Today show host Karl Stefanovic was forced to leave the set 40 minutes into filming this morning’s episode thanks to a nasty cough.
Stefanovic had been coughing since filming began at 5:30am and had left the set by 6:10am.
Prior to leaving, the 44-year-old joked to his co-host Georgie Gardner he’d happily write her a sick note before leaving.
Just before he left, Gardner said: “You’ve presented me with a sick note a little earlier, and I’ve had a good read, and I think I might give you permission to go home.’
Stefanovic responded: “Thanks… I don’t feel very well.
“And we don’t really care to share your germs!” Gardner added.
Newsreader Deborah Knight then told Stefanovic: “Go to bed, for goodness sake!”
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) October 25, 2018
The walk off follows a turbulent few months for Today, with Nine CEO Hugh Marks vowing to “stick by” Stefanovic.
In late September, Marks played down media reports that Stefanovic was “gone” and would be replaced following plummeting ratings at the breakfast show.
Speaking to The Australian, Marks agreed that the ongoing negative press surrounding Stefanovic’s personal life had proven an unwanted distraction.
Marks said it has been a “tough and challenging year” for Stefanovic before adding: “No doubt the constant publicity surrounding issues with his personal life have had an impact on Karl, his colleagues and on the show. We can’t hide from that. And as a result we know there’s a lot of hard work to be done to win back the audience.
“We stick by our people at Nine and we’ve put the challenge on the Today show producers, the presenters and, especially, on Karl to regain the trust and loyalty of our audience. And I have every confidence they will do it,” he told The Oz.