Karl Stefanovic used to be the epitome of the Logies.
The annual celebration of Australian television was made for him, jam-packed with humorous antics and golden moments from the year gone by.
But this year the Today host appeared to squirm his way through the glitzy bash, taking a back seat from the limelight and instead becoming the butt of a major joke.
As David ‘Hughesy’ Hughes had fun pointing out to the Gold Coast audience, Karl has been struggling to hold onto his ‘TV King’ crown ever since that Ubergate scandal earlier this year.
- Hughesy’s cheeky Ubergate swipe at Logies 2018
- Jasmine Yarbrough’s evolution from girl next door to fashionista
The comedian targeted Karl over the gaffe, mocking him for a conversation that occurred between him and younger brother Peter in a cab, where he was busted blasting his co-host Georgie Gardner.
“Be careful Stefanovics,” Hughesy said, urging them to think twice about ordering an Uber on their way home.
“Whether it’s a cab or an Uber mate, leave a tip,” he told Karl from the stage. “Then they don’t have to make any extra money selling the story to New Idea.”
While the 43-year-old appeared to take the joke well – holding up his phone to reveal he had the number of different taxi firm to hand – his discomfort was clear.
But once upon a time, the Logies was Karl’s domain. He reigned over the proceedings with a cool confidence from being so widely adored.
Back in 2009, he even famously hosted Today alongside his then co-host Lisa Wilkinson, whilst still “drunk” after enjoying the bash a little too much.
The whole of Australia laughed his unprofessionalism off. It seemed they felt Karl deserved to let his hair down after a long year of early morning starts whilst raising three kids.
In fact, just two years after slurring his way through the show, he took home the Gold Logie — the highest honour in Australian television.
A string of nominations followed in the years after, including another go at the Gold Logie in 2012 for his contribution to the industry.
While he didn’t win another gong, fans continued to love him and his paycheck matched, as he became the highest-paid person on Aussie TV.
Then Karl made headlines around the world in 2014 when he stood up against sexism in the industry, by wearing the same suit every day for a year.
“No one has noticed; no one gives a s**t,” he told The Age at the time. “Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.”
His efforts elevated him as a champion for women.
But at the end of 2017, Lisa — who had chaired the breakfast show alongside him for 10 years — left, reportedly over the gender pay disparity between them.
While Nine denied Lisa, 58, departed because Karl was paid more, it left people questioning if he was as genuine about fighting for equality as he seemed.
Another dent in his golden boy image came from his new relationship with shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough, which he went public with in August last year.
Fans criticised him for moving on from his wife of 21 years, Cassandra Thorburn, so quickly and for flaunting his new romance so openly.
Last night, he even seemed to take a back seat to his glamorous other half, who he is set to marry later in the year.
In a photo shared on his Instagram, Karl can be seen taking photos of the 33-year-old on his phone, as she poses in a stunning gown.
While in another post, he appears to try and get in on Hughesy’s Uber joke, with a photo alongside his brother captioned, “What could go wrong?” with a phone and a taxi emoji.
Perhaps he should have boycotted the event as he threatened to earlier in the year, when it was announced the Logies were moving from Melbourne after 30 years.
After all, it may have at least saved him face as he slinks down in the chart of Australia’s heart.
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