The popular NRL Footy Show is reportedly undergoing massive changes, with long-time host Paul Vautin allegedly dumped from the Nine Network’s Thursday night offering.
According to a Fairfax media report, Erin Molan – who co-hostsThe NRL Footy Show with Vautin – will replace him as the show’s primary host in an attempt to appeal to female viewers.
It is believed Vautin, who is Australia’s longest-serving television host, will retain a role doing commentary for live NRL matches.
The NRL Footy Show, which has run for 24 years and won 11 Logies, including as recently as this year, will also add a new Monday night timeslot, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The Nine Network has not responded to requests for comment from The New Daily.
The shock news comes less than a week after Nine promoted The NRL Footy Show would be part of its 2018 plans.
“The NRL Footy Show also returns for its 25th season in 2018, with all the latest breaking stories and loads of fun from the world of rugby league,” they said.
Nine also promoted guest roles from star players Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater.
“Each week, Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin, Erin Molan, Beau Ryan and Darryl ‘Big Marn’ Brohman will be joined by some of the biggest names in the game, including Jonathan Thurston and Billy Slater, as they provide expert analysis on all the matches,” they added.
But astute observers will have also noticed a brief statement on Nine’s website, which was posted on Saturday and flagged tinkering to the NRL Footy Show.
The network cited changes to their NRL schedule as the trigger for change.
“Nine will be broadcasting 23 Thursday night NRL games in 2018 and so the NRL Footy Show will have a new look and feel to reflect the games the audience have just enjoyed watching,” Nine said.
Entertainment reporter Pete Ford said on Twitter that Nine’s new Thursday rugby league show would be “more about discussion/analysis but less entertainment in style”.