Karl Stefanovic has been spotted, caught up in a series of tense run-ins, as the pressures of his career and personal life appear to be taking their toll.
The 45-year-old looked furious as he attended the Sony Foundation River4Ward lunch recently, leaving onlookers to wonder what could be wrong with the Today host.
At the luncheon, the TV presenter was seen locked in serious discussion with Carrie Bickmore, leading to speculation that the father-of-three could be attempting to lure Carrie over to the Nine Network. The conflict between co-star Georgie Gardner and Karl, since New Idea exclusively broke the Uber-gate scandal – where Karl was overheard slamming his co-stars and network bosses and accusing Georgie of ‘sitting on the fence’ – has left its mark.
Georgie went on air to call her co-host ‘pathetic’ and has been angry and upset at the revelations since.
Karl and Carrie have always been good friends and to have her onside would help ease the on-set tensions enormously.
Coaxing Carrie over wouldn’t be too hard for Karl either.
Since Lisa Wilkinson joined Network Ten’s The Project, there has been plenty of pressure on set, with Carrie threatening to quit the show. With Lisa scoring all the high-profile interviews, insiders have told New Idea the mother-of-two has become increasingly unhappy about Lisa’s role on the show.
If Carrie hopped over to Nine it would be the perfect payback for The Project host and Karl would also get his revenge on Lisa, who called him out for earning more money than she did, before she famously quit from her position on Today.
Tongues were set wagging further when he seemed to have a few cross words with his young fiancee Jasmine.
With rumours that the 35-year-old is pregnant, the row may have revolved around the shoe-designer appearing to pick up a glass of wine to sip.
Looking visibly upset, Karl shot her a glance and Jasmine replaced her vino and opted for a large glass of water instead.
The wine to the lips could have been a decoy to fool onlookers she’s not pregnant by pretending to take a drink – or could it have been Karl showing her a warning card?
All this and more may be the reasons behind what seems to be several verbal outbursts.
The news surfacing that Adelaide newsreader, Brenton Ragless, could potentially replace Karl – who has struggled to maintain face with colleagues, Nine producers and viewers – only adds to Karl’s woes.
And last week, the TV host was called ‘disrespectful’ by his sister-in-law Sylvia Jeffreys and fellow colleagues – when live on air – he referred to the young royals Prince George and Princess Charlotte as ‘aliens’.
Whatever the cause, with his recent spats, fights and tantrums, could Karl be at breaking point?