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?