Kids ‘dumped’ for Hemworth’s TV surprise
Chris Hemsworth left Weekend Today hosts gobsmacked when he crashed the show's weather report on Saturday morning.
Rebecca Maddern and Richard Wilkins couldn't quite believe their eyes when the Aussie A-lister began to help host Lauren Phillips report live from a field in Scone, NSW, to get the day's weather.
But his surprise visit has come at the cost of a group of young cheerleaders who were due to perform on the show the following morning.
Kev Graham, who is the father of two Epic Cheer Allstars cheerleaders, told news.com.au the Today show had organised to broadcast the weather segment from the club's Ballina gym on Sunday.
But they were later told because the Hollywood actor was booked at short notice to appear on the show in Scone - the crew wouldn't be back in time to film in Ballina on Sunday.
The weather segment was filmed from Blacktown in Sydney on Sunday instead.
"They say they will reschedule but I don't think that will happen," Mr Graham told news.com.au
"I understand that Chris is the golden ticket for ratings but I think most families that watch Today would have loved watching the athletes show off their sport.
"For some families it would even be an introduction to competitive cheerleading in Australia."
He said his two girls - Lyla, 10, Tayah, 13 and the rest of the team - had been training hard all year with the hopes of competing in at least one competition this year.
"But the competitions are all in Queensland so it doesn't look like that will happen."
"The thought of showing their skills off on television I think made them feel like all the effort they put in training would not be for nothing," he said.
The disappointed father also updated his Facebook status on Saturday informing friends and family the group got "dumped" and wouldn't be appearing on the show.
"The kids were super excited given they haven't been able to perform all year due to Covid," he wrote.
"Then this morning they (Today show) got a better offer from Chris Hemsworth in Byron and dumped the young athletes. Way to go kicking small town sports in the guts."
Epic Cheer Allstars also updated its Facebook status, writing: "Unfortunately the Today show have had to postpone. Stay tuned for the reschedule".
Channel 9 did not want to comment.
Hemsworth was 600km south of his famous Byron mansion in Scone to work on a conservation project when he appeared on the show, leaving co-hosts Maddern and Wilkins in shock.
"You've made my job looking very easy there - would you like to take over?" Phillips asked the star during her weather report.
It's still unclear how the reporter managed to arrange the superstar cameo - but she did reveal during their chat that she's been living in Hemsworth's hometown of Byron Bay for the past 10 weeks.
The banter between the pair continued as, back in the studio, Wilkins and Maddern struggled to compose themselves.
Phillips told Hemsworth she'd promised the hosts she'd deliver a good interview on location in Scone.
"I'm a little like a rogue horse. I'll escape here at some point and they'll have to lasso me," said Hemsworth.
As the segment ended, Wilkins told Hemsworth he was booked and would be expected at the same time tomorrow.
"You lost your job! Sorry, I'm only available for the next 35 seconds," the star quipped.
As Phillips and her new friend signed off, Maddern still couldn't quite believe what had just happened.
"Dickie, you're the one who usually comes up with the big names on this show, but you have been TRUMPED. What about that? Chris Hemsworth. Did that just happen? He just read the weather on Weekend Today. My year made. They said 2020 was bad, no it's not. I'm a bit hot!"
Originally published as Kids 'dumped' for Hemworth's TV surprise