Fatty fans are ‘baying for Erin Molan’s blood’
FOOTY Show and Paul "Fatty" Vautin loyalists are baying for Erin Molan's blood as the Nine network announces a new "big money three year contract" after her show was axed.
However, supporters of the man who hosted the NRL Footy Show for 24 of its 25 years have been "baying for replacement host Erin Molan's" blood since Nine discontinued the show, Sunday Telegraph columnist Annette Sharp writes.
Sharp reported details of Vautin's poorly-handled sacking last year, and his supporters turning on Molan after she presided over the show's downfall.
"Vautin has maintained his silence since Nine's CEO Hugh Marks and … Tom Malone failed to front up, or even have a conversation with him, before having an underling sack him," Sharp wrote.
The phone call to sack Vautin, while he was on holiday in America in 2017, came from the show's then executive producer Glenn Pallister.
He was also tasked with sacking Vautin's co-stars Beau Ryan and Darryl Brohman, before Brohman was hastily re-instated and Pallister himself was discontinued.
In the last week, Vautin loyalists have cited the fact that he is the longest serving host of a sole program in Australian TV history.
Paul Vautin's Footy Show featured him alongside fellow ex-footballers Peter Sterling, Steve "Blocker" Roach and Paul Harragon dressing up for satirical segments and comedy skits.
In an effort make the Footy Show less blokey, Nine included female commentators like News Corps' respected sports journalist, the late Rebecca Wilson.
Erin Molan joined in 2012, and became a permanent co-host in 2014, along with Ryan, Brohman and former test cricketer, Michael Slater.
Molan's elevation to the top job was designed to bring in a younger audience as well as more female viewers.
The show had been struggling in the ratings, which some blamed on the start of Thursday night football pushing the Footy Show to a much later timeslot.
But the decision to cut Vautin completely from the show did not attract more viewers.
Molan's first week in the presenter's chair in the first show back for 2018 was a disaster, which viewers were quick to slam as an "absolute trainwreck" for its production errors.
Ratings did not flow and even Darryl Brohman was predicting the show's end in a friendly jibe towards his 2GB weekend radio co-host Molan just days before Nine's axing, saying she had "killed" the Footy Show.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Vautin would have said "no" if an 11th hour offer by Nine to have him return as Footy Show host had been made.
"Fatty will derive little pleasure from the cancellation of his show that in the end couldn't be saved by a host who never played the game," Annette Sharp wrote.
"But hopefully he's feeling the respect of the TV industry and rugby league code at least."
Molan has reportedly been hurt by criticism of her role in the wake of the Footy Show's canning, but has said she's "really excited about what's to come" at Nine.