Jessica Rowe will not consider a return to Channel Nine. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Jessica Rowe will not consider a return to Channel Nine. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Jessica Rowe back on Today? ‘Hell would freeze over first’

JESS Rowe has made it very clear that she has no interest in replacing Lisa Wilkinson on the Today show.

The Channel Nine breakfast show was thrown into disarray last month when Wilkinson quit the show and defected to Channel 10.

Deborah Knight has been filling in as Karl Stefanovic's co-host while the search for a permanent replacement goes on behind closed doors.

Speaking to KIIS FM's Kyle and Jackie O this morning, Rowe was asked if there is any truth to the rumours that she's been approached by Channel Nine.

"No, are you joking?" Rowe told the radio duo. "I could think of nothing worse, myself."

Rowe told Kyle and Jackie O that she's "been there, done that", referring to when she co-hosted Today back in 2006 to 2007 and added, "hell would freeze over first, really".

Rowe, who is married to Channel Nine newsreader Peter Overton, copped a lot of flak during her time on Today.

Jess and Karl on the set of Today back in 2006.
Jess and Karl on the set of Today back in 2006.

In her memoir, the TV personality recalled how she was "hung out to dry" by Channel Nine management after an awkward interview with Brigadier Michael Slater when he was in East Timor.

"I had an earpiece in my left ear, so the producer could talk to me while the show went to air to suggest questions, give me information or tell me to wind up the interview," Rowe wrote.

"Brigadier Slater appeared on the satellite dressed in his army fatigues, two armed soldiers behind him. Before long I heard the voice of the producer, in my earpiece. 'How can it be so safe with those soldiers behind him? Ask the question, Jess,' he said."

After being pushed by the producer two more times to ask the question, Rowe relented and asked, "'I'm wondering how you feel about your safety given that you've got armed guards there behind you, armed soldiers?"

"Jessica, I feel quite safe, yes, but not because I've got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager to make it look good," the brigadier replied.

Rowe apologised immediately and explained that she was unaware that was the case and after the show, she suggested to the publicity department that they needed to release a statement about the incident.

"I was told I was overreacting," Rowe wrote in her memoir.

"The next day I was pilloried on radio and in the newspapers. My unheard defence was, of course, that I was totally unaware the shot had been set up by our team.

"Of course, I realised the buck stopped with me, but I felt like I was being hung out to dry."

During her time with Channel Nine, Rowe clashed with Eddie McGuire, who was then the network's CEO.

Jessica Rowe is more than happy on Studio 10.
Jessica Rowe is more than happy on Studio 10.

Less than a year into Rowe's hosting role, McGuire wanted to sack her and allegedly said: "What are we gonna do about Jessica? When should we bone her? I reckon it should be next week."

McGuire denied ever using the term, despite his former colleague Mark Llewellyn signing an affidavit to say that he did.

Rowe spoke about the incident with McGuire on Studio 10 and said, "I don't have a lot of good to say about that man because he made my life hell."

Rowe is not the only star who has ruled out joining Today as Stefanovic's new co-host in the wake of Wilkinson's departure.

Both Sarah Harris and Georgie Gardner have said they're not interested leaving current Channel Nine personalities Deborah Knight and Sylvia Jeffreys as the frontrunners.



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