It's been more than three years since viewers tuned in to watch Jessica Rowe on our screens, and as speculation mounts that she's set for a comeback, Woman's Day can confirm she's returning to TV – on Australia's most popular breakfast shows, no less.
Last week, the former Studio 10 star, who turns 51 this week, was spotted catching up with Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell, and while the pair are close friends, a TV insider insists there was plenty of talk about business, too.
"He's her number one fan, and what Michael Pell wants, he generally gets. The seed has been planted to get Jess in a role that they are specifically creating for her."
"Seven have been eyeing Jess off since she left Ten in 2018, and Michael would be the right person to court her back into the new mix at Seven's Brekky Central," the source tells Woman's Day.
Jess sensationally quit Studio 10 in March 2018, later admitting that she had been close to breaking point towards the end of her time on the show.
The star, who has been open about her struggles with depression and anxiety over the years, was keen to spend more quality time with her Nine newsreader husband, Peter Overton, and their two daughters, Allegra, 14, and Giselle, 12.
And while she's enjoyed success with her Crap Housewife blog and work as a mental health advocate, Jess hinted recently that she was eager to get back in front of the cameras.
"What I do miss is having an audience to play up to," says the Beyond Blue ambassador.
"Nowadays I find myself doing a song and dance routine for my daughters – not that successfully!"
And with insiders saying "bored" Jess is "desperate to get her foot back in any door" on morning TV, there's a chance hosts like Sunrise's David Koch and Today's Karl Stefanovic could be getting a little nervous about their job security!
While the insider says that Seven recognises Jess as an undeniable talent they'd like to have on their roster, there are some concerns she's a bigger risk than hiring someone from within the network, given her shaky pasts with Today, Weekend Sunrise and Studio 10.
"She can be polarising, and Seven will only bring her into the Sunrise and The Morning Show mix as a special reporter or presenter around current issues like mental health or parenting," the source tells Woman's Day.
"But Jess reads a room better than anyone and she will only return to TV if the job and fit is right."
Having walked from a high-profile, high-paying role before, Jess is also unlikely to sign on if there's any drama with her would-be colleagues.
Adds the source, "The real issue Seven have is how a huge personality like Jess will be received by the morning teams. Jess is such a passionate person and can appear zany and over the top, while Nat [Barr] and Edwina [Bartholomew] are both very calm and measured."
But potential personality clashes aside, there are benefits to bringing someone with decades of journalism and TV experience like Jess into the breakfast show fold.
"If Jess comes on board, she can slot in anywhere – newsreading, presenting, even the weather!" says the insider.
Jess Rowe on The Today Show 13 years after her departure: