Karl addresses Today show ‘return’
Karl Stefanovic has addressed the growing speculation that he's set to make a return to breakfast television.
The former Today co-host was one of the celebrities who took part in Fitzy and Wippa's backyard cricket game yesterday at Kirribilli House.
It's the second time Stefanovic has played in the Nova cricket game, and this morning he called into the show for a debrief.
"When I messaged Karl to say thanks for being part of the team, he wrote back: 'Haven't lost one mate'," Wippa said on Nova.
"So mate, you're the lucky charm?"
Stefanovic joked: "Well, that's what I keep trying to tell Channel 9, that I'm the lucky charm. If they want to pad me up and send me in I'm ready to go in and we'll have a win."
Stefanovic's quip comes amid speculation he is set to return to the Today show next year after being axed from the program while on his honeymoon in December 2018.
The Channel 9 breakfast show has struggled in the ratings since his departure and earlier this week suffered its worst result for the year.
Today, which is hosted by Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner, pulled in just 163,000 viewers (five city metro) on Wednesday compared with Channel 7's Sunrise, which had 277,000 viewers.
It marks the lowest audience result for the show in its history and the dire ratings have only fuelled rumours that the show's line-up will once again be changed next year.
"Nine right now are looking at their options," TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight, who is best known for creating and producing Studio 10, recently told news.com.au.
"It's no surprise to anyone that Nine would be sitting back and going, 'Do we continue with what we've got and try and evolve it or do we start again?' he said.
"I think we're at a 50/50 split as to whether the line-up will change next year."
Stefanovic is rumoured to be campaigning for his old job behind the scenes, and McKnight told news.com.au that his return to the show would almost certainly result in a ratings boost.
"Karl coming back to the show will absolutely have a positive effect and will draw initial interest," McKnight told news.com.au. "But if Karl goes back into the same show that it is now, it will be destined to fail.
"This is an opportunity for Nine to look at the format of Today and go, 'What can we do that will differentiate ourselves to Sunrise?'
"Karl is the ace up their sleeve that they still have. The question is whether or not they will do it."
KIIS FM radio host Kyle Sandilands recently urged Channel 9 to reinstate Stefanovic on Today, telling news.com.au: "If they put Karl back in there as the main host with those two female co-anchors, that thing would kick a**e, everyone knows it.
"It's as if they (Channel 9 executives) won't do it because they'll look stupid. But you don't need to be a great programmer to realise that if you put Karl back, everything is fixed."
If Stefanovic is reinstated on the program, 60 Minutes star Allison Langdon is firming as a favourite to be his co-host.
Langdon was the main host at Channel 9's Upfronts presentation in Sydney two weeks ago in front of clients and media.
According to The Daily Telegraph's Annette Sharp, the showcase was meant to be hosted by Knight, but executives changed their minds just a day before and gave the gig to Langdon in what could prove to be a telling move.
"Langdon has long been favoured as a future Today show host, and with Nine expected to replace either Knight or her co-host Georgie Gardner - or both - at year's end, rumours have surfaced that Langdon could once again be in executives' sights," Sharp wrote.