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Rebecca Maddern announced as new co-host of The AFL Footy Show

NewsKevin Perry

Rebecca Maddern
image source - News Corp

The AFL Footy Show has a new co-host, and for the first time in its 23 year history it’s a female.

Channel Nine has confirmed Rebecca Maddern is joining the network as co-host alongside James Brayshaw.

Maddern, a former Seven Network newsreader has had a 15-year career in the media as a journalist and presenter. This website understands Nine had been communicating with Maddern over the last 6 weeks, however it wasn't until her contract with Seven expired on Thursday that negotiations could officially commenced. Maddern signed with Ch9 on Good Friday after meeting with Nine's Tim Cleary and James Brayshaw.

Interesting Maddern is managed by Craig Kelly, whom also represents Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless. 

Maddern will co-host the program along-side Brayshaw and Newman, however Nine was keen to point out she would remain as a host should Garry Lyon return.

Nine has been keen to have a female join the programs line-up for sometime, particularly after the success of adding journalist Erin Molan to the NRL version of the show. However until now the network has struggled to find a female football journalist with a strong enough personality and sense of humour to work alongside the chauvinistic style of Sam Newman.


“I have been a fan of the show for many years and I am thrilled to have a new challenge that allows me the opportunity to use my footy knowledge and work alongside some of the best in the business,” said Maddern, who is also the Geelong Football Club’s number one ticket holder.

Maddern started her career as a sports reporter for Triple M Melbourne. She moved into television in 2002, working for the Seven Network, and quickly established herself as a first-rate reporter, winning one of journalism’s most prestigious awards in 2003, a Quill Award for her reporting of the Victorian bushfires.

She has hosted the 6.00pm news for Seven, but despite generating strong ratings for her former employer, Maddern whom often felt overlooked by Seven's Sydney management was never able to secure a permanent on-air gig at Seven. She had been expected to play a big roles in Seven's Rio Olympic coverage, how that role was reduced after the recruitment of Mel McLaughlin.


Announcing the appointment, Channel Nine Melbourne’s Managing Director, Ian Paterson, said:

“The Footy Show has been entertaining Australian audiences for 22 years and whilst its history has created an enormous legacy we think it’s now opportune to reset it for its long-term future. Having Rebecca come on board to co-host with her own perspective is a relevant decision, and we’re really excited at the prospect of what her dynamic personality will bring to the show.”   


Channel Nine Melbourne’s Head of Production and Programming, Tim Cleary, said:

“I’ve always felt Rebecca was capable of hosting her own show. She loves footy, she’s an accomplished journalist and presenter, and her personality and sense of humour suits the show. We’re excited to have her fronting The Footy Show with James.”


Rebecca Maddern joins The Footy Show team on Thursday, April 7