Ita Buttrose has responded to former Studio 10 co-host Denise Drysdale’s sniping by claiming she “wouldn’t have the job at all” if it wasn’t for her.
Speculation of a feud began when the founding editor of Cleo and longtime Channel 10 personality had her last day on Studio 10 on Thursday morning, just one day after announcing her resignation.
Drysdale was the only cast member who kept silent during the gushing farewells, fuelling rumours of bad blood. Drysdale seemed to confirm it later that morning when she said she would not miss Buttrose.
It all reportedly dated back to an incident in November 2017 when Drysdale hurled Brussels sprouts at Buttrose towards the end of a long day of filming a Christmas special.
By Thursday night, as news of the feud swirled around the nation, Buttrose decided to give a nationally syndicated radio interview – despite denying any knowledge of Drysdale’s comments.
“I don’t really want to talk about Brussel sprout-gate,” she told the KIIS radio network.
Oh, but she did. There was barely a pause.
“I will just for once. It was not one sprout. It was a bowl-full, a bowl-full.”
Was that a special emphasis the second time?
Buttrose assured the station’s listeners she knew nothing, did nothing, had nothing to say.
But for someone who didn’t want to comment, she said plenty.
“I didn’t throw any sprouts. I was working. This was our Christmas shoot and I was working,” Buttrose told KIIS.
“Now that’s all I want to say about that because it’s a long time ago and I’m tired of it coming up. I know you all love to ask about it but I’m over it.”
It may have sounded like Buttrose would take the high moral ground and refuse to retaliate. But there was an iron fist inside the velvet glove.
“I’m sorry Denise feels like that but there you go. Actually if it weren’t for me she wouldn’t have the job at all.”
So subtle was the dig that the radio hosts appeared to miss it.
Drysdale joined the show in November 2015. Prior to that she had co-hosted Ten’s morning chat show The Circle, hosted her own show Denise on Seven, and won two Gold Logies for many years of TV work dating back to The Ernie Sigley Show in the 1970s.
Pressed for more comment, Buttrose said she would prefer not to.
“I can’t really comment on Denise’s behaviour and I don’t really want to,” she continued.
“I’ve really enjoyed being on Studio 10. We’ve all had a really good time. We’ve worked really hard to make the show what it is and there’s lot of other people there who are part of the team and that’s about as much as I want to say about that, about anyone else’s behaviour.”
The repeated emphasis on “behaviour” may have been the clue.
Given she denied any knowledge of Drysdale’s comments (she told the hosts at the end that they had “cleared up a few things for me”), then Buttrose must have agreed to the interview on the pretence of talking about her post-Channel 10 career.
Buttrose said she would spend her newfound free time “polishing” two books.
But if she intended to pad the radio interview with banter about her book writing, she had come ill-prepared.
One is fiction, the other non-fiction. The non-fiction one is based in Australia. That was all Buttrose was willing to say.
And then she was off.