Awkward times on the Today Show after it was announced over the weekend that Georgie Gardner was leaving and Karl Stefanovic would be returning next year.

Tom Steinfort was filling in and addressed Gardner’s absence with Deb Knight.

“We wanted to acknowledge our colleague and friend Georgie Gardner,” Knight told viewers.

“You might have read over the weekend that Georgie has left the Today show. After a really challenging year we want to wish Georgie all the very best.”

Steinfort then added:

“She has been a committed and passionate member of the team here. I think particularly when she’s been sharing the stories of every day Australians who are doing it tough; these are issues that she wanted to focus on.

“She has always been a woman of strength here, a woman of class, and also who could forget very wicked sense of humour that would just pop up from time to time as well.”

Things got awkward though when Knight jumped in with what seemed like a patronising comment:

“She gave it a red hot go.”

“For now though, Georgie is enjoying the time with her family, friends, taking Wilbur the dog (for a walk) and we look forward to seeing you on our screens again very soon.”

“Enjoy the sleep ins,” Steinfort then added.

Georgie told the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday that she was consulted two weeks ago about the changes coming to Today saying she was “disappointed” with the decision.

“I have no regrets, even though the scrutiny and public discourse has been daunting and disproportionate. It’s also at times been cruel,” she added.

It’s believed Gardner will now return to reporting duties on Nine News.

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