‘It’s not back to the future’: Eddie McGuire returns for the ‘rebirth’ of Nine’s AFL Footy Show

Despite flicking the bird on air last night, Sam Newman will remain a host of Nine’s AFL Footy Show, and will be reunited with Eddie McGuire who returns to the show after an 11 year absence.

McGuire will join Newman and co-host Rebecca Maddern, with Craig Hutchinson exiting after a four month stint as the once dominant show struggles against Seven’s competing Front Bar program.

McGuire and Maddern addressed the media this afternoon.

Commenting on his return, McGuire told the media in a live stream on “To come back with Bec, who’s dominating so much with Ninja at the moment, and has made the her show own, and my old mate Sam Newman, as long as he behaves, we’ll have a chat to him in the next couple of days.”

“This is not going back to the future, this is about a whole new beginning to the show. This is the rebirth of the footy show.

“From this moment on, we are dedicated to having the best footy show and best entertainment show on television.”

He said while discussions had been in place, the decision to return had only been made in on Friday afternoon.

“It’s been hours in the making. There’s been discussions, generally over the last few years.”

“I wanted to make sure that I’m remaining with Fox Footy and I’ll be hosting Fox Footy’s broadcast tonight and I’d like to thank for Fox Footy for their support.”

McGuire said he spoke with Foxtel about the idea “by pure coincidence” yesterday. “They were keen to support the show and me going back to the show.”

Asked whether he was a “saviour” for the show, McGuire said the program didn’t need saving: “The show doesn’t need saving, the show’s going well, it’s been under a lot of pressure and a lot of critiques.”

Nine’s AFL Footy Show: Melbourne metro viewers (Apr 27-July 20). Source: OzTAM

Despite Hutchinson’s departure McGuire described said he had done “the very best” he could in the circumstances, describing his Footy Classified show as a “must watch.”

“Hutchy is still one of the best news breakers ever to be in the media,” McGuire said of the deposed host who replaced long standing host James Bayshaw earlier this year.

“Craig has done everything he can to make the Footy Show successful and he’s done the very best that he can.”

The news comes the day after Newman gave the rude finger to fellow panellists, following reports he was set to be axed from the show.

Newman flicked the bird last night.

Newman is no stranger to controversy, last year causing Nissan to almost pull its sponsorship, following his comment the media as “excrement”, over its coverage of Eddie McGuire’s drowning remarks.  

McGuire was under fire for making comments about drowning The Age’s sports journalist, Caroline Wilson. 

Today, McGuire told the media there was “no person in the human race” that could keep Newman in line.

“From my point of view, I spoke to him today, and he’s thinking about how everything went last night but for me that shows the passion of Sam Newman.”

Maddern added: “There’s no denying it was a difficult night, and Sam Newman may have had one of the those. He had a creative difference of opinion with us and that’s fine at the end of the day, because that’s how you make a good show.”

Asked how he felt about competing against radio co-host Mick Molloy, who currently hosts rival AFL show, Seven’s The Front Bar, McGuire said: “Micky and I are great mates, and it’ll just add a bit more to Triple M’s Hot Breakfast.”

The Front Bar announced it would go head to head with the Footy Show late last month.

According to OzTAM’s overnight preliminary ratings, The Front Bar reached 177,000 Melbourne viewers, beating The Footy Show’s 155,000.

In Adelaide, The Footy Show had 42,000 viewers compared to The Front Bar, which had an audience of 30,000, while in Perth it reached 37,000 viewers, ahead of The Front Bar’s 17,000.


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