Video: Australian TV hosts feud over white shirts

  • Updated
  • 13/01/2017

Australian television was set to be even whiter than usual on Wednesday after three women showed up to an interview wearing the same colour.

And now there's a "witch hunt" on to find out who leaked the video of their excruciating off-air exchange.

Host Amber Sherlock, reporter Julie Snook and psychologist Sandy Rae realised their fashion mix-up moments before going on-air for afternoon news program Nine News Now.

In the video, Sherlock and Snook engage in a passive-aggressive exchange lasting several minutes, with Rae looking on awkwardly throughout.

It begins with Sherlock referring to her colleague in the third person: "I need Julie to put a jacket on. I asked her before we came on… I told you two hours ago."

Snook, obviously irritated, says she has been flat-out, apologises and offers to find a jacket.

Sherlock responds by picking up her phone and starting to browse. "There can't be three of us and I've made this clear two-and-a-half hours ago," she says, not looking up.

"Amber, if it's an issue, I can get on out of here," Snook says.

"It is an issue," Sherlock responds. "Go and get a jacket."

After further bickering, Snook says her shirt is actually blue.

"It doesn't look like it," Sherlock snaps.

Snook eventually appears on-screen wearing a jacket and the segment goes ahead as planned.

It's a professional performance - but look closely and you can definitely spot some tension behind the rows of smiling white teeth.

Sherlock later told Nine Honey that she "probably overreacted".

"Live TV can be a pretty stressful beast, at times," she said.

The 'witch hunt' begins

It's believed the video was doing the rounds at Nine before someone sent it to media news site Mumbrella.

"There's no doubt that leaking such a video could be a sackable offence," a TV insider told newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

"It made one of their star presenters look nuts and petty. I suspect the IT department will be currently investigating who emailed Mumbrella yesterday afternoon."

Almost everyone in the news operation - not just those in the studio - would have had access to the feed however.

"Cameras and microphones are often open during a commercial break so presenters can check their appearance and to ensure any guests outside of the main studio can be heard.

"It's hard to know who would have leaked it because studio output feeds can often be accessed by affiliates around the country as well as an internal feed in Sydney."

It's not certain the leaker has a bone to pick with Sherlock, or just thought the video was funny and wanted to share the laughs.

The insider also said presenters often spend more time worrying about their wardrobe than the news they're presenting.

"Producers often wish that some presenters cared as much about the content as they do about the colour of their top."

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, entertainment reporter Nathanael Cooper said the Nine newsroom has "a bit of a Hunger Games reputation".

"The buzz in the industry is the journos would shank a granny for a spot on the bulletin. But just who has shanked Sherlock here is a mystery."

Nine is yet to publicly comment on the leak.