If Karl Stefanovic ever decided to take my job as the PEDESTRIAN.TV morning guy, I imagine I would react in a similar way to ousted Today host Georgie Gardner: I would take the Monday off, have a colossal sleep-in, and hope my colleagues say nice things about me in public.

That’s exactly what has happened on Today this morning, with co-host Deb Knight and fill-in Tom Steinfort lavishing praise on the absent Gardner before Stefanovic’s shock return to the programme.

In case you missed it, Nine announced over the weekend that Stefanovic and 60 Minutes journo Allison Langdon will replace Gardner and Knight as the Today hosting duo from 2020.

Knight signalled that she would kick on until Stefanovic and Langdon pick up in January, but a “disappointed” Gardner said told Nine she would instead “catch up on some sleep” and return to TV at a later date.

“You might have read over the weekend that Georgie has left the Today show and after a really challenging year, we want to wish Georgie all the very best,” Knight told the show’s early-morning viewers.

Steinfort praised the “committed and passionate” host for “sharing the stories of everyday Australians who are doing it tough.”

“She has always been a woman of strength, a woman of class,” he added.

Knight said Gardner “gave it a red hot go” and is now enjoying her time away from the breakfast TV churn.

Nine (which also owns PEDESTRIAN.TV, making Karlos’ appearance on this site a non-zero possibility) made the decision after a ratings slide, opting to reenlist Stefanovic after his high-profile dumping at the end of last year.