Arguably America's hardest-working man in television, Ryan Seacrest rarely takes a day off.

So when the American Idol and morning show host, took an unscheduled break from co-hosting Live with Kelly Ripa, fans were alarmed.

The New York Post learned from an ABC source that the show's production team were only made aware of Seacrest's absence about 30 minutes before the show started airing.

"It was a last-minute thing and there was a sense of panic at ABC when we were told that Ryan couldn't make it that morning," the ABC source ­revealed to the Post.

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In the hours before the show, Seacrest prompted fears from viewers during the American Idol finale - where the host appeared to struggle to speak and his right eye began to droop.

Reps for the 45-year-old were forced to deny that the host had suffered a stroke after worried fans began tweeting the host and network with concerns for the his safety.

The host then bowed out of his morning show and co-host Kelly Ripa's husband and actor Mark Consuelos, quickly stepped in.

The couple broadcast the show from their ­vacation house on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

The show is now due to go on a weeks-long scheduled hiatus next month, something which sources close to Seacrest say couldn't come at a better time.

"There are people at the network who are extremely worried that he is overdoing it," said the ABC source.

A television industry insider added: "People internally have started to ask questions."

Seacrest has long been known to overwork himself, co-hosting the morning show every weekday, doing a successful five-hour long radio show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Monday to Friday, as well as the weekly American Top 40 countdown.

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Seacrest also hosts American Idol and various specials as part of a multimillion-dollar three-year deal with ABC. He also hosts E!'s awards-show red carpet coverage.

The host also owns a production company that famously gave the world all the Kardashian reality shows and spin-offs on E! – which Seacrest has referred to this as his "biggest contribution to the world".

He also has skincare and clothing lines, among several other business ventures.