The Footy Show’s first lady, Rebecca Maddern, makes her highly anticipated debut when she joins co-host James Brayshaw, Tonight (Thursday) at 8.30pm on Channel Nine.
The arrival of Maddern on such a 'blokey' program as The Footy Show has sparked significant discussion with a small group of ardent fans believing the show should remain a safe place for a bit of ‘sexist fun’. However many more have embraced the news and are hoping Maddern will help re-invented a program many now see as stale.
Nine is well aware the addition of Maddern will bring change to the show, but are hopeful for a smooth transition, a spokesperson for the network recently telling DeciderTV,
“Bec and Sam already enjoy a natural rapport, she’s very well known to Hughesy and Billy, and you can already see a good chemistry with James. Any change to an ensemble cast alters the dynamics, but we’re all excited about what that means for the show as we move into our 23rd season and beyond.”
We haven’t just brought Bec over to fill-in. She is joining the cast of the show, it’s long-term thinking and she’ll be part of the show into the future.”
For her part, Maddern is well aware her arrival on the show will be heavily scrutinised but is ready to embrace the challenge stating,
“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,”
Of course this wont be the last significant change to the show, and there remains the possibility that at some point in the Garry Lyon could return.
“We’ve put no timeline on Garry’s return,” said a Nine spokesperson. “He continues to undergo treatment for a mental health condition, and that remains the number one priority. He’s an integral part of the show and has our total support as he continues to focus on his recovery. He’s also a big fan of Bec, and was overwhelmingly supportive of the move to bring her in.”
Tonights show will also see Collingwood forward Travis Cloke headsup the panel as he responds to criticism of his form, and joining him is St Kilda veteran Leigh Montagna.
Dual Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett chats to the team about the Suns’ undefeated start to the season following a very mediocre 2015, as do Jake Stringer and Easton Wood from the Western Bulldogs.
Sam Newman stops by the Quambatook Tractor Pulling Festival for his first Street Talk of 2016 – and he will also be back behind the lectern delivering another controversial Rant.