Sunrise host Sam Armytage officially signed off on Thursday, after an impressive eight-year run on Australia’s most popular breakfast show.
Her co-anchor David ‘Kochie’ Kochie promised her last day would be a fitting tribute filled with ‘special guests and a lot of surprises’.
The 44-year-old had announced her resignation live on air on Monday, saying she wanted to step back from TV to spend more time with her family.
Walking off into the sunset: Sunrise host Sam Armytage officially signed off on Thursday, after an impressive eight-year run on Australia’s most popular breakfast show. Pictured with her co-anchor David ‘Kochie’ Koch
Kochie, 65, said at the start of the program: ‘For the past eight years she’s been a much-loved part of the Sunrise family, but the time has come for her to focus on her family.
‘Goodbyes are never easy. There will probably be some tears, but this morning we’re going to celebrate an incredible journey with some very special guests and a lot of surprises.’
Sam seemed a little nervous when Kochie teased ‘surprises’ to come.
Farewell: Despite the jovial atmosphere on set, Sam wore a black dress, which was perhaps a reference to how she was closing a significant chapter in her life
‘I get nervous about surprises on this show, but I am [ready]. I’m very excited,’ she said, then begged her colleagues not to air embarrassing footage from her years on the show.
Despite the jovial atmosphere on set, Sam wore a black dress, which was perhaps a reference to how she was closing a significant chapter in her life.
Later in the program, weatherman Sam Mac continue the good-natured ribbing by pretending to raid Samantha’s office.
He picked up her office phone and pretended to listen to her voicemails, and even referenced one of Sam’s most notorious moments during her time on Sunrise.
‘You have a missed call from the producers of Sex and the City – they want to talk about some sketch ideas,’ he said.
This was a reference to Sam’s infamous 2016 interview with Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis, in which she donned a blonde wig and impersonated the character Carrie Bradshaw – much to the Kristin’s disapproval.
He then scanned her computer screen, which showed Sam had just updated her résumé, and then rummaged through her drawers to find a sexy calendar featuring a photo of Sam’s husband, Richard Lavender.
Sam tearfully announced her departure from Sunrise live on Monday’s show.
She said: ‘The time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise. I have always been brave and fearless in my career and this decision is no different.’
She explained she was leaving of her own choosing, and was looking forward to life away from the spotlight after a ‘bittersweet’ year that included the death of her mother, Libby, and her marriage to businessman Richard, 60.
‘I want to step out of this public world for a while and take some time and calm things down, enjoy a bit of slow living, and spend some time with my precious family, my husband and [dog] Banjo,’ she said.
‘I go out of this job at a time of my own choosing and on top of the ratings, which not many people on television can say they do.
‘I’m extremely proud of my almost eight years at the helm of Sunrise, my seven years before that at Weekend Sunrise, and my almost 18 years with the Seven Network.’
Her announcement followed months of rumours she was preparing to leave Sunrise to spend more time with Richard at his country estate in the Southern Highlands.
Sam’s last day on Sunrise was Thursday, but her $800,000-a-year contract with Seven doesn’t expire until October.
Industry website TV Blackbox reported on Monday that newsreader Natalie Barr was expected to take over Sam’s position alongside co-anchor David ‘Kochie’ Koch.
Succession: Industry website TV Blackbox reported on Monday that newsreader Natalie Barr was expected to take over Sam’s position alongside co-anchor David ‘Kochie’ Koch