In the wake of David “Kochie” Koch’s shocking departure from Sunrise, his wife Libby has come forward to speak about the “sad” decision.

Libby has been by Kochie’s side during his entire 21-year run on the breakfast TV show and has witnessed some of the “pushback” he copped in his early days that led to a “love” of telling other people’s stories.

“And this emotion that swept over both of us, it was really bittersweet, like, excited but sad too because it’s just been part of our lives for such a long time.”

Libby shared that “come Saturday he is really tired” but will always have time for his four children and eight grandchildren.

Despite the exhaustion, “he’s always there watching the (grandchildren’s) sport, always there for the kids and myself”.

“That’s probably the thing that I’m the most proud of,” Libby said.

“No matter how tired he was on the weekend, it was like: Right, it’s family time.”

Libby noted that Kochie’s father Dean would be “so proud” of his son for prioritising his family over his career, “even having this big gig of Sunrise and people knowing you”.

“But the fact that he’s worked hard to just box (Sunrise) off and then have the weekend as family time,” Libby said.

“I think his dad would be really proud of that.”

As the pair started discussing “cutting back”, Libby revealed she encouraged Kochie by explaining to him, “I really hate seeing you this tired.”

According to Libby, Kochie agreed, expressing how he “hated feeling this tired” and telling her, “Right, you’ve got to be the strong one.”

“It’s really quite sort of sad and then it’ll become exciting, but yeah, but I’m never very good with goodbyes,” she said.

Libby reflected on the debut of Sunrise in 2002, explaining it “was a bit of trial and error and then he started and found there was a bit of pushback for some of his style”.

“When he introduced his joke of the day and there was a lot of pushback from certain sectors about what cheeky things he’d say.

“But then the viewers started really responding and he was really relaxed in his style, often put his foot in it.

“Viewers respond to that because they very quickly realised he’s just a regular bloke.”

Libby shared that before her husband knew it, he “realised how much he was enjoying it because he’s a real talker”.

“He loves people’s stories and he realised this was a great opportunity to talk to people and find out their stories,” she said.

Libby shared that her highlight of Kochie’s journey would “definitely be his and Mel’s coverage of the Beaconsfield mine disaster”.

In 2006 Kochie secured the story of the century after a small earthquake caused a tunnel to collapse at the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania, which saw multiple trapped and one dead, which he spoke publicly about for the first time seven years on.

When miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell were found alive on the sixth day, Kochie and Melissa Doyle covered the story from the sidelines until they were rescued after 14 days unground.

“What I was really proud of that viewers didn’t know is that he and Mel would go round to Todd Russell’s parents and his wife’s house and sit down and have a cup of tea and have dinner and talk with the kids,” Libby said.

Libby said that at home Kochie is “just a regular daggy dad who thinks he’s so funny with his comments”.

“Then when boyfriends came on the scene he thought, ‘Oh, it’s the thing to do to sit them down and have a chat?’

“And we’re like ‘Over the top, Dave, over the top’.”

Image credit: Instagram

This article first appeared on Over60.