WHERE in the world is Seb Costello?
It's the question that continues to baffle Aussie media circles following the mysterious disappearance of the up-and-coming Channel Nine reporter from screens last Sunday evening.
The son of former Australian treasurer (and now Nine chairman Peter Costello) is - according to a Nine spokeswoman - on some "well-earned" leave having racked up a few weeks covering some of the biggest breaking news yarns in the world - primarily the Cocaine Cassie saga in Bogota and the Barcelona terror attack.
However what Nine's reps failed to clarify was why Costello, 30, opted to take a chunk of his annual leave midway through a shift.
Scheduled to deliver several crosses back to Aussie newsrooms from Barcelona on what was Sunday morning in Spain (and Sunday evening AEST), Costello missed his early-morning wake-up calls and subsequently was AWOL for a handful of crosses.
He did finally appear in time to deliver one cross before mysteriously vanishing from a scheduled cross to Perth's Nine newsroom.
He also missed a heavily-promoted cross to the Today Show on Monday morning, leaving veteran Ross Coulthart to fill the breach at the last minute.
One rival network camera operator on the ground in Spain told Confidential that Costello's absence from his normal duties in Barcelona on Sunday morning was the talk of the Aussie media contingent covering the breaking terror yarn.
"We were all waiting around waiting for him to show ... including his own cammo (camera operator)," he said.
Rumours that Costello had simply slept in after a bit of night-time revelry the evening before were shut down by Nine's spokeswoman who said the suggestion of such a thing was "false and concerning".
However the network is yet to clearly explain the bizarre incident which ultimately led to Tom Steinfort being quickly deployed to cover for Costello.
The network is also yet to reveal when their bright-eyed young gun reporter is due to return.
"He has worked tirelessly over the last two weeks without a day off. He's now taken leave due to him, and Tom Steinfort is filling in," the rep said.
Originally published as Star reporter's mysterious absence
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