© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited'Something had to give': Today sports presenter Tony Jones, 58, has quit Nine's breakfast show after struggling with an 'unsustainable' workload
While Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight have been axed from the Today show, sports presenter Tony Jones insists he is leaving the program by choice.
Tony, 58, officially announced his resignation on Friday, telling the Herald Sun he has been struggling with an 'unsustainable' workload since joining Today in January.
'It's certainly been a wild ride over the past year, but I've thoroughly enjoyed my time working on the Today show,' he told the newspaper.
' © Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedUncomfortable: His resignation announcement came hours after Tony appeared in a painfully awkward segment on the Today show shortly before 6am. Pictured (left to right): Tom Steinfort, Deborah Knight, Georgie Gardner and Tony Jones
However, I came to the conclusion several months ago that juggling those commitments, together with Nine News, Sunday Footy Show and 3AW was not sustainable', he continued.
'Something had to give,' he simply added.
Tony confirmed he will still be involved with occasional Melbourne-based stories on Today next year.
His resignation announcement came hours after a painfully awkward segment aired on the Today show, shortly before 6 am. © Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedBad mood? Shortly before 6am, Tony (pictured) became visibly irritated with co-anchors Deborah Knight and George Gardner, rudely shutting down their attempts at 'banter'
During the segment, Tony became visibly irritated with co-anchors Deborah Knight and George Gardner, rudely shutting down their attempts at 'banter'.
Deborah, 46, even apologised to the sports presenter after he had berated her for asking if he would bring his dog to the racetrack.
'Deb, we're at a racetrack,' Tony snapped back. 'Probably not a great idea to bring the dog, I wouldn't have thought.'
'I thought it might've been good to have Archie there to cheer you up,' Deborah responded, trying to lighten the mood. © Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedUnpopular: Today's ratings have been on a steady decline since 2016, with viewers flocking to Channel Seven's Sunrise and ABC News Breakfast instead
As newsreader Tom Steinfort began to speak, Tony cut in: 'I'm in a great mood, I'm in a fantastic mood... I just love being here.'
Deborah, who seemed genuinely affronted by Tony's sarcasm, replied: 'Okay, well sorry for asking. Never mind. Good on you, TJ.' © Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedRemember this? Jones famously shared an awkward moment with fellow presenter Rebecca Judd when she dodged his farewell kiss in 2016
Prior to this awkward exchange, Tony had already been involved in an uncomfortable back and forth with Georgie, 49.
Tony had asked the anchors which Australian dishes they would include on a menu for French tourists, to which Georgie replied: 'A kangaroo burger, maybe.'
While kangaroo meat is sold in supermarkets across Australia and has been exported to over 55 countries, her answer was met with a condescending response.
'Oh, you'd just go and slaughter a kangaroo, would you, Georgie?' Tony said. © Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedIncoming: It comes as Kyle Stefanovic and Allison Langdon prepare to take the helm at Today early next year
When Georgie argued that kangaroo meat is widely available across the country, Tony responded abrasively: 'You can't eat Skippy.'
It comes as Kyle Stefanovic and Allison Langdon prepare to take the helm at Today early next year.