Aren’t you meant to be away? Karl Stefanovic mysteriously appears outside his HOME clad in R.M. Williams hours after Nine said the Today host was off on ‘special assignment’ – ahead of the release of Lisa Wilkinson’s shocking tell-all memoir
He’s the man at the centre of one of Australian TV’s biggest water-cooler moments – but Karl Stefanovic has conveniently ducked the glare of the spotlight by skipping his Today hosting duties to tackle a mysterious ‘special assignment’.
The smiling host, dressed for business in an RM Williams vest and boots, was spotted outside his north shore mansion just before lunch on Thursday – after he was hastily replaced on air by Today Extra host David Campbell.
His absence from the Today couch was explained on-air by his co-host Alison Langdon who said Stefanovic is set to miss two days work due to a separate assignment – believed to be a top-secret 60 Minutes report.
It was a timely move for the breakfast show host who is at the centre of swirling controversy surrounding the yet-to-be-released memoir of Lisa Wilkinson, his former Today show co-host for more than a decade.
All smiles: Karl Stefanovic (pictured) mysteriously appeared outside his home on Thursday clad in R.M. Williams just hours after Channel Nine said the Today star was off on ‘special assignment’ – ahead of the release of Lisa Wilkinson’s shocking tell-all memoir
The book titled It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This, which is released on November 3, allegedly blows the lid off the pay furore which ultimately led to Wilkinson jumping ship to Channel Ten in 2017.
However some of the books most explosive claims have already been disputed in the wake of publishers Harper Collins Australia releasing a handful of preview copies to the media.
The most significant is Wilkinson’s take on the actual pay disparity between she and Stefanovic – which she describes in the book as ‘double’ at the time she left Nine.
Sources have since claimed that it was actually Wilkinson who was the original big earner – collecting a mammoth $700,000 salary when she signed on to Today in 2006.
Stefanovic’s salary at the time was a comfy but modest $350,000 a year.
No sooner had the counter-claims been aired by news.com.au than Harper Collins Australia allegedly demanded the website’s preview book be returned to the publishers.
On mysterious assignment: The smiling host, dressed for business in an RM Williams vest and boots, was spotted outside his north shore mansion just before lunch on Thursday – after he was hastily replaced on air by Today Extra host David Campbell
All business! Stefanovic goes full RM Williams as he heads off on a 60 Minutes assignment
Wilkinson is yet to comment on the holes being poked in her version of what went down amid one of television’s biggest defections.
The magazine editor turned morning TV doyenne famously walked away from Nine after they refused to match Stefanovic’s hefty $2million per-year salary in October 2017.
Lisa Wilkinson’s tell-all is still one week away from release (pictured above hosting The Project)
Soon after Stefanovic also found himself promptly booted from the network amid his divorce and subsequent over-the-top Mexican wedding and the now-infamous ‘Uber-gate’ scandal.
However the prodigal son of the network has since made managed to work his way back in favour at Nine where he juggles Today, various 60 Minutes assignments and now Celebrity Apprentice which is currently in production.