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Sam Armytage’s last day on Sunrise: TV hosts bids farewell after 8 years

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’ Koch promised her last day would be a fitting tribute filled with ‘special guests and a lot of surprises’ – which Sam didn’t seem particularly keen on.

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

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

Kind: Viewers flocked to Twitter to wish Sam the best as she begins the next chapter in her life

Kind: Viewers flocked to Twitter to wish Sam the best as she begins the next 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 continued the good-natured ribbing by pretending to raid Samantha’s office.

He picked up her phone and pretended to listen to her voicemails, and even referenced one of Sam’s most notorious moments during her time on Sunrise.

Cheeky! Weatherman Sam Mac continued the good-natured ribbing by pretending to raid Samantha's office. He picked up her phone and pretended to listen to her voicemails

Cheeky! Weatherman Sam Mac continued the good-natured ribbing by pretending to raid Samantha’s office. He picked up her phone and pretended to listen to her voicemails

‘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 Kristin’s disapproval.

The funnyman then scanned her computer screen, which showed Sam had just updated her résumé.

‘Eight years working with the most respected broadcasters in media… and Kochie,’ he said, reading the mocked-up CV.

Joking: He scanned her computer screen, which showed Sam had just updated her résumé

Joking: He scanned her computer screen, which showed Sam had just updated her résumé

Naughty: After this, he rummaged through her drawers to find a sexy calendar featuring a shirtless photo of Sam's husband, Richard Lavender

Naughty: After this, he rummaged through her drawers to find a sexy calendar featuring a shirtless photo of Sam’s husband, Richard Lavender

After this, he rummaged through her drawers to find a sexy calendar featuring a shirtless photo of Sam’s husband, Richard Lavender.

At about 7:30, Sam Mac broke out his guitar and serenaded the departing host to the melody of Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) by Green Day.

The lyrics included a reference to Samantha’s recent interview with Stellar magazine  in which she said the TV industry was full of ‘narcissists’ and ‘sociopaths’. 

While the weather presenter made light of her remarks, it’s understood many people at Seven were genuinely offended by what she said.

Singalong: At about 7:30, Sam Mac broke out his guitar and serenaded the departing host to the melody of Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) by Green Day

Singalong: At about 7:30, Sam Mac broke out his guitar and serenaded the departing host to the melody of Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) by Green Day

Ouch! The lyrics included a reference to Samantha's recent interview with Stellar magazine in which she said the TV industry was full of 'narcissists' and 'sociopaths'

Ouch! The lyrics included a reference to Samantha’s recent interview with Stellar magazine in which she said the TV industry was full of ‘narcissists’ and ‘sociopaths’

Tearful: Things took an emotional turn when Sam received a surprise FaceTime call from her sister, Georgie, who lives in London, England

Tearful: Things took an emotional turn when Sam received a surprise FaceTime call from her sister, Georgie, who lives in London, England

Things took an emotional turn when Sam received a surprise FaceTime call from her sister, Georgie, who lives in London, England. 

The TV presenter broke down in tears, as the siblings haven’t seen each other in person for a long time due to Covid-19 border closures.

Georgie, who wasn’t able to attend their mother Libby’s funeral in November, said: ‘We’ll see you soon, I hope. It’s been a crazy time and we’re just looking forward to being all back together.’

Sam’s niece, Lucia, also described her as ‘the greatest auntie in the world’.

At one stage during the broadcast, there was even a joke about Samantha jumping ship to host Studio 10 alongside Sam Mac. 

Lovebirds: Sam's husband, Richard Lavender, visited the Sunrise set at 8:20 and they discussed their relationship

Lovebirds: Sam’s husband, Richard Lavender, visited the Sunrise set at 8:20 and they discussed their relationship 

Awkward: He was joined by the 'other man in Sam's life', her dog Banjo, who spent much of the segment awkwardly sniffing around Richard's legs

Awkward: He was joined by the ‘other man in Sam’s life’, her dog Banjo, who spent much of the segment awkwardly sniffing around Richard’s legs

Sam’s husband, Richard Lavender, visited the Sunrise set at 8:20 and they discussed their relationship. 

He was joined by the ‘other man in Sam’s life’, her dog Banjo, who spent much of the segment awkwardly sniffing around Richard’s legs.

Richard revealed fresh details about how the couple first met.

He said: ‘We met at the end of a friend’s birthday party, right at the end. I remember seeing her and I got this really nice feeling and I thought, “There’s my girl.”‘

Kochie then asked Richard how he knew Sam was The One just by looking at her.

‘It sounds corny, but it was [love at first sight],’ he said. ‘One of her old school friends was staying with me, and the next morning I was cooking breakfast and she came into the kitchen and said, “Can I give you a hand?” And I said, “Yes, you can. You can get me Sam Armytage’s phone number!” And here we are. That’s the story.’

He went on to describe his wife as ‘wonderful’ and a ‘great family girl’.

The broadcast ended with the Sunrise team gathering for a toast as Kochie quoted Mark Twain: ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. 

‘So throw off the bowlines! Sail away from safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.’

Several notable celebrities also shared video tributes, including radio hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson, actor Shane Jacobson, and singer Amy Shark.

Emotional: Sam tearfully announced her departure from Sunrise live on Monday's show

Emotional: Sam tearfully announced her departure from Sunrise live on Monday’s show 

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.’

Emotional: '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 said

Emotional: ‘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 said 

Marital bliss: Her announcement followed months of rumours she was preparing to leave Sunrise in order to spend more time with her husband, Richard Lavender, at his country estate

Marital bliss: Her announcement followed months of rumours she was preparing to leave Sunrise in order to spend more time with her husband, Richard Lavender, at his country estate

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

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 

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