Veteran TV host Samantha Armytage has bid a tearful farewell to Sunrise viewers on Thursday, while firing a parting shot at the media industry.
After eight years as co-host of Seven’s morning program, Armytage thanked the entire team and her on-air family, who she said are the “best in the business”.
The TV journalist’s final show was loaded with happy memories and good-natured ribbing, but for a moment took a more serious tone.
After thanking the cast and crew, Armytage broke down in tears as she criticised some parts of the media for “bullying” her.
“I do want to say that I never fully understood some of the scrutiny and the snarkiness and the bullying from some aspects of the media,” she said.
“But today we move on from that because there is a new chapter starting. It has been overwhelmingly a good experience in my life.”
Armytage thanked the viewers and said “if you see me in the supermarket come and say hi.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among politicians and big names who made an appearance on Thursday’s show.
“Thank you, Sam, for everything you have done for the country and your journalism over all these many years. I wish you all the best in the next stage of your life,” Mr Morrison said.
Premiers Gladys Berejiklian and Annastacia Palaszczuk sent farewell messages, while singer Amy Shark and radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O also wished Armytage well.
Kochie says goodbye
Co-host David Koch opened Thursday’s show by reminding viewers of Armytage’s “incredible journey” and promised “a lot of surprises” for her last day on-air.
“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,” he said.
Other segments included a CV reading and farewell song from colleague Sam Mac.
“Eight years working with the most respected broadcasters in media … and Kochie,” Mac read from a mock resume.
“Regular contributor to the Daily Mail … unwillingly.”
Armytage’s husband Richard Lavender and dog Banjo also dropped by for a surprise visit.
As the show closed, Kochie bid his colleague goodbye – touting her “integrity and compassion”.
Of my own choosing
The TV journalist’s tenure on the morning program was not without controversy – she was sued for racial vilification in 2020 along with Prue MacSween over comments made about Indigenous adoption.
But Armytage announced her decision to leave the show on Tuesday was all her own.
She said she wants to step out of the “public world” and take some time for her family, husband and dog.
“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,” she said.
Armytage has been a Stellar Magazine columnist since 2017 and recently announced she was starting a weekly podcast.
She is expected to remain with Seven for future projects.
A replacement co-host for Sunrise has not yet been confirmed.