He's long been rumoured as Channel Nine's top pick to replace Karl Stefanovic on the troubled Today Show but Ben Fordham says he won't be returning to the breakfast program next year.
Despite his "devoted family man" image and his "proven track record with a broad fan base," the father-of-two has silenced the reports for once and for all, revealing in a new interview with the Daily Telegraph that he's putting his young family before his career.
"I have no intentions of going back to Today. I had a great time on the show with Karl, Georgie and the team for many years but won't be returning any time soon," Ben, 41, who was a regular on Today until six years ago and has filled in for Karl during his annual summer holidays, told the publication.
Before adding that getting to spend each morning with his wife Jodie, three-year-old son Freddy and two-year-old daughter Pearl was his priority.
"I wake up with Jodie, Freddy and Pearl and that will continue for a long, long time," Ben insisted.
Since leaving the Today Show, Ben's focus has been on radio and being the best dad possible to his two children.
As well as his radio slot on 2GB, Ben has won a legion of fans thanks to his co-hosting gig on Nine's Australian Ninja Warrior and for the Walkley Award-winning journalist, it seems he doesn't want anymore work on his plate while his little ones are still young.
With Ben officially shutting down the Today speculation, that means Nine is back to the drawing board with potential Karl replacements.
According to The Daily Telegraph, another front-runner the network have set their sights on is Channel Nine's Adelaide newsreader Brenton Ragless.
Insiders say the 41-year-old is "absolutely delightful" and would be the perfect fit for the coveted gig.
Those who have worked with Ragless tell the publication he is "funny", "warm", "engaging" and "decent" and "not just a Stefanovic clone."
Despite Nine claiming Karl will return alongside co-host Georgie Gardner next year, it's widely accepted in the TV industry that major changes are necessary to save ailing Today.
Director of morning TV Mark Calvert is also expected to be axed at the end of the year, clearing the way for a complete revamp.
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