Karl Stefanovic and Richard Wilkins battle it out for new TV gig: 'Huge opportunity'

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Karl Stefanovic and Richard Wilkins are reportedly both trying to land the role of host of Australian Ninja Warrior after hosts Rebecca Maddern and Ben Fordham exited earlier this year.

Rebecca recently announced she was leaving the Nine Network after contract negotiations reportedly didn't go the way she wanted them to, while Ben announced he was leaving in October to spend more time focusing on his breakfast radio job.

Karl Stefanovic posing on the red carpet
Karl Stefanovic and Richard Wilkins are reportedly both trying to land the role of host of Australian Ninja Warrior after hosts Rebecca Maddern and Ben Fordham exited earlier this year. Photo: Getty

A Nine insider has revealed the New Idea that Karl and Richard are in the race to be one of the show's newest hosts.

"When Ninja first kicked off, no one wanted to host it! Now it’s become one of the big-ticket items for the Nine Network and everyone is throwing their hat into the ring – enter Karl and Dickie," the source tells the publication.

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The Today host and the Weekend Today host are reportedly hoping to host the show given its proven itself to be a ratings success.

"This is such a huge opportunity, especially for Karl," tells the insider. "He’s flat out proving he’s worth the big bucks they are already paying him, and Ninja would pad out his deal."

Richard Wilkins giving the peace sign to the camera while wearing sunglasses
Richard Wilkins is good friends with Ninja Warrior commentator Shane Crawford, so can't be ruled out as an option. Photo: Getty

However, Richard apparently "can't be ruled out" thanks to his friendship with Ninja's commentator Shane Crawford.

The source suggested it would be hard for Nine to lure in new talent after both their top two talents walked away from the show, but believes it all comes down to the money.

"It seems Bec has done a ‘Lisa Wilkinson’ – she sent in her management to demand the big bucks and Nine bosses wouldn’t budge. She called their bluff and it didn’t work," they added.

The insider added that Bec will no doubt enjoy her three months of gardening leave before joining up with a rival in the new year.

Ben Fordham and Rebecca Maddern
Former Ninja Warrior hosts Rebecca Maddern and Ben Fordham recently exited the show. Photo: Instagram/Ben Fordham

It's believed at this stage that she will be re-signing with Seven, where she previously worked from 2002 to 2016.

It's believed Rebecca will receive a promotion to newsreader for Melbourne's 6pm weekend news team alongside co-anchor Mike Amor, according to The Australian.

Seven is reportedly hoping that Rebecca will attract a female audience after the Melbourne weekend news bulletin slipped behind Nine's.

It's also believed that Rebecca will be involved with Seven's sport and current affairs coverage.

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