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Today Show farewells Georgie Gardner

Georgie Gardner has been given a tearful farewell after working seven years on the breakfast program.

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She held back the tears for most of the morning, but it was one of her heroes who finally cracked Channel Nine personality Georgie Gardner's otherwise unshakably cool demeanour on live television this morning as she prepared to sign off as the Today Show's newsreader after seven years.

It was a specially recorded message from retired Nine news anchorman Brian Henderson which left a sizeable lump in Gardner's throat.

Henderson revealed he had fought hard to have Gardner poached from rival Seven, declaring she is "one of the finest newsreaders in the country".

Final farewell: Georgie Gardner and the Today Show crew.

Final farewell: Georgie Gardner and the Today Show crew. Photo: Nick Moir

Gardner responded: "You know how to make a girl cry ... that means a lot coming from you Brian Henderson."

Seven years on breakfast television is an eternity compared to other industries, providing Today's producers with a seemingly endless source of clips featuring Gardner, from her poker-faced delivery of sassy one-liners with co host Karl Stefanovic to dripping in diamonds at Tiffany's in New York boutique and reporting on some of the big stories of the day, from the birth of princes to terrorist attacks.

But waiting in the wings is Gardner's replacement, popular Channel Nine reporter Sylvia Jeffreys, who has been anointed as the network's new breakfast television star.

Handing over: Georgie Gardner and Sylvia Jeffreys.

Handing over: Georgie Gardner and Sylvia Jeffreys. Photo: Instagram

Gardner introduced Jeffreys live on air, describing her as "the very talented and quite fabulous Sylvia Jeffreys", telling her "you are working with the absolute best in the business".

Jeffreys said it was "quite literally terrifying following you, someone who I admire so very much".

Jeffreys joins the show at a time when it is engaged in a dramatic ratings battle with arch rival, the dominant Seven's Sunrise.

Group hug: the Today Show farewells Georgie Gardner.

Group hug: the Today Show farewells Georgie Gardner. Photo: Twitter

The Today show couch is set to be an interesting place following the arrival of Jeffreys, who starts work as the show's newsreader on Monday morning.

Jeffreys is currently dating Today host Karl Stefanovic's younger brother, Channel Nine European correspondent Peter Stefanovic.

"I told Pete the good news, but he is in Italy right now and he's fast asleep ... the only advice he has given to me about his brother was to let Karl take the reins," Jeffreys, 28, told Fairfax.

End of an era: the Today Show team.

End of an era: the Today Show team. Photo: Supplied

Though she is prepared for any cheeky jibes her boyfriend's brother may aim her way.

"Look I know there will be a big target on my back and Karl will probably want to have a go, so Im pretty prepared for that," she said.

"These are big shoes to fill, Im not going to try and replace Georgie as that would be impossible. I'm just going to come in each day and be myself, hopefully I can shine when I need to, and probably have to be reigned in every now and then too ... this is a great opportunity for me and Im just so happy I have been given it."

Gardner announced her motivation to leave was driven by a need to spend more time with her young children.

Gardner will become Nine's locum personality, filling in on the later Mornings program during Sonia Kruger's hosting duties on the upcoming Big Brother series. 

Meanwhile Queensland-born Jeffreys has quickly established herself as one of the most versatile members of the Nine Network’s news and current affairs team. She started her television career with Channel Nine in Brisbane, where her reports, in particular on the devastating 2010-11 Queensland floods and the destructive tropical Cyclone Yasi, won high praise from the network.

Since 2012 she has filed stories for Nine News, been the Today Show’s Sydney reporter, co-hosted Weekend Today and presented the weather on Sydney’s highest-rating evening news bulletin.