Samantha Armytage shocked Sunrise viewers on Monday morning when she announced that she's leaving the popular breakfast program after eight years.
A teary Sam, 44, revealed it was time for the 'sun to set' on her time as co-host on the top-rating show, explaining that she wanted to 'take a break'' and find some 'peace and calm'.
Who will replace Sam Armytage?
After the surprise news sunk in, the next big question on everyone's lips was who would replace Sam next to Daid 'Kochie' Koch on the couch?
Straight out of the gate, Aussie TV commentator Rob McKnight tipped Sunrise news presenter Natalie Barr, 52, to step into Sam's shoes.
"Trusted sources tell TV Blackbox Sam is set to be replaced by Natalie Barr who will be celebrating 20 years with the program in 2023," he claimed.
Over on social media, several other names were being tossed around as potential replacements for outgoing co-host Sam, among them Monique Wright, host of Weekend Sunrise, Edwina Bartholomew, Sunrise entertainment presenter and Sarah Harris, co-host of Studio 10.
Channel 7 has yet to confirm Sam's successor.
Sam quits Sunrise
Sam broke down in tears as she made the bombshell announcement on air on Monday morning, telling viewers the last six months for her have been "bitter sweet".
"I have always been brave and fearless in my career and this decision is no different," Samantha said.
“I want to take a break and find some peace and calm. 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 cannot thank you all enough for having me in your lounge rooms all these years.”
“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," she revealed.
“I go out of this job at a time of my own choosing and on top of the ratings which not many people in 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.
“My mother used to say to me, ‘edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.’ And that’s precisely what I’m doing.”
Samantha’s decision to step down from the program comes with Seven’s full support, as her co-host David Koch called Sam the "rock" of the program.
“Ever since Sam joined Sunrise eight years ago, she has been the rock of the program and always led from the front," he said.
“Sam’s humour, work ethic and team first values have been an inspiration to us all. But now it’s time for Sam to put herself and Rich first and we couldn’t be happier for, or more supportive of, them both.”
Sam's podcast pivot
A week before she stepped away from Sunrise, Sam announced she was hosting her own podcast, “Something to Talk About with Samantha Armytage”.
The podcast is in collaboration with Stellar magazine, the same publication she already writes a weekly column for.
Sam's last day in the hosting chair on Sunrise will be this Thursday, however, she will remain a part of the Seven network, with new projects to be announced at a later stage.
Sam's decision also comes after she tied the knot with husband Richard Lavender, in an inmate ceremony at his 40-hectare property in the Southern Highlands in NSW on New Year’s Eve.
Channel 7 has been contacted for comment.
Additional reporting by Kristine Tarbert.
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