Jessica’s laughing all the way to the nursery

060721 Jess
Since I don’t have a cynical or mean-spirited bone in my body, I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that career issues have impacted on Jessica Rowe’s pregnancy. Even though she got maximum impact out of it by announcing it on air this morning. And did a live chat with her husband about it. No, it was just one of those completely spontaneous moments that have endeared Today so much to Australian viewers.

But in an alternate universe where people were that calculating, there could be no better way to preserve her career – and perhaps even her show. I reckon the only way this could have played better is if the father was Todd or Brant.

Not only does the news give her lots of good publicity, but now that Peter Overton has, there’s no way Eddie McGuire will be able to ‘bone‘ her. It would look terrible if Nine sacked her, and also potentially be illegal under what remains of our unfair dismissal laws. Mothers are about the only group the Liberals protect these days.

And then of course at the end of this year, she will leave. As she probably would have anyway, given the year she’s had. The timing’s perfect – she’s three months in, so Christmas is perfect. Expect an announcement that she won’t be returning next year because the hours are terrible for a new mum, and that she’s “exploring less physically demanding opportunities” with the network. In particular, ones where she reads the news. And doesn’t laugh.

In the meantime, it will give Today great ‘relatable’ content that’s the stuff (and, of course, the source of the banality) of successful breakfast shows. Viewers will be able to experience Rowe’s pregnancy along with her. I fully expect exciting ultrasound footage and a hugely-hyped announcement of its sex. Viewers may even be able to vote for its name on an SMS poll. Or perhaps one of Nine’s corporate partners could supply its moniker?

Although if she suffers from morning sickness, it could make for some uncomfortable viewing. Judging by the ratings, though, Today has made people feel off-colour all year, so it’ll be a great source of empathy.

It’s also excellent news for those who have worried about Rowe’s weight. Since she’s pregnant, she’ll now have to eat for at least one.

The interesting thing is how Sunrise will react. I can’t help but think that this puts major pressure on Kochie and Mel. To stay ahead of their rivals, they may need to go one step further and conceive a child together.

So, finally some good news for Today. There could well be more on the way as well. Anyone tip Karl Stefanovic to be the next celebrity to wind up with a horrific ice injury?

Dominic Knight