Ben Fordham's farewell from Today show in 2014.
Ben Fordham's farewell from Today show in 2014. Simon Bullard

Karl’s been threatening to leave Today for years

BEN Fordham has revealed that Karl Stefanovic's been threatening to quit to Today show for seven years.

Chatting to Rachel Corbett on her podcast You've Gotta Start Somewhere, Fordham talked about his decision to walk away from the Channel Nine breakfast show in 2014 and how Stefanovic tried to convince him to stay.

"Karl told me I wasn't going," Fordham recalled.

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"It's funny, he said, 'Mate, I'll just do one more year and then you'll take over as host.' I was like, 'Karl, you're not the Chief Executive of the network, you're not the EP, you don't make decisions like that'."

Fordham said he didn't believe that Stefanovic would actually quit the show, adding, "and sure enough I was right, he's still there!"

"He's been claiming for about seven years, 'This is my last year, this is my last year'," Fordham said about Stefanovic.

Fordham joined the Today show in 2011 and told Corbett during the podcast how the offer to join the program came about.

"Tom Malone was the boss of the Today show and he's a good mate of mine," the popular presenter said.

"I was giving him a bit of advice about the Today show because we've always given each other career advice. I said, 'you need a full-time sports guy,' because they didn't have one at the time."

Fordham was adamant that he wasn't angling for the job because he considered himself a "news guy" and had vowed not to go back to being a sports reporter which he'd done earlier in his career.

"He [Malone] then called me back and said, 'Hey listen, what about you? Why don't you do it?'" Fordham said.

"I said, 'I've kind of moved on from sport, I'm a news guy.' And he said, 'But it doesn't matter. It's not about sport. It's about being part of that ensemble.'"

At the same time he joined the Today show, Fordham was also offered the chance to host the drive time radio show on 2GB.

It meant he'd be doing live TV for three-and-a-half hours every morning and then three hours of live radio every afternoon.

"I said, 'I'm going to do both for one year ... and then I'll choose one at the end of that'," Fordham told Corbett.

But that's not what happened.

"I did both for four years," he said.

"It was only when Jodie [Fordham is married to Jodie Speers] fell pregnant with Freddie, our first born, that I was like, 'OK, I'm going to say goodbye to being on the Today show'."

Fordham left the Channel Nine show at the end of 2014 but occasionally fills in as co-host when Karl Stefanovic is away. And he can still be heard on 2GB from 3-6pm each weekday.

You can listen to the full Ben Fordham interview on the You've Gotta Start Somewhere podcast

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