST: He was on the set this week and he was in the seats this week. So he was definitely there this week.
KING: The Mercado girl was voted off, right?
SEACREST: Syesha, yes.
KING: Did you buy that?
Will she have a successful career?
SEACREST: She will. Yes, I think she will. She -- you know what she did, something very interesting, and she grew. And I think that in this competition -- we've talked about it before even on your show. You know, if you come in and you're at the top of your game and you don't grow, then you might go the other direction, because you've already peaked and you don't want to peak too soon because you'll get bored.
So she did something pretty interesting where she got better and better and better, slipped a few times, but beat that the next time, ended up in the top three and will not win this year, but she'll get a record deal.
KING: Talent shows go back to the beginning of radio.
SEACREST: That's right.
KING: In fact, there was a talent show on KDKA Pittsburgh when it went on the air.
What do you make of the success of this? SEACREST: Everybody does something in their shower. Everybody does something in their car. All of us think that we can do something. Maybe we don't do it well. I think I can sing. I can't. And all of us have that dream, I think, somewhere inside of us, of living out the Hollywood life, living out that dream of entertaining people and singing or dancing or acting...
KING: But all those shows had that wish.
KING: All those people had that wish...
SEACREST: That's the...
KING: Why is this such a...
SEACREST: That's the universal, I think -- you know, with successful programs, you've got to connect on a universal emotion.
SEACREST: And I think that's the universal emotion is that all of us want, at some point in our lives, to be on stage.
KING: You have a two hour finale next week at the NOKIA Theater. These shows are usually huge, right, I mean ratings wise.
SEACREST: They do well, yes.
KING: Any surprises coming?
SEACREST: Absolutely not. It will be the same thing -- robotic, boring and just, you know...
KING: Come on, what can you tell me?
SEACREST: To be honest with you, there will be surprises. But I guess, you know, with our series and with the other shows that are going on, I don't quite know what we're going to do. And I won't know until about the day before. We'll talk about the show the day before.
KING: Are you involved in the doing?
SEACREST: In the doing, once I say this is "American Idol". But, you know, I pro -- I'm not a producer. But when you're on that set, you're producing the show as it's going, because it's a live circus.
KING: Is it more fun doing it live?
SEACREST: Oh, God, yes.
KING: A hundred times more.
SEACREST: I can't stand to tape things.
KING: Me, too.
SEACREST: I'm awful at taping things. I don't know what it is.
KING: Because it loses its energy.
SEACREST: Is that what it is?
SEACREST: Yes. OK.
KING: What we're doing right now is being seen around the world live.
SEACREST: Instantly. And you can't...
KING: What's better than that?
SEACREST: You can't do it again. When you make a...
SEACREST: You know what's great is when you make a mistake -- and we're all imperfect and everybody sees it. We're all human.
KING: So what?
SEACREST: So what?
You move on.
KING: Who will be the next "American Idol?"
KING: Or can't you say?
KING: And so you're going out on a limb here.
SEACREST: Guaranteed, David.
KING: We have an e-mail from Fred in West Covina, California: "Why are vote totals never revealed? How are the votes tabulated? Who does it?"
SEACREST: There is an independent firm that does the tabulations. And, you know, one of our producers had said that he had no problem revealing the votes and the numbers and the -- I think the network said they wanted to hold onto that information, and so they did. I don't know why and I don't know if maybe they will some day, but they are not right now.
KING: Is that going to be a decision of the suits?
SEACREST: It's a decision off the lawyers. And what I see on a card is, you know, the person that's made it through and the person that hasn't made it through. I don't get the percentages.
KING: Do you get a kick out of making announcement?
SEACREST: It's fun. It's fun. You know, you're standing there and you've got young people who have worked so hard to get to where they are. This is their dream. You look in the audience and you see their family. And you know that in one beat one of them is absolutely out and going home, the other advances. And this week, in that moment, it will be, you know, Larry, you are the next "American Idol".
KING: Fifty-six million votes this week.
Is that about an average number?
SEACREST: That's the biggest we've had this season. That's a big number. But they're usually high.
KING: Ratings, I'm told, are down a little, although still huge.
Are you worried about being overtaken by -- by the way, that's tomorrow night's show -- "Dancing with the Stars?"
SEACREST: I don't think you worry about those types of things. I think you worry about your show and what you can do to make it compelling for the viewer. I'm worried about (INAUDIBLE) the competition.
KING: Do you understand its success?
SEACREST: Yes, again, I mean, you know, dancing is something that's universal. Dancing is something that's fun. I mean, you know, we were talking about Merv Griffin earlier. He loved to go to those ballrooms and have fun and those big band scenes.
KING: Having major stars on, has that been a plus for "American Idol?"
SEACREST: Having made my stars on?
KING: Having major...
SEACREST: Major stars on.
KING: You're working too hard, Ryan. It's getting to you. SEACREST: No, I'm doing another show. We're about to tape that. Hang on one second.
KING: That's right. Hold on.
SEACREST: (INAUDIBLE) a promo. The -- yes, having big stars on is great. I think it's great for the talent to see. They learn a lot, they glean a lot from them. I love it because you get to meet a lot of people that, you know, Neil Diamond and...
KING: Speaking of that, I was going to ask you, his album...
SEACREST: Went to number one.
KING: Number one. And it's the only number one he's ever had.
SEACREST: What do you make of that?
KING: What do you make of that?
SEACREST: I think it shows you the power of "American Idol," the power it has...
KING: It must have spurned it on, right?
SEACREST: Oh, absolutely. Generally speaking, when an artist is on "American Idol," their album spikes and often hits number one on the charts.
KING: By the way, go to CNN.com/larryking right now and cast your quick vote. And if they tell me what it is, I'll tell you what it is. But they're not telling me. I assume it's who do you think is going to be the next "American Idol?"
We'll be back...
SEACREST: Which David? Which David?
KING: We'll be back with Ryan Seacrest right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "AMERICAN IDOL")
SEACREST: After 56 million votes, America has decided that the two people going head-to-head in our finale next week are David Archuleta...
SEACREST: And going up against David Archuleta is David Cook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And the maddening throngs screamed.
We have an e-mail -- I like that -- an e-mail from Joseph in Fort Worth: "I think the show "American Idol" might be getting stale. Do you agree that it's time to replace some of the judges?"
SEACREST: Well, I love the judges. I don't think we should replace the judges. I think that we should figure out ways to make it unpredictable. That's probably the key word.
KING: How could it be predictable if you're picking a winner?
SEACREST: It's -- sometimes the mechanics of the show are predictable. I mean, sometimes I even feel like I'm going to the same place, sort of doing the same thing and it's just part of the mechanics of the show. So maybe we need to adjust some of those mechanics. But unpredictability is always fun in life, do you agree?
KING: Now, there are rumors around that you possibly might get a female co-host. Simon has reportedly, I don't know, said this, get who -- about getting rid of you and Randy and Paula and replacing you all with fresh talent.
Have you heard that?
SEACREST: That's shocking. He wants to be on the show himself. He'll do it all. I haven't heard that, but I would love it. And I make the offer to him now on worldwide television. Simon, I would love to job swap for you with one -- one episode, one night...
KING: You host...
SEACREST: ...feel free to host the show. He's so afraid of standing up, number one. He doesn't like to stand. And number two, he can't really speak for more than three sentences at a time. He gets nervous.
KING: He couldn't host the show?
SEACREST: I'm positive he couldn't host the show. And I'm positive he'd actually tell you that off the air.
KING: And what about Paula's confused behavior, recently criticizing contestant Juan Castro for a second song that he hadn't even sung?
SEACREST: You know, I think that...
KING: Jason Castro. I'm sorry.
SEACREST: I remember that night. The judges -- I think she may have seen the rehearsal and been confused about what she saw at the rehearsal. But I remember that night they did literally, seconds before the contestant finished singing the song, they said, Ryan, go out there, bring them all out and let's get the judges' feedback on just that round. Originally, the judges weren't going to give feedback in that round. So there was a curve ball that caused confusion to everybody. But that's live TV.
KING: An e-mail from Shirley in Turoro, Nova Scotia: "I have noticed that Simon is not getting booed this year, as in previous years. In fact, he's being cheered. Have you noticed this and what do you attribute it to?"
SEACREST: Well, I usually say on the way in, it's been hurting his feelings. So if you don't mind, when I introduce Simon, would you cheer and make him feel good. So, you know, I've had conversations with the audience about it so that he doesn't...
KING: So you preset it?
SEACREST: Yes, well, I don't want his ego to get bruised.
KING: I've had you on with all the judges. It just seems, despite all the show business, you all get along.
SEACREST: We do. We appreciate...
KING: It seems that, as an observer.
SEACREST: Well, listen, Larry, we appreciate the people that watch the show. Believe me. Trust me. When you see it's number one and number two each week, you're very grateful. We appreciate what it's done for us and all of our other jobs. And we have a good time. I mean Randy, Simon and I, we are competitive on the show. And we want to get the last word in. But we're also hanging out and having dinner on a Friday night.
KING: An e-mail from Griselda in Cooper City: "All those cheap shots you and Simon Cowell take on each other, real or playing a part?"
SEACREST: Oh, they're real in the moment. They're real.
KING: At the moment they are real?
SEACREST: Oh, yes. At the moment, they're real. Yes, at the moment, they're real. Like I said, we're competitive. And I mean, you know, I can always tell when he has nothing to say. And it's rare, but I can always tell when he has no comeback because he just laughs and smiles or he leans to Paula and says, what did he say?
SEACREST: And when I have no comeback, I toss to commercial. We'll be right back.
KING: It's now David versus David.
KING: Does it matter who wins?
Does the runner-up have just as big a shot to be a hit? SEACREST: I think that the winner, obviously, has the best platform. The winner has probably the best chance at getting great songs and parlaying all this momentum into success. But if I'm the guy in second place and I've been that guy for a long time, I'm going to do everything I can to try and beat first place.
KING: But you've had second place winners do very well.
SEACREST: Very well. And third place.
KING: Your plate is so full. In fact, we even have a graphic of everything you do. You own eight restaurants.
KING: You host "American Idol".
SEACREST: Yes. There's a plate.
KING: You host "American Top 40."
KING: You're managing editor and anchor of "E! News Daily."
KING: On the air with Ryan Seacrest is heard locally in L.A. and in syndication. You're the host of Dick Clark's "New Year's Eve Rocking Eve."
KING: You have your own TV production company. There were even rumors you were going to join CNN, which, we can tell viewers, there's nothing to that.
SEACREST: No, the only rumor is...
KING: So my question is...
SEACREST: ...we're having dinner Thursday. That's true.
KING: That's true.
SEACREST: All right.
KING: So my question is, when do you sleep?
SEACREST: You know, at night, I crawl into bed and I pull up my covers and I put the BlackBerry next to me and I put it on silent now so it doesn't vibrate and wake me up. But I still want to look over and see if that red light is going off. And usually it is. And I have to respond to that e-mail. I have that disorder where I can't put the Blackberry down and stop. So I sleep in segments, like two hours. I wake up and I'll do something on the BlackBerry and then sleep a little bit more. But I, you know, I get up at 4:00 in the morning. And I'm in the car and I consolidate everything. You look at that plate and all of those projects are on one floor in one building in one city.
KING: Why do BlackBerry owners -- why are they possessed?
SEACREST: Why are they what?
KING: Why are they -- now, you haven't looked at this in 15 minutes.
SEACREST: I know. I've got to -- I want to check the messages.
KING: You're panicked, right?
SEACREST: Yes. I've got to see what's going on. And they say my posture's not good. All right.
KING: Someone told you that?
SEACREST: Yes. Sit up. These things are -- they're addictive. That's what you're saying, right?
KING: Yes. Correct.
SEACREST: You don't carry one?
SEACREST: Well, start carrying -- would you carry one for a month?
KING: No, I have all the people around me carry it. So if anything is important...
SEACREST: And you don't speak to them?
KING: ...they tell me.
SEACREST: But they don't speak to you, right?
KING: No. (INAUDIBLE)
SEACREST: They're just looking down...
KING: (INAUDIBLE) walk into walls.
SEACREST: And they're running into running into each -- yes, exactly. And they're running into each other as they're walking through the hallways.
KING: Have you even trademarked your own name?
SEACREST: I have. KING: What does that mean?
No one can use it?
They can't use it anyway.
SEACREST: It means nothing. No, because, you know, the company has Ryan Seacrest in it and we have those logos that have my name in it, we want to own the logo star and all that, too, so.
KING: All right, I see that. There's the copyright next to your name.
SEACREST: There it is.
KING: You're like Coca-Cola.
SEACREST: Not quite.
KING: OK. Montreal, Canada...
SEACREST: Coca-Cola is my favorite beverage.
KING: We have a call for Ryan.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thanks for taking my call.
CALLER: Ryan, I have a sort of a two part question for you.
CALLER: Now a lot of legendary acts like George Michael, Janet Jackson and Madonna are hitting the road this fall. I'd like to know how you think that each of them is going to do and why and, also, if you see any of the "American Idol" contestants from over the years, being around in 20 years' time.
SEACREST: Those are great questions. Number one, I think that those classic songs that George Michael sang or Janet Jackson sang, they're played on the radio still to this day. As a matter of fact, you go into a nightclub in a big city, they're still mixed in.
KING: They do all right.
SEACREST: Yes. Yes, they do. And so I think that -- I think that's a great idea. Those are big names. They'll be successful for a long time. And that's how these artists make their money now. They make a lot of money touring. And as you saw with the Madonna deal and Jay-Z deal, I mean there are big numbers when you announce a big tour. And then "Idol," could they do it and have that sort of longevity?
I don't know yet. Maybe Carrie could. KING: If we went back 15 years and "Idol" were on, would you have Sinatra as a guest?
SEACREST: Oh, God. I would love it.
KING: In a minute.
SEACREST: In a second. He's the one person that if I -- we could go back in time and I could sit and talk with for an hour that I would pay anything to sit with.
KING: I had the honor.
SEACREST: I know you did. I know you did. You have some great stories about him.
KING: We've got an "American Idol" blowout next Friday, a week from tomorrow. Both Davids will be here, along with the eight finalists. One hour isn't big enough. We'll have a second special for you the following Monday with all the "American Idol" performers.
That's LARRY KING LIVE next Friday, May 23, and Memorial Day, May 24.
Back with more. Stay there.
KING: We're back with the extraordinary Ryan Seacrest.
About other things he has going on, you're producing shows, including Denise Richards' reality show. This show seems very racy. By the way, Denise is our guest Monday night. "Denise Richards: It's Complicated" premiers Monday, the 26th.
Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's just in it for money.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a bad mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't know me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This Memorial Day, think you know the real Denise Richards?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you still keep in contact with him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. His ex wasn't too fond of us being together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've heard the gossip.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you sell the sperm? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've read the stories.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to cover up the tattoo that I already had.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye-bye, Charlie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Denise is ready to let the world see for itself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm divorced. I have two kids. My dad's living at my house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's just a normal single mom looking to start over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For me, normal is a famous actor or a rock star.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Forget normal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't help that I'm attracted to hot, sexy guys with big (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rumors were one thing. Real life is so much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is Charlie Sheen against this show?
SEACREST: I doubt he'll watch it. I don't think they speak.
KING: Do you like producing shows?
SEACREST: I love it. I love it. And, you know, this...
SEACREST: I -- Larry, because I want to do a million things at once. And I want to be doing...
KING: I know you do.
SEACREST: I want to be doing this for a long time. And I also don't feel that I need to be on every channel. Believe it or not, even though I'm on E! and "American Idol" and I'm doing the radio, I don't feel that I need to be everywhere all the time. And I want to create shows for other people. And with this series, I must say, you know, E! has been fantastic to me. It's a place where I am every day on "E! News" and also...
KING: You go from radio to there, right?
SEACREST: OK, I walk -- they built a studio for me in the E! building to do my radio shows. I walk across the hallway right into the TV set. Literally right over there.
And this series was interesting because Denise was a guest on my radio show. And I didn't know her that well at all. I had just heard the things about, you know, Denise Richards in the press. But she was very charming and she was laughing it off. And there was more to her than what I thought was being reported in the press. And I asked her to come in. And we sat down and we had a meeting.
And I said would you do a reality show?
And she said I've been asked a million times, went back and thought about it. She said you know what, I think -- I think it is time to do it and I think I do want people to know who I am. And she's a single mother who's gone through a divorce, who lost her mother a few months ago. And her dad has moved in with her and they're trying to make it together.
KING: And you like -- you like it. And you've also got two other new shows, "Romance" on MTV and "Mama's Boy" on NBC.
SEACREST: Yes, "Mama's Boy" on NBC. Ben Silverman picked that up over there. And that is -- it's in the dating genre. And the way I figure it is, everybody or everything that happens in my life -- my mother and I are very close. And there's this voice in my head, no matter what it is that I'm doing, I can hear her judging me, saying that's the right move or that's the wrong move.
But with women, when I go out on a date and I date them over and over, and they become a girlfriend, mom has to approve of them. They don't go sit at the fondue dinner (ph) unless mom likes them. And so this show really has mom as the center character. And she's the outspoken one.
So we're casting right now at nbcdatingshow.com or nbc.com. We're casting for the eligible bachelors and their moms -- mama's boys. But we need outspoken moms that just -- they have an opinion about everything. And to get to the guy, you've got to get through the mom.
KING: And you don't mind that you're not on the show?
SEACREST: No. I'm quite happy. Quite happy that I'm not on it.
KING: What's the -- what's the radio syndicate -- oh, you also do the Kardashians, right?
SEACREST: Yes. "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," which is a huge...
KING: We had them on.
SEACREST: I saw it -- a huge hit for E!, "The Kardashians." Congratulations. It became a number one show and a number one show across the board in cable for women. These were, you know, they're a great, very compelling, interesting family.
KING: What's the radio deal?
SEACREST: The radio deal. We have, you know, I've been on the air getting up in the morning for six years here in Los Angeles. So every day of my life I do a five hour radio show live before I go on to everything else. And we've made a deal with Clear Channel to syndicate that show across the country delayed. So it will...
KING: But, you know, because it won't be morning in New York.
SEACREST: Exactly. So it will be mid-days or afternoons across the country. And that syndication takes place in June. But I'm excited about it because, as you know, I love radio. I started in it (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: You originally started in Atlanta, right?
SEACREST: Yes. And I don't want to give it up yet.
KING: We have an e-mail from Linda in St. Thomas: "With your busy schedule, do you have lime to date?"
SEACREST: I try to. I try to. I -- it's funny because sometimes I'll e-mail a date and say, you know, I'm running a few minutes late because the show's running over or we've got to take this...
KING: You BlackBerry a date?
SEACREST: Well, Larry, yes. I know it sounds terrible. But at least I'm communicating. You know, when you're on a set, it's tough to pick up a phone and call somebody. But, you know, nowadays, you can pop a text and say I'm running late, it's going to take a little bit longer, but I'm coming. I'm on my way.
But I do try and date. However, my priorities are, right now they're my family -- my mom, my dad, my sister and building this business.
KING: When you pop a text, don't you misspell a lot of things?
SEACREST: I like the way you say it. Come on.
KING: Pop a text.
SEACREST: Pop a text. Hit me.
KING: Don't you pop a text...
SEACREST: Hit me there.
KING: Don't you misspell a lot of things?
You're going so fast, you've got to...
SEACREST: Well, you misspell. You also abbreviate spelling. I mean I don't know if kids know how to spell "your" anymore because I forget sometimes. I just put U-R, the letter U, the letter R. You know, that's text speech. There are a lot of word. There are a lot of things...
KING: Oh, there are text speeches?
SEACREST: Yes. Oh, yes. LOL.
KING: What's LOL?
SEACREST: I think it's -- it's lots of love or laugh out loud.
KING: Laugh out loud.
SEACREST: Yes. And then there's BTW. And there's OMG. And the -- OMG. You're on "Ugly Betty" tonight.
SEACREST: OMG. That's oh, my gosh.
KING: Yes, I'm on "Ugly Betty."
SEACREST: I know. That's what I'm saying. OMG. You're going to be on that show. I'm plugging it. I'm helping you with the plug.
KING: Thank you, Ryan.
KING: I'm surprised you don't own that show.
Right now, cast your quick vote -- who will be the next "American Idol," David Archuleta or David Cook?
We'll be back with more of Ryan.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEACREST: Shall we get it started?
Here we go. Hi, everyone. Ryan Seacrest here in Hollywood live from the center of the entertainment universe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan?
SEACREST: OK. This just in, breaking booty news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Ryan Seacrest.
Do you like being the butt of...
SEACREST: That's why I'll never work here. Breaking booty news.
KING: Breaking booty, yes.
SEACREST: That's my background.
KING: Do you like being the butt of punch line jokes, Letterman, Leno, Kimmel?
They don't -- they all make -- they all get you.
SEACREST: I don't mind it. I don't mind it at all. No, I mean...
KING: You mind they kid you, you're gay and stuff?
SEACREST: I do not.
KING: Which, by the way, I've seen your girlfriends.
KING: Gay you're not.
SEACREST: Thank you. It doesn't matter to me. As a matter of fact, Kimmel, I'm going to be on his show tomorrow night, and he's going to call into my radio show tomorrow morning.
KING: He's a great guy.
SEACREST: He's a great guy. We are all playing a part in entertainment. I get that.
KING: What do you make of the Miley Cyrus thing?
SEACREST: I'm over it. To me, I'm over the controversy. You know, I don't think she meant to offend anyone. I tell you this, I have met Miley several times and this young lady has done something pretty incredible at her age. And the unbelievable response she gets when fans see her -- I was with her this weekend at a concert, I introduced her, and they go nuts, teenagers go crazy for her.
She wants to do it all. She wants to, you know, be a -- wants to be -- I think she is a billionaire and she wants to be a double billionaire. She wants to work hard. I like people who work hard.
KING: I like her father, too.
SEACREST: Billy Ray, nice guy.
KING: Nice guy.
SEACREST: Real sweetheart.
KING: Eight restaurants.
SEACREST: Eight restaurants, yes, I'm a partner in eight restaurants. If I didn't do the broadcasting thing, I would have probably tried to get into chef school. I love food. I love wine. It is my hobby, my passion. I love Napa Valley.
KING: What kind of restaurants?
SEACREST: These restaurants are -- there's one called -- there's a brand called Boa, which is a steak house. There's a robota restaurant, which is a Sushi and Japanese grilling style of cooking. There's Sushi Roqu. There's one in Vegas. There's several here in L.A. I can get you in.
KING: What's next? Where do you want to go, business wise? What do you want to own next?
SEACREST: I think the move now is to obviously continue to do the shows that I'm doing well, and I hopefully people will tune in. But the company that I have, build this company. We just started a sales division at Ryan Seacrest productions because we actually have inventory to sell to advertisers. We can sit down with Coca-Cola or Procter and Gamble. We can say look, we have this amount of time in a syndicated radio show, what would you like? We can do the integration.
I want to build more of that division so that we can sell spots in our own TV shows that we produce. I like the entrepreneurial side of this. I get excited about new ways of doing things.
KING: Do you think about "American Idol" not being on?
SEACREST: Yes and I panic.
KING: Really? You think you'll always need that?
SEACREST: I mean, look. It's the number one show in America. It's never a bad thing to be fronting the biggest show in the country.
KING: Not bad.
SEACREST: As long as that puppy is sailing, I'd like to be a part of it.
KING: But you are very bright and aware that nothing is forever.
SEACREST: I get it. That's why there's 38 other things going on.
KING: And you like all of those things?
SEACREST: I love it. It's actually become a little bit -- it's become little frightening because if I have to sit and wait for anything, and I'm not doing something else, reading a text, a blackberry, on a phone call, looking at a magazine or newspaper, I literally go nuts.
KING: The only thing that didn't make, as I look at your career, was that afternoon talk show, which I was happy to guest on that show.
SEACREST: Thank you for coming by the way.
KING: It was a lot of fun that show.
SEACREST: You also came to my star. I got that star for years in the scene and success in radio and I appreciate you coming from that.
KING: You walked with me and played part on my 50th anniversary, which very grateful for. Why did the afternoon show not make it?
SEACREST: You know, we launched that show in I think in time periods that were tough to get the audience we were going for on the Fox stations. It was definitely the show that I wanted to do. I learned a lot. I think that one of the great things about taking risks is that you say, I don't know everything. And I'm going to go for it. I like change. I'm going to try it. If I screw up, I'm going to learn from it.
I learned from some of the things that we did on that show and we move on.
KING: Now, a couple of other things; the house, you own a house in the Hollywood Hills, once owned by Kevin Costner.
KING: I remember when you bought it. Wasn't it a bit much for a single guy?
SEACREST: Yes. It scared me to death to rent that shack. You know, I grew up in the backseat of an old Volvo. You know, my dad had a pre-owned Peugeot? It wasn't quite the opulent life style. My father is an attorney and did fine, but we weren't not flying on private planes and we weren't flying first class. So when I wrote the check to buy that house, I thought I was going to be an E True Hollywood story the next day. This was it. It was going to be the M.C. Hammer story that I lost it all.
But the one thing I didn't have and the one thing I wanted was a place to rest and be and be happy and feel relaxed. And that was the place. I saw it and I felt like it could just -- I could have fun with my friends. I could have holidays here and I love it. It's great.
KING: You need security?
SEACREST: There's security there, yes. But if anybody would like to buy it, I'd be happy to put on the market for double the money.
KING: You're an ace, man.
SEACREST: Good to see you, as always.
KING: Ryan Seacrest, you'll see him on "American Idol" and 43 other things.
SEACREST: Got to go to one now.
KING: Where are you going now?
SEACREST: I've got to do a show. That's why you have UFOs coming --
KING: You are going.
SEACREST: They're beaming me up.
KING: From Seacrest to spaceships. We'll look at Britain's top secret UFO files after the break.
KING: Welcome back.
Britain's Ministry of Defense has just released secret UFO files on sightings dating from 1978 through 1987. They include live, eyewitness accounts and the government's response. More files dating from the 1950s and recent events will be released over the next four years.
Joining us to discuss this in London is Nick Pope. He ran the British government's UFO project at the Ministry of Defense from 1985 to 2006.
Also in London is Bob Rosamond, chairman of the British UFO Research Association.
In Spokane, Washington, Peter Davenport, director National UFO Reporting Center.
And in Washington, Lieutenant Colonel Chuck Halt, retired from the Air force. He sited a UFO in 1980 while he was deputy base commander at Brent Waters Woodbridge Base in Suffolk, England.
Nick, what do you make of all of this? What's in these files?
NICK POPE, FORMER OFFICIAL, UK MINISTRY OF DEFENSE: Well, this is extremely exciting news here in the UK. It is a massive story. What we've seen is the first step in a three to four-year program to release the government's entire archive of UFO files. Now, some of the material in there and what we have got just in this first batch of about 2,00 pages of documentation -- some of it's quite mundane.
But in amongst those reports, we have got some absolutely fascinating cases. A lot of UFOs seen by police officers. We have got some cases where pilots have seen UFO. And we have got a really amazing case where a UFO was tracked on military radar traveling 10 nautical miles in 12 seconds.
KING: Bob, why did the government release these files? The French government, I know, they released some documents last year. Governments have always kept it secret, the United States included. Why now do you think now, Bob?
BOB ROSAMOND, CHAIRMAN, BRITISH UFO RESEARCH ASSN.: I don't really know. Perhaps from a cynical point of view, it is a good PR exercise. It's the Ministry's opportunity of showing the world, hey, we have got nothing to hide. Here's all of our files on UFOs. The motive, the reason could be anything, to be honest. Why now, I really don't know.
KING: Peter Davenport, will this tend to put naysayers away?
PETER DAVENPORT, UFO EXPERT: It's still heresy evidence. I find it interesting that the release follows hot on the heels of the Vatican just yesterday, I think it was, stating that they felt it was OK to believe in aliens and UFOs and life elsewhere in our galaxy. This is an interesting one-two punch.
KING: Lieutenant Chuck Halt, the only one of our panel, I guess, who's seen one. What do you make of it?
CHUCK HALT, RETIRED UNITED STATES AIR FORCE: I find it quite puzzling. Why is this being spread over four years? It doesn't really make sense to me, unless the volume is so great it takes that long to preview it.
KING: What do you think, Nick? Why four years?
POPE: Well, yes, that's the point. Under the Freedom of Information act -- and by the way, that's one of the reasons why the Ministry of Defense have decided to release this. The MOD get more FOI requests on UFOs than any other subject. So the administrative burden of dealing with that has been so big that the government decided it's better to just take all the files and put them in the National Archives, so that in future people can be referred there.
But, of course, there are all sorts of exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act. Personal information of witnesses, classified information such as, for example, the capabilities of military radar systems. And some poor desk officer has to go through all of this material -- and there are tens of thousands of pages of this. I mean, it is an absolutely massive job. So we're going to get maybe half of a dozen files every month for the next three or four years.
I mean, I know it's taking a long time. But of course, as you would expect in the Ministry of Defense, there are all sorts of competing priorities.
KING: Bob Rosamond, has the British UFO Research Association had many, many, many reports over the years about sightings?
ROSAMOND: We have a substantial archive, actually. We have somewhere in the region of 12,000 to 15,000 case files going back as far as 1925. So it's quite a substantial amount of documentation, quite possibly more than the Ministry itself has.
KING: Peter, why has this been in the United States and prior to this in Great Britain some dark secret? Why won't the United States release anything it knows?
DAVENPORT: Yes, a lot of people conjecture on that, Larry. None of us even serious-minded UFO investigators knows the answer to that question. But it is an intriguing question. Of course, Belgium and Chile and France and now England, to a degree the Soviet Union, and now Russia have all to one degree or another opened their files on this subject.
I would look to the United States government now to do the same. And what I would like to see somebody senior in the U.S. government, in the military and intelligence communities, say to its people, if you know anything about the UFO phenomenon, you are free to talk to the press and to the American public. That would solve the problem in a hurry.
KING: Lieutenant Colonel Chuck Halt retired from the Air Force, sighted a UFO in 1980. We'll hear one of his tapes when we come back.
KING: Colonel Halt, as you know, made an on the scene sighting when he was a lieutenant colonel in service in the United States. He made a tape while he was investigating the scene. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALT: There was no doubt about it, there's some type of strange flashing red light here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw a yellow tangent in two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weird.
HALT: It appears to be making movement a little bit this way. It's brighter than it has been. It's coming this way.
It is definitely coming this way.
Now we've an object about ten degrees directly south, ten degrees off the horizon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One's moving away from us.
It's moving out fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Colonel halt, how were you treated by the powers that be after this report was filed?
HALT: Well, I was treated with respect, but everybody kept me at arm's length. Nobody wanted to get too close or too deeply involved.
WHY: Well, let's face it, there's a stigma that comes with this. Very few people are willing to speak out and tell the truth. It's just too awkward, you're criticized.
KING: Do you think the British government's actions might lead to somebody in the United States?
HALT: I would certainly hope so, but the situation here is a little different. Keep in mind, there are at least half a dozen or more intelligence agencies that have their own -- how should I say -- files, programs, whatever. They share when convenient. They trade when convenient. And they withhold from each other.
KING: Do you look in the sky a lot?
HALT: Do I look in the sky a lot?
KING: Yes, now.
HALT: No, no. I don't belong to any organization or any magazine or whatever.
KING: But you are convinced you saw something that wasn't an airplane.
HALT: I definitely saw something that can't be explained. Excuse me.
KING: Nick Pope, give me an example of a report you have seen in Great Britain.
POPE: Well, we had -- this is a report that's been in the public domain for a while, but just to show the sorts of spectacular cases we do get, we had a sighting from a commercial airline pilot who saw two UFOs estimated as being almost a mile long. And this thing was actually tracked on radar. There was a primary radar return.
Then a few years before that, we had a case with a UFO flying over two military bases in England, seen by numerous police and military witnesses. One of the Air Force officers described this thing as vast triangular-shape, moving from a virtual hover to a speed several times that of a fast jet, just in seconds. And this is an Air Force officer with eight years' experience talking to me.
KING: We have a question from a caller in Mobile, Alabama. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
KING: Hi. CALLER: I was wondering if there's any data in the files relating to alien life forms or is it all the data strictly regarding unidentified flying objects?
KING: Good question. Bob Rosamond, in your files, do you have anything relating to alien forms?
ROSAMOND: In our files, yes. Before we have vast number of files with reports of encounters of alleged alien beings, entities and alleged abduction experiences.
KING: Do you believe them?
KING: Do you believe them?
ROSAMOND: Before our strictly objective organization, it's not about belief. It's where the facts and the evidence takes you.
KING: Peter, do you think the events in Great Britain will open up things in other places?
DAVENPORT: It's an encouraging sign, Larry. It may suggest that there's a movement afoot to mete out information piecemeal, maybe to prepare us for something that the government knows and would like to have us know more about. But that's pure conjecture. We have been saying the same thing for now well on 61 years that it's just around the corner. So it's an encouraging note, I would say, but I'll wait to see if the U.S. government responds to this at all. It will be interest to see what the Vatican has to say about it, too.
KING: Do you think their reasons would be national security?
DAVENPORT: It's hard to know. That's what everybody gravitates to. Everybody says, well the government is not feeding this information to the American public because they're afraid we'd panic. That doesn't make an ounce of sense to me, frankly. I don't think we would panic. If you look at cartoons every Saturday morning, to my eye about 90 percent of them have to do with alien life and spaceships and so on and so forth. There may be some other reason they're doing that.
KING: More on the UFO files. Stay with us.
KING: We're back. Chuck Halt, do you think we'll ever know the whole story?
HALT: I rather doubt it. I think we have gone too far down the road and we're not going to get the story.
KING: So we'll -- we'll never know it?
HALT: I won't say never know it. If something strange lands in Times Square and the White House lawn, I suspect we'll find out something.
KING: That would be nice. Nick Pope, we hear that the Pope's astronomer said today that alien beings are a product of god's creation. Did that surprise you? Is that news?
POPE: Yes, it is made quite an impact over here in the UK. I mean, I welcome statements like that and I think it is interesting that the two things have happened so close together. I mean, just picking up on the idea of cover-ups and conspiracies, I should say that if people are expecting in these ministry of defense files to find definitive proof of extra terrestrials, they'll be disappointed. But they can find, I think, whether they're skeptics or believers this -- they'll find things which raise important defense, national security and flight safety issues.
By the way, I should say to anyone who wants to actually look into these files, it's on the UK National Archives Web site, which is NationalArchives.gov.uk/UFOS. They have set up a dedicated Web site for this. And this whole subject, I think, this move, I greatly welcome this move. It's going to propel this subject really into the mainstream.
KING: Want to repeat that Web site again, Nick?
POPE: It's NationalArchives.Gov.Uk/UFOS.
KING: Bob, when you get reports, what do you do with, you just file them? Look into them? What do you do?
ROSAMOND: No, we conduct a thorough investigation. Initially, we receive e-mail communication, sometimes a phone call from a witness with an experience or a sighting. We get them to file an initial report, which gives us solid data work from. And from there, we go into a detailed investigation, uncovering as many possible stones to get to the answer.
KING: Peter, same thing I asked Chuck. Do you think we'll ever know the whole story?
DAVENPORT: I think we will, Larry. In fact, I published an article about four years ago with regard to the use of passive radar for detecting UFOs. It is the answer to resolving the UFO issue. As soon as we get one of those system built, I think we'll be in a very good position to take the monopoly away from the U.S. government on UFO information. And if people would like to share their sighting reports with the National UFO Reporting Center, I'd invite to them to write out just a paragraph or two describing their sighting of a suspected UFO and submit it at UFOCenter.com.
We're a service organization to the American people. We provide a place for them to call. And when they send us information, we post it publicly, so everybody may know what information we've received. Anonymously, of course.
KING: Chuck Halt, you mentioned landing in Time Square. I guess it might have to take that that for it to happen. If it does happen, we'll have it on first, OK, Chuck? And you'll be on with us that night.
HALT: Sounds great to me, Larry.
KING: In fact, we'll fly you to Times Square to interview the first alien landing there.
KING: And fly in the Pope's astronomer, too. Thank you all very much for enlightening segments on this extraordinary story out of London today.
A friend of mine and this show died today. Warren Callen, a public relations giant and an all around terrific guy. He represented some of the biggest names in the business, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, John Wayne, just a few of his clients. Our condolences and best wishes to the Callen family. We'll never see his likes again.
Not too late to participate in our quick vote; who will be the next "American Idol," David C or the other David? Go to CNN.com/larryking and tell us. And tomorrow, we'll be "Dancing with the Stars." Glen, Bruno and Carrie Ann will be here, and the finalists too. Who will waltz away with the prize? LARRY KING LIVE Friday.
Now, we'll tango over to Anderson Cooper and "A.C. 360" -- Anderson, the floor is yours.