celebrity

"I thought my time was up": Karl Stefanovic is officially returning to Today. Yes. Really.

For the better part of last year, the rumours of Karl Stefanovic’s looming axing from Today dominated celebrity and entertainment headlines.

The stories came after Karl’s very public, and messy divorce with his wife of 20-plus years, Cassandra Thorburn, which was followed by an equally controversial relationship with his now-wife, Jasmine Stefanovic (née Yarbrough). Then there was the infamous Ubergate of March 2018, in which Karl and Peter Stefanovic were caught ‘complaining’ about his then co-host, Georgie Gardner, as well as their Channel Nine bosses. Dwindling ratings followed.

By the time December 2018 rolled around, Channel Nine announced that after 13 years on the morning show, it was time for the 45-year-old to officially “step off”.

But never mind all that, because he’s back.

Watch Karl Stefanovic say goodbye to the Today Show. Post continues below.

Video by Channel Nine

In an exclusive interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Karl confirmed he will return to the program in early 2020.

“Yes, I am as shocked about this as everyone else,” he said. (And look… same.)

“It’s not something that I thought would come up again. I thought my time was up, but then, when I was sounded out about it, it got me thinking.

“It’s a big job with enormous pressures and I know only too well some of those pitfalls, but it is also without question the best live TV job in Australia.”

However, now returning to his old gig, The Australian have reported that Karl will be taking a major  cut to his rumoured $2 million-plus former salary.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by karl stefanovic (@karlstefanovic_) on

ADVERTISEMENT

Karl’s ‘homecoming’ wasn’t the only Today staffing change announced this week. Allison Langdon will also be joining him as co-host, with Georgie, 49, announcing her immediate departure from the show.

Speaking to 9Now, Georgie said she was “disappointed” with the decision, but added that she had been involved in the process.

“I was consulted two weeks ago about the future direction of the Today Show, and naturally I’m disappointed with the outcome,” she said.

“However, I’m very proud to have been part of an innovative and progressive programming decision – the first female hosting duo in Australian breakfast television.”

The respected journalist and presenter also touched on the immense public backlash she received during her tenure on the Today Show, calling it “daunting and disproportionate”.

“I have no regrets, even though the scrutiny and public discourse has been daunting and disproportionate. It’s also at times been cruel,” she said.

It’s understood Georgie will continue with the network, and return to her “first love, news”.

Karl Stefanovic is the comeback kid. Seriously. The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss.

As for what we can expect from this new format…

At this point, fellow co-host Deb Knight, newsreader Tom Steinfort and entertainment reporters Richard Wilkins and Brooke Boney will continue on the program.

ADVERTISEMENT

Set to begin her co-hosting duties this Monday (filling Georgie’s empty chair), Allison told 9Now that she and Karl are gearing up for the challenge.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead but I can tell you one thing, it’s not going to be boring! I love the unpredictability of live TV… and Karl,” she said.

“Wind him up and let him go! I’m sure we’ll butt heads, but we’ll do it with a smile on our face. I just want to help our viewers get their day off to a good, fun start.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Allison Langdon (@allisonlangdon) on

Karl agreed, calling Allison his ‘equal in this fight’.

“The show and the audience make me feel alive. I’m up for the fight and I want to fight for our audience,” she said.

“Ally is her own confident, capable woman and I will be there to help her any step of the way but we are equals in this fight and I feel confident in our partnership.

“We’re both good journalists and we both love a laugh.”

What do you think of the Today Show lineup changes? Tell us in a comment below.

00:00 / ???