Rumours swirl that Robert Irwin will replace Karl Stefanovic on Today

TV’s new golden boy has the host worried.
Loading the player...

When you think about Channel Nine’s flagship breakfast program Today, one person springs to mind – Karl Stefanovic.

WATCH: I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here Australia 2024 trailer

The 49-year-old has been the star of the show since he joined it back in 2005. Even after he was let go in 2018, it only took 12 months for him to be reinstated into the hot seat.

“Karl has never really worried about rivals,” one source tells New Idea. That is, until now.

Robert Irwin has been declared the new golden boy of Aussie TV. His assured debut as co-host of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! commandeered the attention of TV bigwigs from all networks.

Robert Irwin wearing a grey cardigan, black shirt and tie walking a fashion runway.
Robert Irwin was named Australia’s most poopular broadcast personality. (Credit: Getty Images)

“Robert was incredibly polished in a difficult live TV environment,” another insider shares. “It’s hard to believe he’s only 20 years old. He’s handling the job like a seasoned pro.”

On the eve of his big debut, Robert was also crowned Australia’s most popular broadcast personality in the respected Australian Talent Index’s 2024 Top Talent Report. Karl didn’t even place in the top 10.

In another poll that ranked the ‘Most Likeable’ stars in breakfast TV and radio, Karl scrapped in at number 10 while his Today co-host, Sarah Abo, took top honours.

Screenshot of Karl Stefanovic and Robert Irwin at Australia Zoo on the Today Show.
Robert has been a guest of Karl’s on the Today show several times.

Our source thinks Karl is probably “very aware” that his TV bosses could be eyeing up Robert as his eventual replacement. In stark contrast to Karl’s many gaffes and dramas – both on-screen and off – Robert is squeaky clean and scandal-free.

While there is no suggestion that Karl’s job on Today is in immediate jeopardy, our source adds, “he knows Robert has already made a hugely positive impact in his first big TV hosting role”.

Next year will mark 20 years since Karl joined Today. Our insider wonders if there might be a sense, behind the scenes, that things have gotten “a little tired and stale”. Today continues to trail behind Channel Seven rival Sunrise in the ratings. 

If Robert continues to flourish on I’m A Celebrity, he will be able to take his pick when it comes to his next TV job, our source says.

“There’s already talk that Nine want to sign him up for something at the network – sooner rather than later,” adds the insider.

For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!

Related stories