Today show employee reveals what it is REALLY like behind the scenesforever

Today show employee reveals what it is REALLY like behind the scenesforever

They are Australia’s most recognisable faces, who appear in the living rooms of hundreds of thousands of viewers every morning, but have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes of the Today show?  

I had a front row seat to the rivalries, set blunders and technical meltdowns that were all part of a days work on one of the nation’s highest rating breakfast television programs.

The glitz and the glam of the entertainment industry had lured me into the job, I was thrilled to be working alongside the likes of household names like Karl Stefanovic and Dickie Wilkins.  

The typical day involves a 4am start for most employees — but that’s not when Ally and Karl arrive.

Brooke Boney with Karl Stefanovic, Allison Langdon, Alex Cullen and Tim Davies on the set of the Today show

Brooke Boney with Karl Stefanovic, Allison Langdon, Alex Cullen and Tim Davies on the set of the Today show 

Karl is known for ordering cheeseburgers at 7am on Fridays and has great chemistry with co-host Ally

Karl is known for ordering cheeseburgers at 7am on Fridays and has great chemistry with co-host Ally

They need to go through wardrobe and make-up before they go to air — and this can leave you scrambling to get the hosts into position on time to record what’s called an  ‘opener’ in breakfast TV, which is basically a pre-recorded sequence of the most important news headlines of the day. 

The show goes live-to-air at exactly 5:29am, but very occasionally, one of the hosts either sleeps in, or calls in sick at 3am, so they are replaced with a newsreader from the 5am bulletin, while the crew work out who’s going to replace them that morning.

Breakfast television is not for aloe vera fit c9 the faint-hearted and when something goes wrong, dodging a profanity-riddled meltdown may prove more difficult than avoiding an on-air technical malfunction.     

The hosts are known for always looking glamourous on camera, but may discretely be sporting a pair of Ugg boots or even going shoeless if their feet are out of shot. 

In my first week on the job I saw Karl casually strut across the set floor in his Uggs after finishing reading a serious news bulletin.  

Karl once wore the same blue Burberry suit every day for a year as part of his 2014 ‘Sexism Experiment’.

He wore the same threads alongside his former co-host Lisa Wilkinson to test if viewers noticed their wardrobe choice. 

Karl, to my surprise, regularly arrives sporting a T-shirt, board shorts and thongs in the Channel Nine carpark as he makes his way to the studio.

Karl made a comeback to breakfast television in November 2019 alongside Ally after being dumped from the show a year earlier

Karl made a comeback to breakfast television in November 2019 alongside Ally after being dumped from the show a year earlier

The Today show averages about 230,000 viewers across the major capital cities while rivals Sunrise has about 270,000 tuning in

The Today show averages about 230,000 viewers across the major capital cities while rivals Sunrise has about 270,000 tuning in

When working in a studio control room you spend a lot of time looking at cameras, which means you become accustomed to the daily habits of the people who front them.  

Karl loves burnt toast and every morning flames his bread to a crisp, so much so that I once thought it was Vegemite. 

After Channel Nine migrated to their North Sydney studio at Denison St, Karl began ordering McDonald’s at the end of each working week, known as ‘Cheeseburger Fridays’, with staff being treated to fast food at 7am.

Two large McDonald’s bags would make their way from the studio floor to the upstairs control room, with one filled to the brim with cheeseburgers, and the other hash browns. 

Georgie Gardner (pictured, left)  and Deb Knight (pictured, right) rarely spoke during commercial breaks while Richard Wilkins' (pictured, middle) real age is a tightly-guarded secret

Georgie Gardner (pictured, left)  and c9 weight loss price Deb Knight (pictured, right) rarely spoke during commercial breaks while Richard Wilkins’ (pictured, middle) real age is a tightly-guarded secret

Karl would take any opportunity to plug a fast-food brand on-air, in a secret bid to have the executive producer place a delivery to the studio.

I will never forget the disappointment felt on National Fried Chicken Day when a producer forgot to place a special order of KFC to be delivered to the studio outside the store’s opening hours.

They say always be prepared for the unexpected on live television and that includes on set injuries.

Ally Langdon, who joined as co-host in 2020, was forced into a hiatus after injuring herself during a pre-recorded hydrofoiling segment on the Gold Coast. 

She had been filming a watersport stunt when she fell, snapping her leg, shattering her knee cap and damaging other ligaments.

Ally returned to the set beaming just four weeks later, with an extra chair placed at the desk to rest her leg on, and laughed off her injuries.

She carried on like it was just another day, much to the surprise of stunned colleagues, who now had another reason to adore her.

Ally rests her injured leg following knee surgery after a pre-recorded water stunt went wrong

Ally rests her injured leg following knee surgery after a pre-recorded water stunt went wrong

Weather anchor Tim Davies was met with a similar fate when he showed up at the studio with his arm in a sling after filming a paddle-boarding weather cross at a Sydney beach. 

Concerned staff queried him on his injury, and he later revealed he’d suffered a dislocated shoulder after waving to his cameraman while in the surf.

An integral indication on whether your day at work is going to be exciting depends on whether the hosts are having fun too.

Karl and Ally actually have great chemistry off screen, often joking around with each other during commercial breaks, and there’s no bad blood between the two. 

That is a stark contrast to former hosts Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight who took over after the so-called ‘Ubergate scandal’ in 2018.

Karl and his brother, Peter Stefanovic, were secretly recorded speaking on a phone by an Uber driver who then leaked details of their conversation to the press.

Deborah Knight (pictured, left) and Georgie Gardner (pictured, right) appeared friendly in front of the camera but the former Today show hosts rarely spoke to staff off air

Deborah Knight (pictured, left) and Georgie Gardner (pictured, right) appeared friendly in front of the camera but the former Today show hosts rarely spoke to staff off air 

There were whispers around the studio for months that he would be dumped and excitement spread amongst staff on who could be the next ‘Karl’, but the under pressure host remained tight-lipped.

Karl was on his honeymoon in the United States with his new wife, Jasmine, when Channel aloe vera 9 day detox announced he would not return in 2019 after 14 years in the hot seat.

Adelaide news presenter Brenton Ragless and Today Extra host David Campbell were mentioned by staff as being in the running, so it came as a shock when Deb got the gig, as she was already around the studio and regularly invited to guest anchor while also juggling morning and afternoon news updates.

Karl silently tiptoed his way out of Channel Nine’s studios and a new generation of breakfast TV started with two women hosting a top-rating morning show, which is rare and almost unheard of in the world of television. 

Karl shows off his famous blue suit he wore every day for a year as part of a 'Sexism Experiment' to see if viewers noticed

Karl shows off his famous blue suit he wore every day for a year as part of a ‘Sexism Experiment’ to see if viewers noticed

These were two respected ‘alpha’ female news readers, who had both held the top job in prime time slots, and for whatever reason, the chemistry wasn’t there between the pair. 

When the cameras stopped rolling, the duo barely spoke or even made eye contact with each other as they were absorbed in their work.They would talk through the producers, with one requesting more stories if she felt the other was having more time on air.  

Today recorded just 155,000 metro viewers on November 1, 2019, a record low, before Deb and Georgie’s time hosting the show was cancelled on November 8.

Sunrise still regularly leads the morning breakfast slot with an about 270,000 Metro Five Capital City viewers while Today has clawed back with 230,000 tuning in.

Richard ‘Dickie’ Wilkins is notoriously known for spending forever aloe c9 in hair and makeup.

While everyone knows how much time he spends on his hair, no one knows how old Dickie really is. 

His Wikipedia profile says he is 67 but rumours continue to persist that he might be older.

When he was recorded getting the Covid-19 vaccine, the camera mysteriously cut away at the moment he was prompted to enter his age.

Today Extra hosts Belinda Russell, reporter Lizzie Pearl and David Campbell film one of their viral TikTok videos

Today Extra hosts Belinda Russell, reporter Lizzie Pearl and David Campbell film one of their viral TikTok videos 

Belinda Russell is TikTok obsessed and often records her dance routines with studio guests and her Today Extra co-host David Campbell.

Her videos are so popular that they once caught the attention of Jennifer Lopez’ ex, with Alex Rodriguez sliding into her DMs. 

The show receives the most complaints about the weather being wrong. 

If a temperature is read incorrectly, or a state is forgotten, viewers don’t hesitate to voice their outrage. 

Bathroom breaks are difficult when working on live television, with staff only allowed to leave their positions during commercial breaks, which run an average of three-minutes long.

Most staff are seen frantically running to the bathroom with a stopwatch in tow to ensure they make it back on time. 

Despite the on-air chaos and gruelling hours, the Today show was definitely one of the most unique and fun places to work, with no workday being the same. 

But since leaving  the show, I’m relishing sleeping in and no longer waking up with Today. 

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