Quick thinking by a studio producer has spared the ABC TV’s News Breakfast set from embarrassment after another Virginia Trioli gaffe threatened to derail the entire program this morning.
The show’s veteran co-presenter stormed off camera in tears after wrongly describing the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review as “Fairfax papers” even though they’ve been owned by Nine Entertainment now for many months.
Staff could hear Ms Trioli sobbing uncontrollably in her star-studded dressing room, stopping only occasionally to berate herself by shouting: “There would not be a cadet reporter in this country who would still use the discarded ‘Fairfax’ handle, you stupid bloody Eyetie!”
Ms Trioli’s gaffes have become more frequent of recent times and colleagues believe her normally brilliant mind is wandering as she prepares to leave News Breakfast to replace John Faine on ABC Melbourne radio in a few months.
As Trioli sobbed uncontrollably over her latest faux pas, the show’s producers realised the program was in complete danger of collapse with only novice co-presenter Nick Harmsen – who no-one has ever heard of – to try to cover for the absence of the Walkley-award winning megastar.
Following past Trioli gaffes, her usual co-presenter, the smoothly professional Michael Rowland has been able to cover for her absence effortlessly while studio underlings lured Ms Trioli out of her dressing room with some gorgeous pastries from Boccata Italian Deli on Southbank near the ABC’s studios or one of her favourite takeaways, a double caffè macchiato with just a splash of free-range yak’s milk.
But Rowland is away from the program for a week, attending a health retreat in the Dandenong Ranges at a highly expensive private clinic renowned for helping celebrities overcome pun addictions.
Aware of the dangers his absence presented, the quick-thinking producer made a phone call and with a prompt faxed message in return was able to coax Ms Trioli out of her star’s dressing room with a $2000 gift voucher that would more or less cover the price of a nice scarf at the Armani outlet at the DFO, South Wharf.