Last night Naomi Robson hosted Today Tonight from Australia Zoo, decked out in Irwin inspired khakis with a live lizard on her shoulder. So was this another attempt to rebuild Robson’s credibility after the savaging she copped in The Australian a month ago?

In what looked like the battle of Beaconsfield all over, the 6.30pm current affairs programs on Seven and Nine relocated to Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo in south-east Queensland for their tributes to Irwin. Robson went head to head with Grimshaw’s ACA stand-in Karl Stefanovic as they out-schmaltzed each other with Irwin tributes.

Robson’s last venture in on-the-spot reporting wasn’t so successful — according to a feature in The Australian’s media section last month, Naomi’s image took a battering in Beaconsfield after rumours of diva-like behaviour floated around the press corps. The Oz dubbed her Madame Gucci, calling her “the TV host Seven doesn’t want its viewers to meet.” Amanda Meade’s article quoted an “unnamed former publicist” and reported that the TV host’s penchant for diamonds and Gucci was out of touch with her average Aussie viewers. The article also picked apart Robson’s CV, highlighting her lack of journalistic credentials.

But there are rumours that the remaking of Robson could give the Channel Seven starlet the opportunity to air her new khakis again — word is she’s to be sent on assignment to Papua New Guinea.

Unfortunately Robson’s tribute to Irwin didn’t pay off last night; for the second night in a row ACA beat TT nationally and in most centres. ACA finished with 1.493 million; TT, 1.455 million. The big rise in news and current affairs audiences seen on Monday night in the wake of Irwin’s death had dissipated last night and audience levels were back to normal.

Peter Fray

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