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Australian Ninja Warrior: Karl Stefanovic, Richard Wilkins are rumoured replacements

Karl Stefanovic and Richard Wilkins ‘throw their hat into the ring’ to replace Ben Fordham as host of Australian Ninja Warrior


Australian Ninja Warrior will look very different next year, following the departures of hosts Ben Fordham and Rebecca Maddern.

And the task of replacing them is said to be a ‘two-horse race’ between Channel Nine stars Karl Stefanovic and Richard Wilkins.

Both presenters have thrown their hat into the ring to replace Fordham as male host and recognise what a great opportunity it is, reports New Idea.

Competition: Both presenters have thrown their hat into the ring to replace Fordham and recognise what a great opportunity it is, reports New Idea. Pictured: Karl Stefanovic

Karl vs Dickie: The task of replacing departing Australian Ninja Warrior hosts Ben Fordham and Rebecca Maddern is said to be a ‘two-horse race’ between Today anchor Karl Stefanovic (right) and Weekend Today presenter Richard Wilkins (left)

Wilkins, 67, and Stefanovic, 47, are said to be equally keen to front the prime-time show because it delivers consistently strong ratings.

‘When Ninja first kicked off, no one wanted to host it! Now it’s become one of the big-ticket items for Nine and everyone is throwing their hat into the ring – enter Karl and Dickie,’ a source said.

Today anchor Stefanovic hopes to get the job to ‘pad out his deal’ with Nine and ‘prove he’s worth’ his rumoured $1.8million salary.

Something to prove: Stefanovic (left, with Today co-host Allison Langdon) hopes to get the job to 'pad out his deal' with Nine and 'prove he's worth' his rumoured $1.8million salary

Something to prove: Stefanovic (left, with Today co-host Allison Langdon) hopes to get the job to ‘pad out his deal’ with Nine and ‘prove he’s worth’ his rumoured $1.8million salary

Personal ties: Wilkins, on the other hand, 'can't be ruled out' because of his friendship with Ninja Warrior's sideline commentator Shane Crawford

Personal ties: Wilkins, on the other hand, ‘can’t be ruled out’ because of his friendship with Ninja Warrior’s sideline commentator Shane Crawford 

Weekend Today host Wilkins, on the other hand, ‘can’t be ruled out’ because of his friendship with Ninja Warrior’s sideline commentator Shane Crawford.

There’s no word yet on which female hosts are being considered to take over Maddern’s role.

The rumours come after two out of three Ninja Warrior stars quit the show recently.

Replacements wanted! Australian Ninja Warrior will look very different next year, following the departures of hosts Ben Fordham (right) and Rebecca Maddern (left)

Replacements wanted! Australian Ninja Warrior will look very different next year, following the departures of hosts Ben Fordham (right) and Rebecca Maddern (left)

Fordham, 45, stepped down in October to focus on his 2GB breakfast program, but remains part of the Nine family.

Maddern, 44, quit the network altogether last month after contract negotiations stalled. She is understood to be returning to Channel Seven next year.

Former Hawthorne great Crawford, who replaced British cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff as sideline commentator, is staying on the show.

Moving on: Maddern, 44, quit the network last month after contract negotiations stalled. She is understood to be returning to Channel Seven next year

Moving on: Maddern, 44, quit the network last month after contract negotiations stalled. She is understood to be returning to Channel Seven next year

Not going anywhere: Former Hawthorne great Shane Crawford (right), who replaced British cricketer Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff as sideline commentator, is staying on the show

Not going anywhere: Former Hawthorne great Shane Crawford (right), who replaced British cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff as sideline commentator, is staying on the show

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