Karl Stefanovic on The Today Show.
Karl Stefanovic on The Today Show. Channel 9

Karl ‘brags’ in surprise Today return

Karl Stefanovic made a surprise return to the very program he was dramatically ousted from late last year - and couldn't resist an opening "brag" about his current career fortunes.

Stefanovic appeared via satellite from Honolulu, chatting to his former co-host Georgie Gardner and her current co-host Deb Knight about his prime time Nine show This Time Next Year, which starts up for a new season next week.

Stefanovic opened by explaining his exotic surroundings.

All smiles on The Today Show.
All smiles on The Today Show.

"I am on assignment here for 60 Minutes. This is the first location of many around the world over the next few weeks for me, so it's a lovely place to start. It's a balmy 89 degrees (31 celcius) out here and about 92 in the studio, so it's beautiful," he told his former colleagues.

"All right, stop bragging, we know you're doing some work," said Knight.

From there, the trio were all smiles as they ignored the elephant in the room - Karl's dramatic axing from the show in December last year just days after his wedding to second wife Jasmine Yarborough - and instead focused on This Time Next Year.

Related: Karl's ex-wife sells couple's $9 million mansion

"It makes for compelling TV, and Karl Stefanovic it is so fabulous to have you back on the box. We cannot wait for this series, and best of luck also with your 60 Minutes assignment," said Gardner as they wrapped up the chat, prompting a parting joke from Knight.

"I'm on assignment, that's right, very serious," Knight teased.

It seems in Stefanovic's case, absence makes the heart grow fonder - viewers appeared happy to see him back on morning television, with multiple 'Bring back Karl' comments under a Facebok post of the segment.

"Ch9 / Today, you made a lot of viewers unhappy when the old gang disappeared," wrote one commenter.

"The sound of Karl's voice in the morning … Bring him back," said another.

"Didn't realise how much I have missed Karl It was refreshing to see him this morning," wrote another.

In a candid interview on theKyle and Jackie O Show yesterday, Stefanovic revealed there was "no chance" he would return to The Today Show, which has suffered a dramatic ratings slump in his absence this year.

"There is no chance. Even if I had high level talks I'd tell you - but I haven't,' he said.

'I've just been busy doing other things … No one has asked me to go back to the Today Show."

Stefanovic also confirmed that at one point during his 13-year tenure hosting Today, he was desperate to leave morning television behind.

"You told me years ago that you wanted to come off the Today Show and your love was 60 Minutes," said Sandilands.

"I think at that time, I did. But it's a funny thing, The longer you do these hours, the more used to them you get, and for me it swung around the other way - there was a time where I thought 'How good is this, we're off-air and out of there by about10:30am, and you can go do your own thing'," Stefanovic explained.

"So for me, it turned into a great job again. And than towards the end of last year … it just got difficult," he added.

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