Walkley-award winning journalist Virginia Trioli is said to be inconsolable and thinking of quitting the media industry after making a serious blunder on live television this morning in what is believed to be only the second error of her illustrious decades-long career.
Always the seasoned professional, Ms Trioli ever so briefly let her horror at her blunder on ABC News Breakfast show (right) before bravely finishing the program and signing off at 9am as her usual cheery self, before bursting into tears and rushing off to her dressing room and locking the door behind her.
Late this morning Ms Trioli could still be heard sobbing uncontrollably in the dressing room as she ignored all pleas from her co-host Michael Rowland, other on-air personalities, Nate Burn and studio crew to come out for a group hug and a really nice segue.
Staff even rushed over to the Brunetti Cafe at Carlton and returned with some of Ms Trioli’s favourite Italian pastries but even those aromas, wafted by hand under her locked door along with the telltale shake of a takeaway caffè macchiato with just the right amount of foamed goat’s milk, couldn’t do the trick.
And The Bug understands the show’s producers are making hurried arrangements for how to shoot Wednesday’s program (main picture) if she refuses to come out for several days, as she has done in the past.
Earlier, while chatting on-air during the “what the papers say” segment, Ms Trioli made the observation that while Australian kids started pre-school quite early, that was not the case “in countries overseas”.
“Of course I know all other countries are overseas,” she could be heard muttering over and over again as she challenged her distraught colleagues outside to call out the names of overseas countries and responded immediately with the longitudinal and latitudinal extremities of each country mentioned.
“Would anyone seriously think I thought Scotland was tucked somewhere up in the north-west corner of New South Wales?” she sobbed. “I can tell you right now the northern, eastern, southern and western extremities of Great Britain if you want?”
Her co-host admitted to being at a loss to understand how to resolve the situation.
“We’ve tried everything we can think of,” Mr Rowland said while striking a pose outside Ms Trioli’s locked dressing room for an ABC social media photographer.
“For a moment I thought I had convinced her when I said through the door that I’m sure kids in Hutt River Province in WA would start pre-school at the same age as those in Australia, so technically her statement was correct.
“She went quiet for a little while, digesting that information. But then she started wailing again so I guess that didn’t work for whatever reason.”
The only other time Ms Trioli has blundered in an unparalleled career in journalism was several years ago when on the same morning television program she slightly mispronounced the name of a little village in northern Italy shattered by an earthquake.
She remained in her dressing room for some days after that, whispering “Médecins Sans Frontières” over and over again and repeating in precisely the right local accents for each location the names of all villages along the west coast of Ireland, and all the railway sidings, even the really minor ones, east to west, on the Trans Siberian Railways.