TV

The Today Show honour Lisa Wilkinson following her shock exit over the pay gap

Without his co-host by his side, Karl Stefanovic finally addressed the elephant in the room.

By Bella Brennan
Karl Stefanovic has led the tributes on The Today Show this morning, honouring his co-host Lisa Wilkinson, who just hours earlier announced her shock exit from the breakfast program to join The Project on Channel Ten reportedly due to a pay gap dispute.
Despite the total curve ball thrown at the team, they had nothing but praise for their now ex-colleague during her farewell segment.
"For 10 years Lisa has dragged herself out of bed at 3.30 in morning, fed the dogs and cats, put a load of washing on and came into work and sat on my left to inform you at home to what’s happening in the world," Karl began.
"She handled those brutal, brutal hours with grace, beauty, intelligence and a wicked, wicked sense of humour."
Before touching on reports Lisa walked because Nine wouldn't salary match her pay packet to his, Karl explained: "For whatever reason, she won't be doing that anymore and it was a surprise to us all. It's safe to safe to say that we’re all a little bit shocked and it will take a little while to sink in."
He continued: "So for now, just this Lisa. Thank you! Thank you for the laughs, the sage advice, the calmness! Oh, the calmness! And thank you for all of your support. Thanks for being a great dancer and a truly, truly terrible singer. Thanks for being a great mum."
"I know you value that more than anything else. And thank you for being a great friend. The rest I will leave for when I see you. But whatever you do and wherever you go, you do so having made your mark on this show and this man. And mostly you go with my love, lots of love, all my love. We'll see you soon, maybe after midday!"

Karl's sister-in-law and fellow Today Show star Sylvia Jeffreys also took a moment to celebrate her remarkable co-host and commended her on taking a stand against the pay gap.
"I did speak privately with Lisa last night and I thanked her and I congratulated her because ultimate this is an exciting time for Lisa," Sylvia explained as she fought off tears.
"It is a start of a brilliant and exciting new chapter and I will be cheering her on as I always do as she takes on this next challenge."
Sylvia, who is hotly tipped to be Lisa's replacement, applauded the 57-year-old for setting an example for future generations of women in the industry.
WATCH: Sylvia Jeffreys applauds Lisa Wilkinson for standing up to the pay gap. Post continues below...
Sylvia praised Lisa for taking a stand against the pay gap.
"Here is the thing, seeing is believing for young girls and for young women and what they see in Lisa is a strong, influential, fun and compassionate woman at the very, very top of her game and that is a very powerful thing," Sylvia said.
And Lisa's brave move paid off as Channel Ten have welcomed her with open arms to join their panel on the hugely popular show, The Project, amid reports from The Daily Telegraph she's set to become the highest-paid woman in Australia.
According to The Australian, Karl was reportedly on a contract for $9 million over three years while Lisa's was around $1.1 million per year. The Daily Telegraph claim Lisa's deal was bumped up to $1.8 million but ultimately that wasn't enough.
While unconfirmed, The Daily Telegraph claim she's being paid around $2 million for her new gig on The Project.
The farewell segment featured many precious memories of Lisa from her decade on the show.