Brenton Ragless Opens Up About “Concerning” Moment During Today Show Speculation

Jan 8, 2019


Adelaide Channel 9 newsreader Brenton Ragless has spoken exclusively on FIVEaa about his “personal roller coaster ride” after he was tipped to replace Karl Stefanovic as host of the Today show -- and the anxious moment that scared him the most.

Brenton was a short-priced favourite to take over the role and was co-hosting the show as a summer fill in when news of Karl’s departure broke. He told FIVEaa’s Paul Richards that at the height of the media frenzy he was followed in his car out of the Sydney studios.

“I’ve never had to deal with this in Adelaide, never,” Brenton said, “but when I left the studios of Sydney on Thursday I had two cars -- it was just like Hollywood -- two cars pulled out of the studio and chased me home.

“This was all very foreign to me… it sort of scared me a little bit.

“I didn’t want them to follow me home, I didn’t want the kids involved, I didn’t want the house that we were staying involved, so I actually pulled over and went up like a police officer would to the guy...

“He was wired up with cameras galore, microphones and everything… I said, ‘G’day mate, I’m Brenton, how are you going? I know what you’re doing. I realise you need to do what you need to do. I’m happy for you to take photos of me, but if we can leave it at that that’ll be great.’

“He said you go and grab a coffee in a café and we’ll leave it at that.”

Brenton said he knew his summer hosting stint would generate speculation, but he didn’t figure on “the show collapsing around me while I was there filling in”.

“I didn’t say a thing, I just say back and said, ‘Hey, how’s the weather shaping up across the country?’

“I kid you not, while we’re doing the show this is what was happening around us -- the thing was basically unfolding as we were live to air and I just did not know what to think. Where is this all going to go?

“I expressed my thoughts about the whole thing but there was no formal offer. There’s never actually been any formal offer.

“The choice was not mine to make and I’m grateful for that.

“Naturally we did consider -- this would be beneficial, but I’ve always said money isn’t everything. For the peace and the comfort, the life balance and the things that we’re afforded here in Adelaide, South Australia… this is from my heart, we were quite comfortable if they came back and said thanks but no thanks… which they did.

“It’s been very challenging. It’s not something I would like to go through again… from a personal roller coaster of a ride it’s something that has been challenging and I wouldn’t say was fun.”