It’s the news breakfast television fans across Australia have been waiting for: Kochie’s Sunrise replacement has been announced.
Speculation had been rife in the week following the news of Kochie’s departure from the show, with the likes of Dr Chris Brown and Seven’s own Matt Shirvington fan favourites to take over in his absence.
And they had it right, with Matt Shirvington – a familiar face at the network across both sport and entertainment – stepping up to the plate and joining his new co-host Natalie Barr at the Sunrise desk.
Before the big news broke, Kochie had assured viewers that his replacement would be “younger and better looking”, and that he was happy with the decision the network had reached.
Once news of the updated line-up had been made public, Kochie added that “Shirvo has been part of the Sunrise family and filling in for me for the last 18 months. He is the perfect fit to shift into my chair on a permanent basis.
“A good bloke with solid values, he will do a terrific job and I wish him great success.”
Unsurprisingly, Matt Shirvington shared that delight, releasing a statement to express his excitement over the new gig, which he is due to dive into on June 12.
“I’m so excited but also humbled by the opportunity to co-host such an important show to so many Australians,” he said. “It’s a privilege to follow on from Kochie. He leaves behind a legacy of honesty, humility and a whole lot of fun, and I can’t wait to continue adding to that.
“A big thank you to the Seven executive team, in particular James Warburton and Craig McPherson, for backing me to do this.
“Sunrise is a tight-knit team of talented and passionate people who work ridiculously hard – none more so than Sarah Stinson and Sean Power. I admire you all and won’t let you down.
“This is a huge life shift for me that will take some juggling at home, and something I couldn’t have done without the loving support of Jess and our kids.
“To my new on-air family, particularly Nat, thanks for making me feel so welcome right from the start. Brekky Central, my new home. I like the sound of that!”
Seven West Media’s Managing Director and CEO – James Warburton – only had positive things to say, too, sharing that he was “delighted to welcome Matt to his new role co-hosting Sunrise with Nat.
“Matt has become an invaluable member of the Seven team since he joined us three years ago. He is the consummate professional, all about the entire team – just like Kochie – and brilliant at his job.
“Of course, Matt has big shoes to fill but we have already seen viewers welcome him with open arms during his time on the show.”
And last but certainly not least, Natalie Barr had praise to sing for her incoming co-host, declaring that “Shirvo is an iconic Aussie and an all-round great guy. I can’t think of anyone better to join us on the Sunrise couch.
“We’ve been working together for a couple of years now and I can tell you he’s interested in people, he really cares, he’s a hands-on dad and husband, and he talks almost as much as I do, so we get along really well!”
Images: Sunrise / Seven
This article first appeared on Over60.