The hunt is still on for Lisa Wilkinson’s replacement on The Today Show, but the Nine Network is said to be closing in on Deborah Knight after failing to secure frontrunner Georgie Gardner.
News Corp reports that Nine executives wanted Gardner for the high-profile job, but she knocked them back due to the gruelling hours and early morning starts.
Gardner quit her position as the Today newsreader in 2014 so she could spend more time with her two young children and has worked on Nine’s Weekend show ever since.
While fans were shocked when Wilkinson announced her sudden resignation, Nine says Today’s ratings have remained steady with Karl Stefanovic and Knight, who has been filling in for Wilkinson, at the helm.
Knight has proven herself a fan favourite as co-host on the Weekend show over the past two years and has been flooded with praise since stepping up to the task on Today.
The show’s social media pages are filled with messages begging for Knight to be made permanent.
“Really love Karl & Deb together. So relaxing informative & get fun [SIC],” wrote one fan on Instagram.
“Debra knight is lovely, I hope she is permanent,” added another.
Last month, Stefanovic spoke for the first time about Wilkinson’s departure, saying he had “nothing but love” for his former co-host.
“It was strange after 10 years for her not to be next to me,” he told News Corp.
“It’s like dancing with a new partner, I guess. But the show is more important than any one person. And delivering the best possible content to our viewers is the priority.
“We have to get on with it and move forward. We have no choice.”