Crikey is proud to present an exclusive insight* into the inner-mind of Australian TV’s favourite and most highly paid divorcee.

18th October, 2017

5am: The studio feels so cold. Once this couch was comforting, welcoming. Now it grasps me like the icy talons of a frozen condor. Once the set was a haven of warmth and laughter. Now it is a dead thing. It feels like broadcasting from inside a dead horse.

5.15am: The makeup lady tut-tutted over the deepening lines on my face. She said she barely had enough concealer. I didn’t tell her that they were the tracks of my tears.

5.30am: God, here we go. I can’t do it.

6am: Smiling like a goon. I’m such a fraud. When she was here, I didn’t have to fake it. What have I become?

6.04am: God I need a drink. What’s going to happen when I have a drink? It was always understood that she’d be there for me when I came on TV drunk. Can I count on Christine Freaking Bath to cover for me? I doubt it.

6.10am: Who is this woman next to me? I don’t even know her name. I have no idea what she’s talking about, I just say, “That’s right” to everything. Her voice cuts through me like a circular saw. When you spend years listening to an angel, the sound of filthy humanity is as a hyena’s whoop.

6.33am: I’ve bitten my nail down too far. It stings like hell. There’s a little bit of blood. And now I have nobody to kiss it better. How could Nine let this happen?

6.45am: How much longer? This is torture.

7.03am: There is some god-awful band playing. I don’t know anything about them. The only music I care about has left my life forever.

7.24am: I’ve totally blanked on this guest’s name. Is it Jimmy Barnes? It can’t be Jimmy Barnes, they’re wearing a hijab. When she was here, I would just waggle my eyebrows and she’d slip me a discreet note explaining everything. This woman doesn’t do that. And she smells. She smells like poos.

7.45am: They touched up my makeup during commercial. Said I looked “pale”. You’d look pale too, if your heart no longer beat. Told them I had hayfever so they didn’t say anything about the crying.

7.58am: The autocue is moving too fast. I can’t say anything to the director because I’m scared of him. He shouts. She always used to talk to the director for me. Now the autocue will be too fast forever.

8.10am: She won’t shut up. And she keeps asking me questions. “That’s right” doesn’t cover everything. I tried changing it up and answering, “That’s a crying shame”. Everyone just gave me weird looks.

8.19am: I asked for a drink during commercial. They brought me water. I knew it. Everything has changed. This is hell.

9am: Somehow got through it. Went back to my dressing room to change out of my suit. Can’t help wondering whether the suit was the problem. Would she have stayed if she’d had a co-host with more than one suit? I thought I was being an ally, but maybe I was just being unfashionable. As I hung the suit up, I looked at it and thought: no wonder she left. What woman would want to be associated with a man who couldn’t muster up a better suit than that?

9.15am: A meeting to discuss possible replacements. Pointless. How can you replace someone like that? Nobody ever told me that losing a co-host could feel like losing a part of yourself. It’s like half my body has been cut away and I am staggering about, waiting to die. I suppose in a way, we all are.

But Georgie Gardner might be good I suppose.

1pm: Went to lunch. Tasted like ashes. Came back to the studio, went to her old dressing room. Curled up on the floor of her wardrobe and cried. I will stay here, until she returns, or until I am no more. As long as it takes.

*As leaked to satirist and author Ben Pobjie.

Peter Fray

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