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Andy Lee confirms he turned down Today hosting role: ‘Didn’t float my boat’


The TV, radio and podcast star has finally confirmed a longstanding rumour about Nine’s breakfast program.

Andy Lee has confirmed that he was once asked to step in as host on the Today show as it struggled following the departure of Karl Stefanovic.

The TV and radio star – who now hosts Nine series The Hundred With Andy Lee, which returns for season two on Channel 9 tomorrow night – told podcast I’ve Got News For You that he’d been sounded out on the role in 2019, as the struggling breakfast show attempted to claw its way out of a ratings slump.

“We’d had that chat, about whether I’d be interested in looking at that,” the Hamish and Andy star, 40, told host Andrew Bucklow.

“But the fact of getting up that early … it’s the same reason that Hamish [Blake] and I wouldn’t do breakfast radio. The idea of getting up that early didn’t float my boat.”

Lee added: “But that stuff happens all the time with all shows across all networks – people sound you out to see if you might be interested.”

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Rumours had swirled in late 2019 that the popular comedian had been approached about stepping in as co-host on the troubled breakfast program, which was then hosted by Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight.

Lee has a longstanding relationship with Channel 9 and has regularly appeared on the Today show over the years to promote his various TV and radio shows and kids’ books.

However, by November that year it was confirmed that Karl Stefanovic was returning to the show just 12 months after being dumped amid a turbulent personal period, and would be joined by 60 Minutes reporter Allison Langdon.

“I thought my time was up, but then, when I was sounded out about it, it got me thinking,” Stefanovic told the Sydney Morning Herald at the time, adding that it was a “big job with enormous pressures” … “but also without question the best live TV job in Australia.”

During his IGNFY appearance, Lee also opened up about his cringeworthy interview with comedian Jerry Seinfeld on the Hamish and Andy radio show back in 2007.

“I think maybe we were just young and nervous and really wanted to make an impression on one of the greatest comedians in the world… and it didn’t quite go to plan,” he admitted.

“There was one particular moment when, in my first question for Bee Movie, I said, ‘Why bees? Why not wasps, why not beetles?’ and he said, ‘That’s the worst question I’ve ever been asked’.

“I didn’t think was that fair, because I thought it was a good enough question for him to be able to talk about his film. But then with my second question, he said, ‘That’s a good question!’, and I said, ‘Well, haven’t I bounced back!’”



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