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Ben Fordham jokes about being the "new Karl Stefanovic"

The Ninja Warrior host was finally quizzed about one of television's biggest rumours.

By Bella Brennan

Ben Fordham may have quit the Today show so he could spend more time with his family but on Wednesday night, the 41-year-old was put on the spot about claims he's the new Karl Stefanovic.

And ever the pro, the Ninja Warrior favourite handled the heat dished up by The Weekly's Tom Gleeson on his piss-take segment Hard Chat with his trademark good humour.

You can watch the hilarious exchange in the player above!

Tom didn't hold back as he told Ben blankly: "You've been described as the new Karl Stefanovic."

"What?" Ben quipped.

Before Tom clapped back: "Who would you like to slam in an Uber," in reference to Karl's recent Uber scandal where he and his brother Peter Stefanovic in which they were caught bad-mouthing their colleagues at NIne.

"Where do I start?" the Ninja Warrior favourite questioned.

"Georgie Gardner?" Tom replied.

He went there! Tom went straight for the jugular as he questioned Ben about his friendly rivalry with Karl.
He went there! Tom went straight for the jugular as he questioned Ben about his friendly rivalry with Karl.

"No! Any other names?" Ben asked.

"Your boss," Tom continued.

Not done with sticking the boot in, Tom continued: "You host a radio show on 2GB. Do you ever think 'even I can't believe I'm saying this sh--.'"

"Sometimes I do say things and I think later, 'why did I say that?'"

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Ben refused to talk smack about his colleagues.
Ben refused to talk smack about his colleagues.

Between Uber-gate and his co-host Lisa Wilkinson leaving the show over a pay dispute, it's long been expected Karl won't be at the Today show desk by year's end.

And while many names have been thrown around, Ben Fordham has remained the one consistent contender.

In March, Woman's Day revealed the former Today sports presenter and regular Karl fill-in was being groomed to take over from Karl by next year.

"(Nine management) plan to wheel Karl out as much as possible for 60 Minutes assignments, which will justify his absence from Today."

"Ben Fordham will fill in while he's gone, prepping him to take over in January 2019."

The *Ninja Warrior* host says he wouldn't be drawn back to breakfast TV.
The Ninja Warrior host says he wouldn't be drawn back to breakfast TV.

However the father-of-two says that since he left breakfast TV in 2014, he gets to spend treasured time with his son Freddy, three, 21-month-old daughter Pearl, and journalist wife Jodie Speers.

"As much fun as it was being there with Karl, Lisa, Georgie and Dicky every morning, it's a lot more fun now," Ben told TV WEEK.

"My mornings changed from grabbing a coffee on the way to the studio, to having breakfast at home with the kids."

After Karl's shocker Uber scandal, Ben's been tipped to replace him.
After Karl's shocker Uber scandal, Ben's been tipped to replace him.