Today duo to host Carols by Candlelight

Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson will host Channel Nine’s Carols by Candelight, replacing Ray Martin who is no longer a network regular despite his occasional reports for 60 Minutes.

But the two Sydney-siders are likely to cop a Melbourne backlash in what is a fiercely Victorian institution.

Carols was first hosted by radioman Norman Banks in 1938. Ray Martin -also a Sydney-sider- hosted for 18 years, following the departure of GTV newsreader Brian Naylor in the role.

The Today show is certainly popular with Melbourne viewers, regularly beating Sunrise, but Melburnians are a traditional audience when it comes to these matters.

When Ray Martin and Liz Hayes commentated the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony at the MCG, talkback callers and press cried foul. How will they take to the hosting gig for their favourite Christmas event also going north?

Sydney’s Carols in the Domain was hosted by Grant Denyer and Kate Ritchie last year.

And what will viewers make of promises by Karl Stefanovic to sing a carol at the event too?



  1. Lisa and Georgie looked beautiful and graceful. Who on earth allowed that woman to come on near the end who had the most dreadful hair that apparently had never been combed or washed by the look of it.

  2. Lisa Wilkinson was quoted as saying about melbourne “not much else really” when asked about what was in melbourne, apart from the arts centre, she sat there and said “not much else really”. ok lisa if you don’t like melbourne, and if you want to be held accountable for what you say, don’t come here to host a show and suck up to us all. we all know what you said about melbourne, it’s not tape, and we really won’t accept you, accepting a check for hosting this melbourne gig, when in reality you don’t even appreciate melbourne and insulted us by saying so on air on b&b.

    There’s possibly not “much else really” in your head. Go spend Christmas with your family, where you’re supposed to be spending it.

  3. OMG Mel?????? um no. same goes for anything to do with seven. lisa all the way, despite not having the nicest things to say about melbs when she was on b&b. as for that other thing, he’s going to get ignored.

  4. Who cares whether or not its a melburnian or sydney sider people. Its just the fact that Ray Martin wont be doing it. Their breaking a tradition . For gods sake channel nine get your act together. At least get people who act like their amongst the living (their so boring I’m sorry !!!!!!! Karl and Lisa).
    Come on it won’t be the same without Ray.
    And please dont get Bert to do it either. I know!!!! What about Kochi and Mel much better alternative.

  5. Surely there has to be a better alternative to Karl and Lisa?? They’re both so boring and over exposed. Melbournians would prefer some Victorian hosts, but will be satisfied with competency.

  6. I am Melburnian and my comments are purely based on my opinion of the presenters, not viewed as Melb-Sydney rivalry.

    Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson are very poor choices.
    Only worst choicescould be duo of Jules Lund and Tim Campbell.

    Karl is just not sincere, looks like and acts like smug so and so.
    Lisa can string a conversation together and interacts well with viewers.

    My BIG problem is the perception that Nine are ramming Karl & Lisa as a duo down our throat.They have NO chemistry.

    I could not care less if they brought over someone from Perth or Adelaide to host Carols BUT the main thing is ‘get the right person or right people.Karl & Lisa are not those souls.

    Nine has talented people in their stable, just pick the right one for a change.

  7. FFS people! It’s just the bloody xmas carols!

    And I laugh at people who says “well I wont be watching them now” like as if you were going to watch them in the first place? or you probably will watch them for curiosity sake but still bag them anyway.

    Personally I would say give the job to Tim Campbell & Shelley Craft, but I won’t even be watching it anyway so why do I care?

    Hell why don’t nine just fly Charlie Sheen here and that other fool off 2.5 men to host the thing? they seem to be on 9 all the time anyway. They could have a the Underbelly choir too! *rolls eyes*

  8. I am glad that Ray is no longer doing it as carols needed a fresh host but to have two sydney siders hosting it. Please , I am sure we could of got someone from Melbourne to host it. Besides it is our traditional insituation and not sydneys.

  9. Lisa and Karl a sensible choice from Nine, even if they aren’t from Melbourne. Both have families of their own, and seeing as Carols is a family event, they fit the role. Plus Nine are probably trying to promote them as an alternative to Kochie and Mel.

    Ray’s ill-fated “jokes” were starting to wear thin, but hey, good luck to him.

  10. Ooh Me Plums!

    “at least we’ll have personality this year”

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHA … gold. Karl Stefanovic has the personality of C3PO.

    Will it be simulcast in binary?

  11. Re-post (that’s what I get for posting something at 8am!!)

    Yes, there will be a backlash from Melbourne – for the past 18 years there have been letters sent into the Herald-Sun newspaper lamenting the fact that Ray was not from Melbourne. There are always discussions too about whether Carols By Candlelight is better or worse than Carols in the Domain (Sydney’s equivalent) which screens a few days earlier.

    Having said that, it won’t stop those people who regularly go to see the Carols by Candlelight or watch it at home. It just gives the knockers (or the purists) something else to whinge about other than some of the song choices or the selection of pop singers who sing them. We have watched it as long as I can remember and with three sons who have sung or are currently singing there each year, it is a special event to our family.

  12. Channel 9 are really trying their best to shove Karl down our throats!! he is hopeless, get rid of him. One thing is for sure, I won’t be watching carols this year.

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