Deb Knight in tears after Today show chicken gaffe

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

They say you should never work with children or animals, and hosts of the Today show Tom Steinfort and Deb Knight learnt that the hard way when a humble chicken derailed their live recording.

In an on-air gaffe to be remembered, the presenters attempted to get up close and personal with the bird in the studio with disastrous results on Tuesday morning.

Their feathered guest’s antics left the typically cool, calm and collected pair in a flap, with Deb herself half-lying on the couch in tears - of laughter, of course - by the end.

Deb's feathered friend takes flight on-air. Photo: Channel 9.

Deb’s fowl encounter

Tom and Deb were in the midst of presenting a story on the rising popularity of chooks as pets when Deb attempted to sit one of the birds on the presenting couch with them.

The brown hen, however, was having none of it, and put up quite the struggle as poor Deb tried to stop it from flying off the set.

The chicken seemed intent on making her escape stage left however, and was still clinging to one of Deb’s hands, dragging her across her male co-host’s lap.

“Get it off me!” Tom mumbled from underneath Deb and the fluttering hen.

“She’s attached to my arm!” Deb protested while in a fit of giggles and wiping away tears.

There she goes! Photo: Channel 9.
The chicken incident left Deb crying - from laughter, of course. Photo: Channel 9.

Tom, the ‘chook whisperer’

The duo managed to recover from the on-air blunder, largely thanks to Tom Steinfort - or the ‘chook whisperer’ as he’s been dubbed on social media - and his calming tones.

The ‘fowl’ incident ruffled more than a few feathers online, with viewers taking to the show’s Instagram account to share their reactions.

“Hahahahaha it’s just a chicken guys!!!” wrote one.

“OMG! Thank you for the belly laugh!” said another.

“That’s hysterical!” one remarked.

“Omg hilarious! Tom the chook whisperer!” another impressed fan wrote.

Outgoing host Sonia Kruger is given an emotional farewell on Today. Photo: Channel Nine.

Today show exodus

Chicken gaffes aside, the Today show has suffered a mass exodus of late, with four hosts departing the program in as many weeks.

Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner were the first to face the chopping block following the recent announcement that Karl Stefanovic will reclaim his plum hosting role in 2020, just a year after he was axed.

Karl will head back to Today in the new year along with fellow network talent Allison Langdon, replacing existing hosts Deb and Georgie who admitted the move left her ‘disappointed’ and did not return to work the next day.

Viewers have been less than enthused about news of Karl’s return, with many threatening to boycott the show altogether.

Next to depart the network’s flagship morning show were Sonia Kruger - who was just revealed as the host of Australia’s Got Talent: The Champions and Mega Mini Golf - and sports presenter Tony Jones.

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