Sports broadcaster Mel McLaughlin has left her role with Channel 10, just two months after she was propositioned on-air by Melbourne Renegades batsman Chris Gayle.
The respected presenter was the victim of Gayle’s infamous line “don’t blush baby” when attempting to conduct a sideline interview with him on January 4.
McLaughlin, 36, has reportedly signed a lucrative deal with Channel 7, which is likely to see her covering the Rio Olympics beginning on August 5.
Although Channel Ten has confirmed the news of her departure, McLaughlin and Channel 7 are remaining tight-lipped on the rumoured agreement. The New Daily is awaiting a response from both parties.
Her last work with Channel 10 will likely be the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, on March 17-20.
After completing a science degree, McLaughlin began her career as a sports presenter on Western Sydney station Radio 2, then moved to SBS to cover A-League soccer.
A stint at Sky News followed, before she was lured to Fox Sports to anchor its A-League coverage.
After six successful years with Fox, McLaughlin joined Network 10 to help bring some polish to their Big Bash coverage, and she also co-hosted their Brazil World Cup telecasts, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Sochi Winter Olympics throughout a hectic 2014.
Those experiences will stand her in good stead in a role with Channel 7, during the Rio Olympics.
McLaughlin was an unwitting and unfortunate victim of Gayle’s attempted seduction, and was keen to move on as quickly as possible.
“I’m a little bit uncomfortable,” she said in an interview on 10’s The Project in the days after the incident.
“I’m not used to being at the centre of any sort of story. This one certainly escalated, but I’m OK.”
McLaughlin has never seen her gender as a hindrance in her chosen field, and said she’s always been a sports fanatic.
“For me, I genuinely grew up loving all different sports,” she told the Herald Sun.
“Cricket was high on the agenda. I went to whatever Test cricket I could.
“Whenever there was a game you knew would sell out, my mates and I would hit the phone, the old landline, at 9am until someone got tickets.
“I remember I was doing my year 12 exams and went to the cricket at the SCG.
“I told mum I’d study while I was there so I had a chemistry book open on my lap but only really to keep her happy.”
McLaughlin’s older sister Tara McLaughlin – a non-smoker – died due to a rare form of lung cancer in 2015 at the age of 39.