Ex-producer refers to Brussels-Sproutgate as “assault” of Ita Buttrose

Former Studio 10 executive producer Rob McKnight has weighed in on the drama surrounding Denise Drysdale and former co-presenter Ita Buttrose.

McKnight, who is currently locked in a legal battle with the network over salaries, opened up on the (non) departure of Drysdale from the show during a TV Blackbox podcast.

But he went back to the fall-out during filming late last year, which was followed by his dismissal.

“There is something about all this that has really upset me. I know the Brussels Sprouts incident is a joke to everyone,” McKnight said.

“Ita Buttrose was assaulted at that shoot. It wasn’t a Christmas party, it was a shoot, we were in a professional situation recording a Christmas video clip.

“Denise has admitted she was drinking,” he stated . “I think the amount will come out in the court case and to make light of this situation.

“Ita is horrified by this. She is embarrassed by it. She is a victim here and she has become the butt of jokes.

“What did Ita Buttrose ever do to deserve this amount of hatred from Studio 10 and this lack of respect? I really don’t understand it.

“Jessica Rowe was given a three and a half hour bon voyage by Studio 10, and Ita was given a ‘don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out. The whole show was built around Ita Buttrose. She was the face of it. How TEN and the people at Studio 10 have treated her I can’t reconcile in my head. She doesn’t deserve this.”

Drysdale has previously conceded, ”I was in a jovial mood. The Christmas party was that night and I could not go, so I had a couple of glasses of champagne ­towards the end of the day and I threw the brussels sprout and I shouldn’t have.”

In April Buttrose said, “I didn’t throw any sprouts. I was working. This was our Christmas shoot and I was working.

“Now that’s all I want to say about it because it’s a long time ago and I’m tired of it coming up. I know you all love to ask about it but I’m over it.”

McKnight’s legal case with TEN is due to return to court on November 1 after mediation failed.

TEN has been contacted for comment.


  1. thedirtydigger

    And I thought Brussel Sprouts were good for you !
    And Rob – I’m sure your new employees would rather you left the debacle of Studio 10 behind and concentrate on your new job instead of pursuing the past.
    Enough already…

    • battlestargalactica

      I agree – I hope he’s able to move on. Nobody knows exactly what happened behind the scenes – all I’ll say is that as an EP of a program that had growing ratings and was gaining traction it’s very difficult to get the sack. Something happened. The network acted. We don’t need continuing headlines about it 10 months later.

  2. It’s ineresting that Ten is still yet to appoint a new Executive Producer. It begs the question, what are they waiting for? Let’s not forget that Denise Drysdale reportedly caused drama behind the scenes of The Circle too. Word in the industry is that Studio 10 was struggling with a toxic environment with egotistical personalities, not only on the panel, but also in the team. For a show that is pretty much irrelevant and is at the bottom of the food chain, it really does make you wonder what “all the fuss is about”.

    • I would say Rob McKnight’s legacy would moreso be that he built a strong brand in a timeslot and on a Network that had for years, struggled to do so. Under his leadership, Studio 10 rivaled Mornings (aka Today Extra). There is clearly more going on here as one would not be taking a Network to court without crossing their “i’s and dotting their t’s”. I reckon we need to watch this space. I would say though that Rob McKnight has nothing to do with the free fall that the show is currently in. The show is boring, the hosts are aggressive and come across as arrogant, the show has simply lost its whimsical feeling under current leadership.

  3. You’ve heard of a show jumping the shark, but if this show gets axed it will be considered to have been the Brussel sprout incident that was the start of its decline .

  4. While she might say otherwise I think the primary reason Ita left Studio 10 was because of her feud with Denise. You could just tell she wasn’t enjoying the show as much after all this came out.

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