He wakes up Australia every morning alongside co-host Georgie Gardner on Channel Nine’s the Today show, but Karl Stefanovic was given his marching orders on Friday when he was sent home live on air.
The 44-year-old TV personality looked a little under the weather when the show started at 5.30am and Karl lasted just 40 minutes before he walked off the set, telling viewers he was “taking an early mark”.
Stefanovic was given permission to start his weekend early by co-host Georgie, who told her colleague she didn’t want to share his germs and visibly flinched as he coughed whilst sitting next to her.
“You presented me with a sick note a little earlier,” Georgie said. “I’ve had a good read and I think I might give you permission to go home.
“You’re not well and we don’t really care to share your germs. It’s not very nice to listen to, so I think you better pull up stumps and go home and get to bed. Off you go, get better.”
Before walking off, Karl replied: “Have a great weekend everyone, I’m taking an early mark.” Before joking: “I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go to school mummy.”
His colleagues then joked that they would have to disinfect Karl’s chair with Glen 20 to make sure no one else got sick, as Deborah Knight stepped in to fill his shoes for the remainder of the show.
It has been a tough few months for the Today show star amid rumours that he was set to be dumped from the breakfast show due to plummeting ratings, as Channel Seven’s rival offering Sunrise continues to bag the lion’s share of the ratings.
However Karl’s position on the show was cemented earlier this month when the network released a statement, confirming that the current hosts would continue in their roles in 2019.
“At 5.30am, the nation wakes up with Today, hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner,” the statement read. “In 2019, Australia’s longest running breakfast television program will continue to bring viewers up-to-the-minute news, current affairs, sport, politics, entertainment, fashion, health and lifestyle from Australia and around the world.”