Lisa Wilkinson weighs in on Karl’s return
Lisa Wilkinson has opened up about Karl Stefanovic's impending return to the Today Show - and she's as surprised as the rest of us.
Speaking to Hit 105 FM's Abby, Stav and Matt, The Project host was asked what she thought of the announcement.
After months of speculation amid plummeting ratings, it was revealed Stefanovic would be returning a year after he was sacked last month, ousting Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight from the panel.
"Look I was surprised because he now knows what it's like to sleep past that 3am alarm," Wilkinson said of the decision.
"But he clearly feels like there is some unfinished business so I can't wish those guys anything but luck," she added.
"They've have obviously had a tough couple of years (and) I wish them well, when you know the pain of that 3am alarm and you are still prepared to do the hard yards I wish them luck."
Wilkinson, who left the Today show in 2017 after a pay disparity dispute with the network, went on to say she and Stefanovic were still good friends.
"Oh god there was no falling out," she said when asked about the rumours the pair no longer spoke.
"Karl and I still text each other and we still see each other from time to time, but he is hopeless at catching up.
"He'll say lets have dinner on Saturday night and then you don't hear from him again, so Karl I'm still waiting for dinner."
The two had hosted the program together for a decade, but Wilkinson left the show abruptly in 2017 after Nine bosses refused to pay her the same as Stefanovic.
She defected to Channel 10, where she now hosts The Sunday Project and appears on the weeknight panel regularly.
"There were lots of reasons why it was time to make a move, and that (pay gap) was part of it. I was very happy that it reignited the conversation, because the gender pay gap is real," she said.
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It's been a helluva week. I'm only sorry that I never got the chance to say goodbye to you all...the incredibly supportive, engaged, opinionated, clever and wonderfully diverse audience of Today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the fun years we shared, and for welcoming me into your homes each morning. It has been an absolute privilege. Lisa.xxx PS. This pic is from Karl's and my very first publicity shoot way back in May 2007. Look at us, we were babies!!
But despite being able to raise awareness about the issue, Wilkinson said she felt a little sad about how her time on the show ended.
"These things are always a learning curve. That's also really good for you," she said.
"TV can be shallow, there's no headline news there, but the relationships that really matter to me are intact."
Following Stefanovic's sensational dumping at the end of last year, Wilkinson threw her support behind her former colleague in a post to Instagram wishing him the best.
"Because when it was good, it was great …" she wrote beneath a gallery of photos of them together.
Karl Stefanovic will host Today with Weekend Today host Allison Langdon next year.