The Nine Network‘s Today is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a look back at the news, events, special guests, road trips and bloopers that have featured over that time.
The week-long celebration culminates in a special edition on Friday 1 July, which will feature some of the show’s past presenters and will appear in front of a live studio audience.
Breakfast news on television had been on something of a hiatus since Seven axed its Today in 1974. Network Ten revived the format with Good Morning Australia, debuting in February 1981 with Gordon Elliott and Sue Kellaway. Ten’s debut not only stole Nine’s thunder in the breakfast battle but also the intended title for its own venture.
Nine retaliated later in the year when it poached Kellaway from Ten to co-host its National Today Show, which eventually made its debut on 28 June 1982. Its original presenting line-up was Steve Liebmann and Kellaway with newsreader Eric Walters, showbiz reporter Joan McInnes, weatherman Brian Bury, political reporters Max Walsh and Fred Daly plus Mike Gibson (sport), Helen Wellings (consumer affairs), Trevor Sykes (finance), Johnny Tapp (racing) and Len Evans (lifestyle).
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Liebmann left Today after five years to go to Ten but then returned in 1990, with former 60 Minutes host George Negus co-hosting in the interim. Other hosts and presenters to have featured over the 40 years include Patrice Newell, Liz Hayes (pictured right with Liebmann), Tracy Grimshaw, Ian Ross, Monte Dwyer, Sami Lukis, Sharyn Ghidella, Leila McKinnon, Cameron Williams, Jessica Rowe, Georgie Gardner, Tony Jones, Ben Fordham, Richard Wilkins, Sarah Murdoch, Lisa Wilkinson, Deborah Knight, Tom Steinfort, Tracy Vo, Sylvia Jeffreys and current line-up Karl Stefanovic, Allison Langdon, Brooke Boney, Alex Cullen and Tim Davies.
To apply to be in Today‘s studio audience on 1 July, refer to the Today website 9now.nine.com.au/today/competitions/40-years-of-today
Source: TV Radio Extra, 26 June 1982