PARTING SHOT: Armytage breaks down in emotional farewell
Samantha Armytage broke down in tears as she bid farewell to Sunrise and blasted parts of the media for "bullying" her throughout her career.
At the end of her final show on air, Armytage thanked the cast and crew before saying: "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, 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 continued: "Thank you, most all, to all our viewers, you are just wonderful people. There are so many lovely people out there, so many more lovely ones than the nasty ones."
SAM'S FINAL SHOW
At the start of this morning's show, co-host David 'Kochie' Koch said: "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."
The first big surprise came when weatherman Sam Mac rummaged through the office that Armytage shares with Kochie.
In a hilarious segment, Mac picked up Armytage's office 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," Mac joked in reference to Armytage's infamously cringe-worthy 2016 segment with Kristin Davis.
Mac then turned on Armytage's computer and read from a mock resume for the TV star.
"Eight years working with the most respected broadcasters in media … and Kochie," Mac read out from the mock resume. "Regular contributor to the Daily Mail … unwillingly."
The weather presenter also went through Armytage's drawers and found a firefighter calendar. Turning to the month of March, he held up the calendar which featured a sexy photo of Armytage's husband, Richard Lavender.
The segment left the Sunrise co-hosts in hysterics.
Laster in the show Sam Mac paid tribute to Armytage with a song to the tune of Green Day's Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).
He made reference to Armytage's recent comments to Stellar that TV is "full of sociopaths and narcissists" and even had a dig at Channel 9's Today show.
Some of the lyrics were:
So many memories, you will be sorely missed
It's time to say goodbye to the sociopaths and the narcissists
You know we'd love to keep you here,
But when it's time it's time
And you'd better not show up on Channel 9 … You'd better not. We know they change hosts every year.
SAM'S HUSBAND JOINS SUNRISE
During the show Armytage broke down in tears when her sister, Georgie, skyped in from London to congratulate her on her career.
Later, Armytage's husband Richard Lavender and her dog Banjo appeared in studio.
Laid-back Lavender explained to Kochie how he fell in love with Armytage the first time he saw her.
"We met at the end of a friend's birthday party," he said. "I remember seeing her and I got this really nice feeling. I thought, that's my girl.
"One of her old school friends was staying with me and the next morning I was cooking breakfast. She (the friend) 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."
Armytage paid tribute to her husband, saying: "He's literally my other half. He loves all the things I love and now I have someone to do all those things with. We're great mates and we have a great time."
The couple said they're looking forward to spending time with family when Armytage steps away from TV.
WHEN SAM QUIT
Armytage shocked viewers with a tearful announcement on Monday, saying that "the time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise. I have always been very brave and fearless in my life and my career and this decision is no different."
Armytage said the death of her mum last November and her recent wedding to Richard Lavender contributed to her decision to leave the show.
"As many of you know, my personal life the last six months has 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, take some time and calm things down, enjoy a bit of slow living and spend some time with my precious family and husband and Banjo (her dog)."
There are sure to be more tears this morning as Armytage sits behind the desk with co-host David 'Kochie' Koch for the final time.
WHO WILL REPLACE SAM?
Channel 7 won't reveal who is replacing Sam Armytage this week, news.com.au understands.
Natalie Barr will host Sunrise on Friday (as she always does) alongside David 'Kochie' Koch (who is usually replaced by Matt Doran on Fridays).
Barr, who has been a part for the Sunrise family for more than 15 years, is currently the favourite to move into Armytage's chair.
"Natalie Barr is much-loved by the Sunrise audience and logic would suggest she naturally inherits the role," David Knox, editor of TV Tonight told news.com.au. "This would bring as little disruption as possible which is a big consideration, but none of this should detract from her steady hand and commitment.
"She's shown how well she can work with Kochie and at this point in his career, you would gravitate to anybody who is going to keep him in there longer.
"In my mind the audience and Kochie are the two prevailing factors," Mr Knox said.
There's a chance, however, that Barr might be apprehensive to take on the huge role, Mr Knox suggested.
"Nat knows that breakfast TV puts you in the crosshairs of click-bait and social media, particularly having seen some of the headlines Sam has attracted over the past 12 months, which she's largely managed to avoid as news anchor," he told news.com.au.
Barr is currently the Sunrise newsreader, and according to The Australian, Seven's internal research indicates that she is one of the most popular breakfast TV personalities in Australia.
WHO ARE THE OTHER CONTENDERS
A senior Seven executive told the Sydney Morning Herald: "We have a very strong stable of female talent on Sunrise so it would make sense to promote internally."
Given Seven is keen to "promote internally", other personalities in the mix could include:
Weekend Sunrise co-host Monique Wright, Sunrise entertainment presenter Edwina Bartholomew and journalist Angela Cox.
"Monique Wright would also be a strong contender having co-hosted Weekend Sunrise so well since 2013," Mr Knox told news.com.au. "But, like Kylie Gillies, does it upset other shows to move those that are clearly working so well?"
SAM'S NEW PODCAST
Armytage recently launched a podcast with News Corp's Stellar called Something To Talk About with Samantha Armytage. Guests so far include Hugh Sheridan and Julie Bishop. Next Sunday she speaks to Australian of the Year, Grace Tame.
You can listen below.
Originally published as Armytage breaks down over 'bullies'