Georgie Gardner breaks silence on why she left the Today Show: “I just knew it wasn’t going to work.”

It was a turbulent time for the television journalist...
Loading the player...

More than three years on from her sudden departure from the Today Show, Georgie Gardner has shed new light on her decision to leave, and the turbulent time she had hosting the popular breakfast program with Karl Stefanovic. 

The 53-year-old replaced longtime host Lisa Wilkinson who was unceremoniously ousted from the Nine network after reportedly asking for a salary increase to close the gender pay gap between herself and Karl. 

WATCH NOW: Deb Knight and Tom Steinfort give Georgie Gardner an awkward send-off. Article continues after video. 

Speaking on the It’s All Her podcast, Georgie revealed that the endless scrutiny surrounding Lisa quitting the show, as well as the media attention her co-host Karl was receiving as his divorce with now ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn played out made for a difficult working environment. 

“Unfortunately things that were out of my control meant that it was a short-lived stint,” Georgie said. 

“I had a year hosting with Karl, which was a lot of fun. But it was also a period in his personal life where there was a lot going on. And there was a lot of noise,” she continued. 

“We were never sort of able to get traction because there was always so much speculation about his private life. And it was really tough for him. And it was tough for us.”

It was a turbulent time when Georgie was co-hosting the Today Show alongside Karl Stefanovic. (Credit: Supplied)

In December 2018 it was revealed that Karl would be taking a step back from the Today Show permanently, Georgie going on to co-host the show with fellow journalist Deborah Knight from January 2019 onwards. 

But in November the following year, Georgie was removed from the lineup entirely, Channel Nine bringing back their shining star Karl to co-host the Today show alongside Allison Langdon. 

“I was consulted two weeks ago about the future direction of the Today Show and naturally I’m disappointed with the outcome,” she told 9NOW at the time. 

“However I’m very proud to have been part of an innovative and progressive programming decision – the first female hosting duo in Australian television,” she added. 

“My plan now is to return to my first love, and to catch up on some sleep! I am grateful for the support and friendship offered by my Today Show colleagues on-air and behind the scenes and I am humbled by the unwavering loyalty and kindness of viewers.”

Georgie and Deborah made breakfast television history as the first female duo to co-host. (Credit: Nine)

Explaining the decision to remove Georgie from the Today Show lineup, Darren Wick, Director of News at Nine said at the time that despite breaking new ground by appointing two female hosts for the program, the decision hadn’t reflected well in ratings. 

“Georgie is a person of great integrity who has given everything for the past two years in hosting one of the most demanding and high-profile shows on television. She’s loved and admired by her colleagues and she cares passionately about the stories she tells,” he said at the time. 

“We took a bold decision to try something new with two women hosting the Today Show this year and regrettably that has not worked for the audience.”

Georgie added on the podcast that she had also recognised that her co-hosting the show “just wasn’t going to work.”

“So I gracefully exited stage left and just continued on with my news, which is what I’m still doing today,” she said. 

Related stories