“The Footy Show” welcomed its first female host, Rebecca Maddern, who replaced Gary Lyon. On the with her set for her debut were co-host James Brayshaw along with panelists Sam Newman and Billy Brownless.
Her debut appearance apparently didn’t please some of the show’s viewers. In fact, many questioned what appeared to be “hidden notes” written on Maddern’s hands, News.com.au reported.
Hence, it generated queries and reactions from viewers on Twitter.
However, if she did have notes, the news outlet observed that it didn’t seem necessary for her to use them. Maddern immediately went to work as host of the 23-year-old show, the Sydney Morning Herald noted. She revealed her journalistic ability and showed her knowledge of the sport.
It looked like business as usual on “The Footy Show” as Maddern forged ahead with questions at Travis Cloke and Leigh Montagna. She even had a chance to rib Newman about his age.
AFL’s decision to cast her received mixed reactions early on. Newman himself joined fans who criticised her appointment. Yet “The Footy Show” earned its highest ranking with Rebecca Maddern’s debut, a separate post from the Sydney Morning Herald reported. About 686,000 viewers watched the show on Thursday, according to SMH. Michael Lallo of the Sydney Morning Herald described Maddern’s first appearance as “confident, a good interviewer, knew her stuff inside out. Gave better than she got.”
She also didn’t back down from Brownless’ personal brand of humour. “When Billy Brownless suggested she’d twerk to Salt-N-Pepa on their Grand Final show, she brushed him off: ‘That won’t be happening.’” Lallo of SMH took note of the social media commentaries as well. However, he concluded that “she was a refreshing change.”
Maddern was given the affectionate nickname “our Bec” to signify her entry into the “boys’ club.” The Age noted it as a form of recognition for its first female host.