Celebrity News

Nova radio in turmoil as Kate Ritchie jumps ship to join unimpressed Fitzy and Wippa

What is happening?
Loading the player...

The halls of the Nova radio network were thrown into turmoil last week, with gossip swirling that one star was in tears after being called to a shock meeting at the station’s headquarters, while other big-name talents were reportedly left fearing for the future of their jobs.

It was Ricki-Lee Coulter, 37, who managed to come out on top after it was confirmed she is replacing Kate Ritchie alongside Tim Blackwell and Joel Creasey on Nova’s national drive show.

It was the week that was at Nova, which made headlines after rival radio star Kyle Sandilands peddled whispers that Kate was about to jump ship from her number-one program, Kate, Tim & Joel, and take a spot on Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald and Michael “Wippa” Wipfli’s breakfast show!

“I wish Ricki-Lee all the luck in the world.”

(Image: Instagram)


At the time Woman’s Day went to print, Fitzy, 46, and Wippa, 43, had been tight-lipped about the news, but a well-placed industry source tells us the move has caused shockwaves at Nova, particularly since the duo’s long-serving co-host Sarah McGilvray has been absent from the show since the news broke, to make way for Kate, 44.

“Fitzy and Wippa are unhappy,” our insider says of the news that “blindsided” them last week, adding that “since their ratings have been struggling, producers were considering bringing in a big name like Kate to see if it helps”.

Woman’s Day’s top sources confess “there has never really been a situation like this before”, referring to the fact that top-tier talent like Fitzy and Wippa seem to be “resisting a change obviously backed from high up at the station”.

Kate has left Tim and Joel!

(Image: Instagram)

“The truth is, you can’t really blame the boys for not wanting Kate – they haven’t had any part of the decision. On the flipside, who would blame Kate for not wanting to walk into a well-established team who aren’t keen to work with her?”

Even Fitzy and Wippa’s competitors Kyle and Jackie O have been shocked by the headlines, with Kyle, in his predictably flippant way, telling his listeners, “Sh*t’s gone loose over there.”

It’s no secret that Kate has always had a “strange” relationship with the Nova brekkie boys, particularly following an on-air stunt in 2016, which resulted in her hanging up on them after they joked that she had a drinking problem.

Loading the player...


A separate source confirmed to Woman’s Day late last week that Kate’s drive co-host Joel, 32, was “very emotional” last Thursday, with sources saying “he is very protective of Kate and is sad he will no longer be working alongside her”.

The former actress spoke out upon the singer’s appointment, revealing, “I’ve had an incredible eight years as part of Nova’s Drive team, and I wish Ricki-Lee all the luck in the world. I’m thrilled to be taking on an exciting new challenge.”

Are Fitzy and Wippa hesitant about the new change?

(Image: Instagram)

Insiders say Kate is moving into a “make or break” moment in her career in radio, with her lucrative contract at Nova – rumoured to be more than $1 million – up for negotiation at the end of the year.

“She has a little under a year to really prove herself,” says the spy.

“Fitzy and Wippa have just signed on for another three years, so if she wants to stay on, she’s going to have to prove that she wants it.”

Related stories