Nine’s Today hosts react to Lisa’s sudden exit


lisaTODAY has addressed Lisa Wilkinson’s sudden departure from the show, with Karl Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys delivering emotional tributes to their former co-star after admitting the news had come as “a bit of a shock”.

Wilkinson sensationally announced her departure from the Nine breakfast program last night, revealing she was defecting to Ten to join The Project.

It’s widely believed contract negotiations between the network and the Today star had stalled after Nine refused to double her salary to give her equal pay to Stefanovic.

Weekend Today host Deb Knight was called in as a last-minute replacement, after it was revealed Wilkinson would not be returning.

Discussing his co-host’s shock departure during the show this morning, an emotional Stefanovic thanked Wilkinson for their decade behind the desk together.

“For 10 years, Lisa has dragged herself out of bed at 3:30 in the morning, fed the dogs and cats, put a load of washing on and came into work to inform you of what was happening in the world,” he began.

“For 10 years, she handled the brutal hours with grace, beauty and intelligence and a wicked sense of humour. For whatever reason she won’t be doing that anymore. It is safe to say we are all a little shocked and it will take time to sink in.

“So for now this: Thank you. Thank you for the laughs, the sage advice, the calmness, oh, the calmness. And thank you for all of your support. Thank you for being a great colleague. Thanks for being a great interviewer. Thanks for being a great dancer and a truly, truly terrible singer. Thanks for being a great mum. I know you value that more than anything else and thank you for being a great friend.

“The rest I will leave for when I see you but whatever you do, and wherever you go, you do so having made your mark on this show and on this man.

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

“Mostly you go with my love, lots of love, all my love. We will see you soon, maybe after midday. Enjoy the sleep-ins.”

Sylvia Jeffreys was struggling to hold back tears as she paid tribute to her former co-star, who she credited with being an inspiration to girls and women all over the country.

“It has been an enormous, a tremendous privilege to share a part of Lisa’s Today Show experience and it is a tremendous privilege to share a beautiful friendship with her and I know that continues for a very long time to come,” she said.

“I did speak with Lisa last night and I thanked her and I congratulated her because ultimately this is an exciting time. It is the start of a brilliant and exciting new chapter and I will be cheering her on as I always do as she takes on this next challenge.