'You feel guilty and embarrassed.' The Today Show's Richard Wilkins on his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Channel Nine entertainment editor Richard Wilkins has appeared on-air for the first time since his coronavirus diagnosis, sharing his emotional state following the news.

Speaking to the Today Show, Wilkins spoke of his family.

“Last night, having to call my kids and tell them wasn’t much fun,” he said.

“The weird thing is, all you want to do at a time like this, more than anything in the world, is to hug your kids. But it’s the last thing I can do.”

The 65-year-old has five children, but has been in the closest contact with his son Christian, who is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars. 

“I called him after his show last night and he was very upset, he’s going to get tested in an hour. Fingers crossed he’ll be okay, which I’m sure he will be,” he said.

In terms of his own health, the veteran journalist said he’s feeling “surprisingly well”.

Watch: Richard Wilkins on his COVID-19 diagnosis. Post continues after video.

Video by Channel 9

“Look, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I [found out]. It took me a couple of minutes to reel from the news,” he said.

“I don’t have a sore throat, I don’t have a runny nose and I don’t have a headache. Maybe I’m going to get sick tomorrow? I’m almost waiting for something to happen. If I can say anything to anybody, it’s that if this is what it’s like, so far so good.”

More significant than the worries about his health, it seems, are his feelings of guilt.

“You feel guilty and embarrassed almost,” he told Today. “I went and did a piece with Fitzy and Wippa last Thursday morning and they’re off air today. I had to phone them last night.”

Wilkins acknowledged that he cannot know for sure how he contracted the virus but the “ripple effect” scares him.

“I pray to God I can get rid of this thing and I pray to God nobody else gets it because of me,” he said.


News broke of Wilkins’ diagnosis on Sunday night.

“It’s actually a bizarre feeling to have tested positive to this thing we’ve all been talking about,” Wilkins wrote on Twitter.

“I feel 100%… no symptoms at all!”

A spokesperson for Channel Nine said on Sunday night, “Richard Wilkins has tested positive to COVID-19. Richard is not showing any symptoms of the virus and has been self-isolating, on his own at home, since Thursday last week.”

“Since he is still without symptoms the authorities advise that he has not knowingly put others at risk, although anyone he has been in contact with prior to Thursday afternoon has been notified and will be tested if they show any symptoms of the virus.


“We want to assure everyone that Richard is feeling well and still without symptoms.”

Channel 10 released a statement about Christian Wilkins not long after the news broke.

“All Dancing With The Stars Australia cast and crew have been asked to self monitor for symptoms relating to COVID-19 while we await the results of Christian’s test,” Channel Ten wrote in a post.

Although it has not been confirmed where Wilkins contracted the virus, 65-year-old Wilkins met with Rita Wilson at Channel Nine’s Willoughby studios.

Rita, along with her husband, actor Tom Hanks, announced they tested positive for coronavirus last Thursday.

“We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive,” Hanks said in an Instagram post.



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Thanks to the Helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other. Hanx

A post shared by Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) on

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Rita Wilson was also interviewed by David Campbell and Belinda Russell on Today Extra.

Campbell and Russell were both placed in isolation, but have since been tested for coronavirus and returned negative results.

Feature image: Getty.