For rugby league fans, The Footy Show was a brilliant and integral part of the NRL season with Paul Vautin, Erin Molan, Beau Ryan and Darryl 'Big Marn' Brohman. Not only did they provide plenty of laughs but they also tackled some of the big issues within the sport and raised awareness around mental health issues.

But after 23 years on air, 691 episodes and 11 Logies, it is undergoing a massive make-over.

Host Paul Vautin has been booted from the show, despite being at the helm since the programme's inception.

The Daily Telegraph reports the 58-year-old was told he wouldn't be needed for the 2018 season while he was overseas on holiday.

Channel Nine is hoping to revamp The Footy Show after it was plagued with dwindling ratings over the last few years, with nearly 400,000 Australians tuning in during the 2000s compared with around 80,000 this year, according to the Daily Mail.

In a statement, the network said: "Nine will be broadcasting 23 Thursday night NRL games in 2018 and so The NRL Footy Show will have a new look and feel to reflect the games the audience have just enjoyed watching.

"The exact format of The Footy Show and appearing talent is still to be determined."

But that is a very different statement from the one that was issued last week, saying: "The NRL Footy Show also returns for its 25th season in 2018.

"Each week Paul 'Fatty' Vautin, Erin Molan, Beau Ryan and Darryl 'Big Marn' Brohman will be joined by some of the biggest names in the game, including Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater, as they provide expert analysis on all the matches."

The news hasn't gone down well with fans of the show.

There is mounting speculation that the new-look show will be centred around current host Erin Molan. But that was a surprise to the woman herself, telling Channel Nine's The Fix: "For starters this is all news to me, I haven't been told anything about what the show will be doing next year -- what direction it will be taking -- or what the role will be.

"I understand there will be changes, but regarding who will be there or who won't be there, I honestly have absolutely no idea at this stage.

"I have not been told."

The 'Big Marn' says he's also been left in the dark about his future with the show, telling Macquarie Radio's Ben Fordham: "None of us have been told what's happening. I think we're all realistic enough to realise there's a use-by date on everyone in television and I'm realistic enough to understand I've had a pretty good run.

"I'm not bitter at all about it. I understand these things happen but it would have been nice for Fatty to clock up 25 years. It would have been a bit of a milestone.

"There's a lot of people who don't like the show and vent their feelings on social media. But there's also a lot of people who do like the show."

We'll have to wait and see what the show will look like when it premieres next year.

Sources: news.com.au, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Guardian

Featured Image Credit: Channel 9

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