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Kathy Griffin to replace Joan Rivers on 'Fashion Police'

Kathy Griffin poses at the

Kathy Griffin poses at the "Make Equality Reality" event at the Montage Hotel on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Credit: AP / Chris Pizzello

Veteran comedian and "My Life on the D-List" star Kathy Griffin will replace Joan Rivers on "Fashion Police," per E!  And yes ... this was expected.

 The statement: 

“Not only was Joan a trailblazer, she was also a dear friend and mentor to Kathy, who will no doubt continue her legacy and do the series justice by bringing her own unique comedic style and tell-it-like-it-is personality to the host chair,” said Jeff Olde, executive vice president for programming and development at E!

Brad Goreski ("It's a Brad Brad World") will also join the Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic panel.. Melissa Rivers? She'll remain with the show in a production capacity only, as exec producer... The show returns Jan. 12 with the Golden Globes.

(Griffin has been considered a front-runner ever since Rivers' death in early September, and -- if one is to believe some prominent gossip reports -- even before then, Griffin was said to have sought a role while Rivers was in a coma. Griffin's representatives branded the reports a lie...)

Griffin had a quote, too, slightly redacted here for publication, but the spirit remains intact: 

"I get it! These are some big shoes I'm going to fill. Joan was truly one of a kind. Now I hope you will accept me for me. I'm just Kathy. Did I say I'm just Kathy? I meant I'm Kathy [expletive] Griffin and you celebrities better strap yourself in, as I am taking no prisoners. I am not holding back so DAMMIT let's have some fun!"

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