‘Everyone is really good friends off-camera’: Karl looks back on 40 years of Today

There’s a certain magic when it comes to morning television, and as Australia’s longest-running breakfast show, Today has had enough.

It’s been 40 years Today first aired on Nine in 1982 with Steve Liebmann and Sue Kellaway. Liebmann left the show for a while before returning to the helm in 1990.

It seems appropriate for that current host Karl Stefanovic has followed a similar trajectory when it comes to hosting tasks and he loves every second.

“It’s actually really great,” he tells 9Honey.

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Ally and Karl today
Karl Stefanovic and Ally Langdon have been hosting together since 2020. (Today)

“This is the best it’s been, in my experience, and everyone is really good friends off-camera. And that’s no small thing for the previous teams, it’s been a really great couple of years for us, even though we’ve come through real extremes in what has happened in the world.

“With COVID, sometimes we were the only ones here, the only ones in the entire network who were in the studio.”

“We’ve been through a lot in that period of time,” Stefanovic says, before Brooke Boney intervenes: “Maybe too much!”

Together with weather host Tim Davies, who is currently broadcasting from the US, the Today team is together for the long term.

Today show 40th birthday
‘During that period we got to experience a lot from each other.’ (Today)

Stefanovic continues: “There was a lot of cabin fever going on, but if you can get through that, I think it was symptomatic of what was going on out there in viewerland. That we got through that without killing everyone else is proof of how we all get along.

“It’s been some really tough years, and I think everyone really knows, to be in everyone’s living room for 40 years, it’s such an incredible position and privileged position to be in. And for a show that lasts so long takes is unbelievable.”

“That we got through that without killing each other is proof of how we all get along.”

Allison Langdon took part in the show in 2020 and presented Weekend today since 2018, in addition to: 60 minutes where she has been working since 2011. The transition from the more serious stories she told on the nighttime tough to the more diverse content featured on Today wasn’t as difficult as it normally would have been.

“When I first started three years ago, we only had serious stories all the time,” Langdon, 43, tells 9Honey.

Today show 40th birthday
Today at the Logies 2022. (Today)

“We had wildfires, then floods, then the pandemic, but now we’ve found a bit of a groove and it’s pretty fun. You can have a serious news day and that’s fine, and you can still find the fun and the lightness. “

Langdon says she enjoyed watching clips of Today over the past 40 years, she has been described as “incredible”.

This week, the team recalled episodes, including a live birth and interviews that took sudden and dramatic turns.

“There are some great characters,” Langdon says.

Although one could argue that the biggest Aussie character is sitting next to her in the form of one Karl Stefanovic who is usually at the forefront when it comes to “fun and lightness”.

Today show 40th birthday
The team says they are a family and can get along off set, which has been key to their success. (Today)

“Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on who you ask, it usually comes at the expense of Karl,” Langdon jokes.

“But luckily his shoulders are broad enough, a little wider than what they were 13 years ago when he started on the show.”

She reveals that, in a departure from his antics when delicious treats are presented on set, Stefanovic likes to start his day with an egg white omelette, which he confirms. Langdon loves her egg white omelette with bacon, fetta and spinach.

“Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on who you ask, it usually comes at Karl’s expense.”

Before we can get to Boney’s breakfast of choice, the pair start talking about “porridge port” and laugh, recalling the sight of Alex Cullen’s face falling after his breakfast of choice wasn’t what he had hoped. The father of three young children was tired and hungry, and perhaps there were still some hurt feelings from yet another loss to his beloved NRL team, the Parramatta Eels.

However, Langdon and Stefanovic say the newscaster is usually “cool, calm and collected”, and if the “porridge gate” actually happened, we get the impression it was a joke. That’s just how this team rolls.

Today show 40th birthday
The fun they have in the air continues off camera. (Today)

It is the genuine affection that Langdon and Stefanovic share that drives this new one Today seamlessly transmitted both on-screen and off-screen, and that goes for the friendships between the two hosts, as well as Boney and Cullen.

Boney, 35, is in her fourth year with Todaywho joined the team in 2019 as an entertainment reporter, telling 9Honey that time has gone “so fast.”

“I mean, most of it we’re locked up in, though,” she says, adding that it’s served to bring the team closer “because we basically had each other alone during the lockdown.”

A Gamilaroi woman who grew up in Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Boney began her radio career with ABC and Triple J and NITV (National Indigenous Television) before joining the Today† She is proud to represent the First Nations people and what can be achieved.

“It’s amazing, it’s an incredible privilege,” she told 9Honey.

Today show 40th birthday
And anyone appearing on Today is sure to be swept up in the fun chatter. (Today)

“I always looked at the Today show when I was growing up and to be a part of it, it’s something I never thought would be possible. I hadn’t even thought about it.

“Now when you look at the other shows, all the other shows have native talent. I think that just proved that if you give them a chance, they’ll show you that they can do a really good job, but the point is forge your foot between the door and a path.”

Stefanovic describes Boney as a “trailblazer”.

“And you remain,” he says, “and innovative and an exceptional person and also a great professional at what you do.”

Langdon adds that Boney carries a special energy and is “so fast” that she sometimes struggles to keep up.

Boney says her mother Leonie is happy to be included on the show, as she had previously appeared to discuss her daughter’s love life and to marry her off to Zac Efron.

“She volunteered to do it,” she says.

Along with Tim Davies who is currently in the US, the Today team is together for the long haul. (Delivered)

“When they stitched me up trying to get Zac Efron to Muswellbrook so my mother could formally initiate marriage proceedings, I was shocked and dismayed. My mother thought it was hilarious and completely appropriate.

“She loves it because people come up to her and say, ‘Oh, what a beautiful daughter you have.’ So she loves it.”

Rounding out the family that is Today is Cullen, 41, father of three children, including twin daughters. Cullen joined the team in 2020 as a sports presenter before taking on news duties and he describes the experience as a “baptism of fire”, especially for him and Boney.

“I was a newbie, just starting out, these guys had been so welcoming and wonderful and kind. Most of the time,” he tells 9Honey.

“I really enjoyed it, it was a great time and we get along well off-camera and that’s the key to this job. We have a lot of fun together and we have a lot of chemistry.”

Boney adds, “People actually say that to me all the time.”

Alex Cullen MND Big Freeze Challenge
Cullen dives into an ice bath, one of the many stunts the team participates in. (Today)

Cullen continued: “You guys are having fun, you’re having a good time, and that makes such a difference in the morning. You want to laugh, but you also want the serious side. I think we get that balance, we got it very well done.”

Of his devotion to the Parramatta Eels, Cullen colorfully likens his devotion to a scene from Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom where a character’s still beating heart is ripped out by Mola Ram.

That’s a pretty accurate description, but he continues to hope that an Eels prime minister isn’t far off and declares that he “won’t come to work” if and when that happens.

“I’m just going to say that now: you’re not going to see me for weeks, maybe even months,” he jokes.

At this point, Langdon steps in to state that it’s safe to say that he will “show up at work” in the near future.

“And that’s the tragedy of it all,” continues Cullen. “But we’ll get there one day.”

The couple look forward to working together for years to come. (Today)

Stefanovic agrees with Cullen’s sense that he and Boney’s first weeks and months on the show were indeed a “baptism of fire.”

“It’s been a tough few years to get it right, and there was heat every day with big interviews that we’ve never done in my history of the show, so many big interviews every day and we had to do everything right,” he says. .

“Plus, it was up to us to entertain… that transition was pretty tough. And so the fact that we still have our audience is testament to the fact, hopefully we’ve done well and will continue to do so.”

Tune in to a special edition of Today on Friday, July 1, starting at 5:30 a.m. as they mark a historic 40 years in the sky, on Nine and 9Nu

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