Georgie mocks Karl about rumours he’s getting sacked.
Georgie mocks Karl about rumours he’s getting sacked.

Georgie’s zinger about Karl getting sacked

THERE was awkward laughter on the set of the Today show this morning as Georgie Gardner teased Karl Stefanovic about rumours he's been sacked.

The co-hosts had just finished interviewing a beauty salon owner when Karl asked Georgie if she thinks he should get his eyebrows done.

"I've never looked that closely but now that you bring it up, yes, there are a few stray eyebrows there that could be waxed, and in fact, I might be your woman for the job," she replied.

Karl suggested that Georgie should wax him live on the Today show next week, saying, "Who's not gonna watch that on Monday morning?"

"If you want to see that … Georgie wax Karl, send us an email," he said.

Georgie joked that she'd misunderstood and made a hitting motion at Karl as she said, "Oh, wax as in 'whacks'?"

 

Wax or whacks?
Wax or whacks?

 

"Not axe," Karl replied, taking the joke further.

As the co-hosts giggled, Georgie said, "Apparently you've already been axed!"

Today show crew members could be heard laughing awkwardly in the background as Karl laughed.

"Gone," he said referencing reports of his impending sacking. "A couple of weeks ago."

Those reports, which came out in late September, claimed that Channel 9 bosses were preparing to let go of Karl after two years of unending negative publicity and a horror slump in the breakfast show's ratings.

A damning report in The Sunday Telegraph quoted senior sources at the network saying that Stefanovic won't return to Today in the new year.

Nine's chief executive Hugh Marks publicly issued a challenge to the star, describing 2018 as a "tough and challenging year for Karl and Today," and demanding the breakfast show lift its game.

"No doubt the constant publicity surrounding issues with his personal life have had an impact on Karl, his colleagues and on the show. We can't hide from that. And as a result we know there's a lot of hard work to be done to win back the audience," he told The Australian.

Marks insisted that Nine would not drop Stefanovic.

"We stick by our people at Nine and we've put the challenge on the Today show producers, the presenters and, especially, on Karl to regain the trust and loyalty of our audience. And I have every confidence they will do it."

The 44-year-old's messy marriage breakup, swift rebound with model Jasmine Yarbrough - almost a decade his junior - and embarrassing public trashing of his co-host Georgie Gardner have seen an ongoing slump in the show's female viewership.

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarborough at the races. Picture: Ian Currie
Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarborough at the races. Picture: Ian Currie

 

That demographic, which once made up a significant chunk of Today's ratings, "basically now think he is an a**hole", media analyst Steve Allen told The Sunday Telegraph.

"And who could blame them really," Mr Allen said.

"Here you have his ex-wife who supported him and raised his kids and she's left out in the cold while he is off with his younger girlfriend in various exotic locations on holidays every other week.

"For Nine to think that there is any other reason viewers are off the show is, to me, just complete denial."

The show's ratings dive began in September 2016 at the same time Stefanovic was first pictured with his new girlfriend.

Matters weren't helped when he was caught slagging off Gardner in the back of an Uber in a phone call with his brother Peter Stefanovic.

And the damaging defection of Lisa Wilkinson to Network Ten, apparently over the much lower salary she was receiving compared to Stefanovic, also hurt.

Since then, he has failed to shake a cloud of negativity that continued to impact viewer numbers.

Stefanovic was once one of the network's most popular faces, with ambitions to move across to a coveted full-time role on 60 Minutes.

He has steered a number of stand-alone shows, including the disastrous panel show The Verdict and up-and-down This Time Next Year.

Attempts at rehabilitating his image with glossy magazine images and more female-focused editorials on air have failed.


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