The two losing candidates to replace co-host Virginia Trioli on ABC TV’s News Breakfast have lashed out over the selection process with bitter claims this morning of trickery and deception.
Queenslander Lisa Millar (main picture above) was announced on the program at 7.45am today as Michael Rowland’s new co-presenter when Trioli leaves later this year to replace John Faine on ABC Melbourne Radio.
But the two other women left in the running when the field was cut to three last week – Stefanie O’Vic and Simone-Bree Knee – both claimed this morning they were perfect for the role and would have done a much better job than Millar.
Simone-Bree Knee (pictured right), a regional Victorian journalist and considered the dark horse of the final field of three, was bitterly disappointed, claiming ABC management had “conned” her over the selection process.
“They suggested that at each of my auditions I make a few gaffes and silly little mistakes to show how easily I could slip into Virginia’s shoes.
“I also nailed Médecins Sans Frontières over and over again.”
She had also felt very relaxed in her auditions, having been told what to expect from a distant relative who had been on the program’s What the Papers Say segment a number of times.
“Personally, I think they were always going to go with Millar. I think we were just making up the numbers.”
A fuming Stefanie O’Vic (pictured below) accused ABC management of gross deception and trickery after she was called in to do a final audition tape in the News Breakfast studio at 9am on Monday after that day’s show had been completed.
“Well-placed people at the ABC would have known full well Sunday nights is one of the nights of the week that I really like to tie one on.
“I’d been out clubbing until 6am and then got the call to come in and tape a final pretend segment of the show beside Michael three bloody hours later. So of course I was pretty pissed but I still think my natural witty and charming persona shone through the audition.
“I did fluff a few lines but I did assure the producers and talent evaluation people that if I got the full-time gig, I’d obviously get out of the clubs and bars by midnight…. well, 2am at the very latest.
“I’m nothing if not a true professional.”