The 2020 Brownlow Medal will have a very new look with the virtual ceremony set to have the first female co-host of the event.
Channel 7 news presenter Jacqui Felgate was revealed as the co-host of the Brownlow count alongside Hamish McLachlan, who took over from Bruce McAvaney last year.
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The event is set to be unlike the usual glitz from the AFL’s night of nights with the red carpet glamour and glittering Crown ballroom to be replaced by the virtual count.
But speaking to the Herald Sun, Felgate, who is the host of 7AFL’s Footy Central, said just because it’s a virtual spectacle, doesn’t mean the broadcast won’t have some surprises up their sleeves.
“We’re planning a really wonderful spectacle and there’ll be plenty of respect for the medal,’’ she said.
“Everyone has had a tough year but in many ways footy has got us through and it’s given us something to cheer about.”
She also tweeted the news after it was announced on Sunday.
“Some news of my own I’d like to share. A privilege to be alongside the wonderful Hamish McLachlan,” she said.
Social media was quick to react to the news.
ABC journalist Dan Ziffer replied: “Congratulations Jac! This is fantastic news and a wonderful personal achievement. All the best.“
Racing.com editor-in-chief Paul Tatnell added: “Congrats Jacqui. Amazing moment and well deserved”.
The Australian‘s Courtney Walsh also said “Good stuff, Jac. Superb to see”.
McLachlan, who took over when McAvaney ended his 21-year run hosting the event last year, said the aim was to keep the event’s significance the same.
“To be crowned the game’s fairest and best is life changing, so we will try very hard to ensure that prestige remains among all the changes we face.
“Lachie Neale and Trav Boak look to be the two for me, but this year has shown whatever you think, counts for very little. I’m really looking forward to working with Jacqui. Jac loves her footy, is a great live performer and will do a terrific job bringing to life the players’ stories.”
The Lions’ Lachie Neale, Melbourne’s Christian Petracca and Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak are the favourites to take out the AFL’s most prestigious award. Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe is the reigning Brownlow medallist, having taken out the title for the 2019 season.