Natalie Barr unexpectedly left her post at the Sunrise desk on Tuesday morning, leaving Monique Wright to fill in alongside co-host Matt Shirvington.
When the show returned from ad break at approximately 7.30am, Monique sat beside Shirvo as he welcomed viewers back to the program.
‘Well, Mon has cruised by,’ he said, before revealing why his co-host abruptly disappeared.
He revealed the breakfast television host, 55, had quietly snuck out of the Sunrise studio for an exclusive interview with Sir Richard Branson.
‘It’s all because Nat’s on her way to meet Sir Richard Branson.’
Branson is currently in Sydney as he welcomes his Virgin Voyages cruise ship to Australia – with the ship Resilient Lady docking at Circular Quay on Monday.
The studio crossed to Natalie, who sat in the backseat of a car on her way towards Sydney Harbour.
‘This is a billion dollar ship. We’ve got no kids, no buffet, no tips,’ the excited television host said.
‘He’s doing things a bit differently. More than 20 restaurants and 17 decks. It’s new, it’s fresh. And he’s gonna tell us about it.’
Natalie Barr unexpectedly left her post at the Sunrise desk on Tuesday morning, leaving Monique Wright (left) to fill in alongside co-host Matt Shirvington (right)
Natalie added: ‘Actually, the traffic’s looking good. I’ve put on a great day for him. 30 degrees in Sydney. Sparkling on the Harbour. Stay tuned.’
This isn’t the first time Natalie has suddenly left the Sunrise desk.
In September, the brunette disappeared halfway through the show to attend her youngest son Hunter’s final school assembly.
She was again replaced by Monique Wright for the remainder of the show.
The breakfast television host, 55, quietly snuck out of the Sunrise studio for an exclusive interview with Sir Richard Branson
Back in February, Sunrise viewers were left scratching their heads after Natalie mysteriously vanished without much explanation.
When the cameras returned to the news desk at 8:01am, the voiceover welcomed back ‘Kochie and Nat’ but Monique was sitting in her chair.
‘Good morning! Back now for our 8am hour on Sunrise. Thanks so much for joining us,’ a cheerful Monique said.
‘What the hell are you doing here?’ former host David ‘Kochie’ Koch asked her.
It’s not the first time Natalie has suddenly left the Sunrise desk. The host has vanished from the studio a handful of times this year
As the team laughed off the sudden change to the panel, Monique joked: ‘Nat just scurried out and I happened to have been under the couch.’
Kochie then explained why Natalie was forced to make a quick exit, revealing she had just scored an ‘exclusive interview’ and had a flight to catch.
‘She’s dashing to the airport as we speak,’ he said.
‘In the meantime, Monique is in the chair for the rest of this morning.’
It was later revealed Natalie had scored an interview with the Olivia Newton-John’s daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, following the late star’s state funeral in Melbourne.