‘OK… there’s some Asians here as well’: Incredibly awkward pause on Today as Tony Jones’s comment about the Australian Open turning Melbourne into ‘a little Europe’ backfires badly
- Awkward conversation between Tony Jones and Tom Steinfort mocked online
- Jones praised the ‘little Europe’ atmostphere of the Australian Open last week
- Steinfort corrected him, adding there was a ‘fair few people from Asia as well’
- ‘OK… there’s some Asians here as well Tom,’ Jones said after a ‘pregnant pause’
- The clip has been viewed more than 350,000 times on Twitter as of Monday
The new Today Show panel has been mocked for its awkward chemistry after an ‘excruciating’ conversation between presenters Tony Jones and Tom Steinfort.
The Nine program was broadcasting from the Australian Open in Melbourne last week when Jones said he loved ‘hearing all the different accents’ at the grand slam.
‘It’s just like our own little Europe for two weeks,’ Jones said.
That prompted news anchor Steinfort to crack up laughing: ‘A fair few people from Asia as well here.’
After a brief pause, Jones replied: ‘OK, there’s some Asians here as well Tom.’
Sports broadcaster Tony Jones said he loved walking around Melbourne Park and hearing all the different accents at the Australian Open, saying ‘it’s like a little Europe’
News anchor Tom Steinfort laughed and said there was ‘a fair few people from Asia as well here’ – leading to a ‘very pregnant’ pause from Jones
The clip went viral over the Australia Day weekend after The Project writer Hunter Smith tweeted the clip, remarking: ‘Jeez, how’s the chemistry over at Today’.
ABC presenter Kumi Taguchi said ‘OMG’ and others commented ‘awkward’ and about the ‘very pregnant pause’.
The video has been viewed more than 350,000 times on Twitter as of Monday morning.
Jones, 57, is a new addition to the program, along with former 60 Minutes reporter Steinfort, veteran anchor Deborah Knight and ex-triple J newsreader Brooke Boney.
The panel are still settling in to the rhythms of live television and the awkward pause came early in the morning at about 5.55am.
A Nine spokeswoman was contacted for comment.
The awkward clip has been viewed more than 350,000 times on Twitter
The new breakfast TV panel (from left to right): sports presenter Tony Jones, anchors Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardner, and news anchor Tom Steinfort
Jones, 57, has found himself at the centre of several viral moments since joining the panel and anchoring part of the network’s tennis coverage.
Tennis fans raged over Jones’s post-victory interview with women’s champion Naomi Osaka at the weekend.
Jones quipped that he wasn’t ‘sure how you carried it all the way’ after she hauled the winning trophy to the Nine set and remarked ‘there’s the smile’.
Some punters took issue with the way Jones broached Osaka’s heritage and how it took some time for her grandparents to ‘come on board’ with her playing tennis.
‘Cringeworthy, awkward, pathetic, and disrespectful,’ one viewer fumed. Others said the criticism was unfair and over the top.
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In his first few days on air, Jones was caught reminding himself to be ‘nice and happy’ as the show returned from a commercial break.
He clashed with Boney after she called for Australia Day to be moved from January 26.
Media experts said Nine would be ‘rapt’ with the national debate Boney’s remarks generated.