The search for Tracy Grimshaw’s A Current Affair replacement may be over.
Channel Nine political reporter Chris O’Keefe is now a “hot favorite” to take over next year, according to industry insiders.
In lieu of a private audition for the role, O’Keefe will have a live audition hosting Thursday’s episode of ACA while Grimshaw takes the night off, reports TV Blackbox.
“If tonight goes well and the audience responds positively, Chris O’Keefe will be hosting 2023 A Current Affair,” the publication reads.
O’Keefe, who has a decade of television news experience, certainly ticks all the boxes to replace Grimshaw – especially since Nine is hoping to fill the role internally.
He has also received several journalism awards including a 2016 Walkley Award and the 2017 NSW Journalist of the Year award.
Grimshaw announced last month that she was stepping down as host of ACA.
“Normally we would tell you now what to expect tomorrow night, but lately I’ve been thinking longer-term personally, and I have some news I wanted you to hear from me before you hear from anyone else,” she said on air.
“I’ve decided to wrap up this year with A Current Affair.
“It was a big decision and before the gossip sites start telling you nonsense I want you to know that it was my decision and I won’t be pushed out the door by the boys’ club for being too old.
“I’m not too old, I’m just a little tired. And for the record, both the boys and girls asked me to stay.’
The uncompromising TV presenter, who has been with Channel Nine for more than 40 years, said she’s been a shift worker for “basically 26 years” which has cost her family time.
Grimshaw replaced Ray Martin in the role in 2006.