Dickie tackles Today axing rumour
RICHARD "Dickie" Wilkins has taken to Instagram to quash rumours that he will be replaced on Channel 9's besieged breakfast show in 2019.
But it is the background of the happy snap that has proven hilariously distracting.
The rumour mill went into overdrive last week following the dumping of long-time host Karl Stefanovic, when several months of negative headlines and dwindling ratings finally became too much for network executives.
Recently minted executive producer of Today, Steve Burling, began a clearing of the decks in a bid to introduce new blood and lure back audiences.
In addition to Stefanovic, newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys confirmed she will depart - it's rumoured she will host a new prime time show instead - while question marks hang over Tim Gilbert and Natalia Cooper.
On Friday, Channel 9 announced Brooke Boney would join the revamped show next year as entertainment reporter.
And today the veteran celebrity correspondent posed with the former Triple J breakfast newsreader in an Instagram snap to cement the fact that Boney is working with him.
"Looking forward to working together," Wilkins wrote, keen to make clear once more that he is not being shafted.
But eagle-eyed strollers pointed out to news.com.au that the social scene regular has quite the eclectic collection of books.
The pair met at Wilkins' Sydney home on Sunday for some bonding, before posing for the happy snap - identical to one Boney posted on her account.
Behind them on the book shelf is a broad mix of music biographies, a historical book about Hitler, and not one but three copies of Wilkins' own memoir, with a paperback titled Sex Life sandwiched between them.
This time last week, speculation ramped up about Wilkins' future, with network sources telling The Sunday Telegraph that he was being shown the door.
A spokesman for Channel 9 insisted he was remaining and that was Boney was an addition to the entertainment ranks.
"I'm really thrilled to be joining the team and so excited to be working alongside Richard Wilkins," Boney said in a statement.
"He's such a legend in the business. It's such an exciting time to be joining Nine and I am looking forward to learning from everyone on the Today team.
"As a young girl growing up in the country I watched Today so it's really awesome to know it'll be my new home."
Boney was a surprise pick for the commercial network, with Channel 9's news director Darren Wicks saying they had decided to look outside the TV world.
The journalist and proud Gamilaroi Gomeroi woman began her career while still at university, working at SBS and NITV where she was appointed the station's political correspondent.
Burling is putting the finishing touches on a total overhaul of Today for the new year, with a slew of new faces and a rejig to the show's tired format.
Details will be announced in coming weeks, a spokesman said.