Sunrise host David Koch bid an emotional farewell to the show in his final episode on Friday morning.

After 21 years on the job and hosting over 5,300 episodes, Kochie received a hero’s welcome when he entered the studio at 7am that morning.

The veteran host teared up as co-host Natalie Barr, newsreader Edwina Bartholomew and sports presenter Mark Beretta greeted him at the desk.

“Thank you for everything. Thank you. Oh dear. Quick, I’ve got to [read] the news,” Koch said, while he wiped away his tears.

Not long after, Kochie confessed that he was distracted by the text messages sent by Nine’s Today Show host, Karl Stefanovic and shared their banter.

“I asked him if he had a Sportsbet booked on me crying on the show, and he said, ‘No, my missus closed my account last year when I bet on the camel races in Dubai,’” he said.

To which co-host Nat Barr quipped: “Well, as we walked in, you were already crying, so someone won some money.”

Later on in the show, former co-host Sam Armytage, who left the show in 2021, made a surprise guest appearance and shared her well-wishes for Kochie.

“This job is so incredibly difficult, and you can’t say it when you’re in the job, because no one wants to hear you complaining. But when you’re not in the job anymore, you can say how hard this is,” she said.

Armytage recalled her own experiences of working at the breakfast TV show before commending Kochie for his resilience and drive.

“There is so much scrutiny. To get up day after day and do this: the resilience, the drive, the ability, the energy to just keep coming in here every day and do that is extraordinary.

“I absolutely salute you. After eight years, I couldn’t do it anymore. 21 I just think it’s extraordinary.”

Both Kochie and Barr sat on the sofa across from Armytage, and her appearance comes days after Kochie addressed the rumours of a feud between him and Armytage.

Mel Doyle, who was Kochie’s co-host from 2002-2013 also made a surprise appearance and shared stories about their humble beginnings.

“Remember when we bet our boss to take us to lunch if we hit 40,000 viewers?” she asked about the program’s early days. Kochie added that when their show first began their office was “a demountable in the car park.”

Kochie and Barr also sat down for an emotional final interview where they reminisced the highlights of his career.

“Really, thanks for everything,” Barr told Kochie, while tearing up.

Images: Channel Seven/ Sunrise

This article first appeared on Over60.