It’s been a tumultuous 24 hours for The Today Show, after the Channel Nine breakfast TV programme parted ways with its host and chief larrikin Karl Stefanovic. It’s a huge shake-up that’s been some 14 years in the making, and nobody is more aware of it than the remaining Today Show co-hosts themselves.
Speaking on the issue this morning, longtime entertainment correspondent Richard Wilkins took the opportunity to speak on Stefanovic’s departure for the broader Today team.
“I can tell you from the heart that there’s nobody who’s worked harder for this show than Karl,” Wilkins said.
“He is a fantastic, intuitive, and intelligent journalist. I’ve always described him as an intoxicating mix of the world’s best broadcaster and naughty schoolboy.”
Wilkins addressed the reactions to the infamous Uber incident, in which Stefanovic was surreptitiously recorded bagging members of Nine management and co-host Georgie Gardner, along with the response to the highly-publicised end of Stefanovic’s marriage to Cassandra Thorburn.
(Somebody had to do it, considering Stefanovic is currently on his honeymoon in the United States with wife Jasmine Yarbrough.)
“It’s no secret that the past year or so have been in many ways difficult times for Karl, but I can say that every morning he’s walked into this studio with energy and passion, and ideas to make the show bigger and better,” Wilkins said.
He eventually turned to address Karl directly, saying “you didn’t just wake up with Today, Today woke up with you.”
Sitting alongside Wilkins for the message was temporary host Brenton Ragless, the Adelaide-based news anchor who has been speculated as a likely candidate to fill Stefanovic’s role on a permanent basis.
While that position is yet to be fully determined, Ragless – and anyone who envisages themselves as a new component of the breakfast TV dynasty – should prepare themselves for the prospect of incredibly early mornings and mouth-destroying baked goods.