Georgie reveals why Karl was dumped
Georgie Gardner is the last woman standing as Nine looks to breathe life back into the Today show, as bosses hope a massive switch-up in on-screen talent will boost its dwindling numbers.
But, as she adjusts to the major changes in her working life, she has reflected on her professional relationship with one high-profile colleague about which so much has been said and written.
That colleague is, of course, breakfast television's former golden boy Karl Stefanovic, who was unceremoniously axed from the show during his honeymoon in Mexico last month.
Saying "nobody cared about the truth" because it would ruin the narrative, the 48-year-old mother-of-two and trusted on-screen broadcaster told the magazine the constant media coverage of an alleged rift led to Karl's sudden departure.
"Maybe I was naive; I thought the truth would prevail and the lies would dissipate, but management came to the realisation at the end of the year that we just couldn't get any clear air," she said. "Something had to give, but we were both really, really sad because we wanted it to work."
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH GEORGIE IN STELLAR
It's a different picture to the relationship to one painted by Nine insiders - one of whom claimed she "hates Karl and has done for some time", shortly after the co-host was ousted.
The insider told The Daily Telegraph: "Georgie simply demanded she won't work with Karl anymore."
Some believed the partnership was doomed from the beginning after it was reported Gardner quit her role as the Today newsreader in 2014 in part due to Stefanovic's blokey on-air antics.
A year ago, The Sunday Telegraph talked to inside sources at the breakfast TV show who reportedly claimed the pair could not stand one another - with Stefanovic taking the view Gardner was "humourless".
It was then the senior executive detailed a promise that was reportedly made to Gardner.
"She signed on to the show after having been assured she would only have to do one year with Karl," the newspaper reported.
"After that, he's gone and Nine will recast and she will get to work with someone else."
Gardner also reportedly met with Nine bosses late last year and asked for her co-host to be dumped because of poor ratings and embarrassing headlines, according to The Daily Telegraph.
"Georgie simply demanded she won't work with Karl anymore," a Channel 9 executive told the Telegraph.
And then there was the fallout after comments Stefanovic made about Gardner during the infamous Uber phone call.
But in the Stellar interview, Gardner said she was not offended by the comments and Stefanovic had come to see her "mortified and apologising profusely".
Just over a year ago, Gardner commented on the rumoured tension during a segment of the show.
"There's been a lot of conjecture over the last few weeks about how we feel about each other," she said to Stefanovic on-air.
"We've had our bumps, we've had our laughs, we have a very open and honest relationship. Strap yourself in everyone, because anything could happen."
Speaking on the Hit Network's Hughesy & Kate show in July, they confirmed there was friction between the two of them.
"There's a fraction of friction between you two," Kate Langbroek said to the Channel 9 stars.
"A fraction too much friction," replied Georgie.
"Is there too much?" asked Langbroek.
"Occasionally," Georgie said.
The pair were asked what they last fought about and Georgie said: "There was a bit of tension on our thoughts on Donald Trump.
"And then there was the time that you got a bit narky that I had a slightly bigger dressing room," Georgie said to Karl.
"I had a full meltdown," Karl joked.
However, after Karl was axed in December, Georgie appeared to fondly reflect on the time she had worked with Karl.
She posted a picture of herself and her former co-host smiling and laughing on Instagram and acknowledged it had been a "tough week, a challenging year" for the ousted journalist.
"Huge congratulations @karlstefanovic_ for a 14 yr tenure hosting one of TV's most demanding gigs. You brought a new brand, straddling the serious stories along with endless laughs (see YouTube!)
"You taught me plenty, it was never boring. X"