He’d been tipped to replace Karl Stefanovic on Today, but Ben Fordham says there’s no chance he’s returning to the breakfast TV show.
Rather the 41-year-old, who has filled in for Karl over the years when he’s been away, would like to focus on family life in 2019.
“I have no intentions of going back to Today,” the father-of-two told The Daily Telegraph, after Channel Nine confirmed that Karl would be returning to the top presenting spot next year.
“I had a great time on the show with Karl, Georgie and the team for many years but won’t be returning any time soon.”
“I wake up with Jodie, Freddy and Pearl and that will continue for a long, long time,” he added.
Ben, who shares two children with wife Jodie, has a massive appeal to audiences thanks to his wholesome image, free of scandal.
He’s regularly seen spending time with his children, demonstrates a sense of relatability to viewers, and has the classic Australian humour that keeps fans engaged.
Earlier this month a ‘TV insider’ said Ben had told Channel Nine he wouldn’t be a ‘plan B’ for Karl.
“He was resolute he just wouldn’t do it. He’s very happy with his position at Channel Nine and 2GB and isn’t interested in Karl’s job,” the source told Daily Mail Australia.
“He’s made it clear to other staff members that if he’s the network’s ‘plan B’, they better start looking for a ‘plan C’.”
Karl, who shares three children with ex Cassandra Thorburn, was once upon a time the family man Australia loved, but recent events in his personal life seem to have changed that image.
After splitting from Cassandra in 2016, he began a relationship with younger shoe designer, Jasmine Yarbrough.
He was also involved in the ‘Ubergate’ scandal with brother Peter Stefanovic, where he criticised co-host Georgie Gardner.
Despite this, Channel Nine has confirmed Karl will be returning to Today in 2019 alongside Georgie.
“The nation wakes up with Today, hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner,” read an official statement released by the network this month.
“In 2019, Australia’s longest running breakfast television program will continue to bring viewers up-to-the-minute news, current affairs, sport, politics, entertainment, fashion, health and lifestyle from Australia and around the world”
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