Family comforts sombre Richard Wilkins before shock Today announcement

Eliza Velk
Junior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

On Friday it was confirmed that Richard Wilkins has been sidelined from his role as Today entertainment correspondentfollowing the announcement of his replacement for 2019.

But could this have been the moment that the 64-year-old journalist learned the news of his fate?

On Thursday afternoon a very sombre looking Richard was pictured outside the Channel Nine HQ in Sydney where he was greeted by his son Christian, 23 and girlfriend Virginia Burmeister. 

Is this the moment Richard Wilkins learned he was to be sidelined from his role as  T oday entertainment correspondent? Source: Diimex
He was spotted being comforted by family on Thursday afternoon prior to the Friday announcement. Source: Diimex

His family appeared to be comforting the presenter who walked with his head bowed down looking rather unsettled from his day at work.

While standing alongside the car Virginia was driving, the couple looked to be having a serious chat while Christian placed his hand on his father’s shoulder. 

His girlfriend  Virginia Burmeister and his son Christian both greeted him outside Channel Nine HQ in Sydney. Source: Diimex
They looked to be having a serious chat while Christian stood to the side with a hand on his father’s shoulders. Source: Diimex

Earlier that day Richard gave an emotional farewell to his former college Karl Stefanovic who was also sacked from his role as the Today Show host.

“I can tell you from the heart that there’s nobody who’s worked harder for this show than Karl. He is a fantastic, intuitive and intelligent journalist. I’ve always described him as an intoxicating mix of ‘world’s best broadcaster’ and naughty schoolboy,” Richard said in his speech.

Earlier that day Richard Wilkins said an emotional farewell to his college Karl Stefanovic who had been dumped from his role as Today Show host. Source: Diimex

However, given the surprise appearance of Richards family outside the studio, it’s sparked concerns as to whether this was the same day he learned that a fresh face would be taking over his role as an entertainment correspondent – while Richard continues as Nine’s entertainment editor with a greater role on Today Extra that airs after 9am.

It was announced a fresh face would be taking on the role as Entertainment correspondent. Source: Diimex
Richard Wilkins looked very sombre as he was pictured outside the office. Source: Diimex

The news of his replacement was later confirmed by Nine news and current affairs director Darren Wick who revealed Triple J’s Brooke Boney would be taking on the role while working closely with Richard. 

“I’m really thrilled to be joining the team and so excited to be working alongside Richard Wilkins. He’s such a legend in the business,” 31-year-old Indigenous reporter Boney said in a statement.

“It’s such an exciting time to be joining Nine and am looking forward to learn from everyone on the Today team. As a young girl growing up in the country I watched Today so it’s really awesome to know it’ll be my new home.”

Meanwhile, Richard has been with Channel Nine for an impressive 31 years. The showbiz veteran was the network’s first MTV Australia host back in 1987, before he went on to host Entertainment Tonight in the late 1990s.

The conversation between Richard and his son Christian also looked to be pretty tense. Source: Diimex
Is that a tear in the eye Christian Wilkins? Source: Diimex

This is just one of many changes that have been announced by the network this week.

On Tuesday it was announcement Peter Stefanovic was leaving Channel Nine, a day before brother Karl was dumped from Today.

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