In a spectacular backflip, Karl Stefanovic has been tipped to return to the Today show next year alongside network star Allison Langdon, twelve months after he was sacked from the coveted gig.
The claims come after a turbulent year for the breakfast program, one which has been largely hallmarked by plunging ratings and allegations of tension between the hosts.
According to Julian Evans, who claims to have a source within Nine, the duo are set to make their debut at the network’s new North Sydney tower in 2020, with Georgie Gardner shifting over as co-host of Today Extra.
Julian shared the speculation on Twitter on Friday sending viewers into a frenzy. Even entertainment reporter Peter Ford shared his thoughts on the matter, which could be the “TV story of the year”.
One major hitch in the ‘exclusive’ is the studio isn’t due for completion until second half of next year!! https://t.co/3id3GdwObi— Peter Ford (@mrpford) November 1, 2019
Nine sets it straight
However, Channel Nine was quick to shoot down the validity of the chatter and while they wouldn’t confirm whether or not Karl and Allison would take the reigns of the Today show, they did reveal to Yahoo Lifestyle the network’s new studios wouldn’t be constructed until at least mid next year.
But despite this, Friday wasn’t the first time Karl and Allison were pointed to as the only pair capable of bringing the breakfast show out of its ratings slump.
The reports were first alluded to in The Sunday Telegraph last month, who used 60 Minutes reporter Allison Langdon’s popularity with audiences, and the fact she hosted the network’s 2020 Upfronts last week, as reasons for their speculation.
Additionally, the mother-of-two was out of the running for a role in the show’s initial line-up switch earlier this year as she was heavily pregnant with daughter Scout at the time.
“Langdon has long been favoured as a future Today show host and with Nine expected to replace either Knight or her co-host Georgie Gardner — or both — at year’s end, rumours have surfaced that Langdon could once again be in executives’ sights,” the publication concluded.
Similarly, Karl—who remains contracted to Nine as part of a multimillion dollar deal—has previously been pointed to as the show’s saviour.
In fact, on Friday morning the star referred to himself as the network’s ‘lucky charm’ during an interview on radio show Fitzy & Wippa.
Karl was one of several celebs in captain Wippa’s lineup which beat out Fitzy’s team during a friendly match on the lawn of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s residence, Kirribilli House on Thursday.
The Gold Logie-winner wasn’t above gloating about his victory - his second at the event in as many years - and made sure to include a dig at the network that axed him from Today last year.
“That’s what I keep telling Channel Nine, I’m your lucky charm!” Karl responded when asked how he felt about his achievement.
Today’s once-fresh look
Today’s radical casting switch-up earlier this year saw Tom Steinfort take over from Sylvia Jeffreys as newsreader, while Deb Knight stepped into Karl’s hosting shoes and Brooke Boney joined as entertainment reporter.
But despite the fresh line up’s initial promise, each has failed to resonate with audiences reaching its year-long plateau on September 23 when the program attracted just 169,000 metro viewers.
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