Another Seven superstar farewells audience as Sam Armytage says goodbye

The departure of the Sunrise co-host highlights the year of change at Seven

The departure of Sam Armytage highlights the year of change at Seven on three of its most successful properties. Key personalities of the channel’s ratings machines The Chase, Seven’s AFL coverage and Sunrise have all stepped aside. Thankfully for Seven, in a year where ratings success has been harder to come by, two of the three personalities are remaining with the network.

First to go was Andrew O’Keefe who was replaced by Larry Emdur as the host of The Chase last month.

The next major change was Bruce McAvaney standing aside from his AFL commentary duties. The third major departure was this week Samantha Armytage stepping down from co-hosting Sunrise.

The gap between Seven announcing Armytage’s departure and her final show was only a couple of days meaning it was a short farewell tour. On her final show on Thursday her co-host David Koch told viewers as they came on air: “Strap yourself in – it’s going to be a big one.”

He wasn’t wrong. The show’s executive producer Michael Pell and his team had trawled the archives to assemble an impressive collection of highlights from Armytage’s eight years on the show.

There had been media reports this week of friction on the Sunrise set between hosts and producers, but that wasn’t evident on the Thursday farewell program.

In addition to highlights from years of celebrity and news interviews, special farewell messages came from many. PM Scott Morrison managed to find time between photo opportunities this week to farewell Armytage, and Sam’s sister Georgie in the UK was a special guest live on Sam’s last show.

The farewell from Seven colleagues included a song from Sam Mac who later took viewers inside Armytage’s Sunrise office.

Arymtage’s husband Richard Lavender joined her on the set and talked about their love-at-first-sight meeting. Also joining farewell festivities was Armytrage’s lab Banjo.

Toward the end of the special program the Sunrise team presented solo goodbye messages filmed in the Champagne Bar at Sofitel Sydney.

“The time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise,” Armytage said winding things up. She then had a special message about some of the challenges she has faced.

See also: Sunrise host Samantha Armytage’s tearful goodbye to viewers as she leaves breakfast show

“I have always been brave and fearless in my career and this decision is no different.

“As many of you know, the last six months of my personal life have been very bittersweet.

“Some bits have been very happy, and some bits have been very, very sad, and 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.

“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 added.

“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.”

“To you guys, my on-air family, thank you for everything,” she said.

“You are the best in the business as well, it has been an extraordinarily wild ride and I thank you for your friendship over the years and your lovely words today.”

“I do want to say that I never fully understood some of the scrutiny and the snarkiness and bullying from some aspect of the media but today we move on from that because there is a new chapter starting.

“It has been overwhelmingly a good experience in my life, so I thank all of you.”

See also: Samantha Armytage departs Sunrise with last episode on March 11

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