Sunrise‘s long-term papa David “Kochie” Koch has finally announced his successor after announcing that he was leaving the show last week — and it’s none other than former Olympic sprinter and sports journalist Matt Shirvington.
Matt, who is affectionately known as “Shirvo”, told Kochie and his new co-host Natalie Barr that he has “mixed emotions” about taking over the coveted role.
“It’s just amazing. Daunted. So excited. Happy. I cannot tell you the honour and privilege this is. It’s a huge job and exciting job,” he told them, clearly letting his word vomit spill out everywhere.
Thankfully, Kochie seemed pretty chuffed that Shirvo will be the one to fill his shiny leather shoes.
“You are absolutely perfect for us,” he said.
“You’ve been filling in every Friday, it’s been sensational, you are going to be sensational.”
According to The Daily Mail, Shirvo has been in line for the job since 2020 after he joined Channel Seven’s Olympic coverage team. The big dogs were so impressed with him that they put him forth for other presenting opportunities such as reality shows Holey Moley and Ultimate Tag.
Although both of them were major flops, I don’t think we can put that entirely on Shirvo’s muscley shoulders.
He went on to fill in for Kochie on the odd occasion, along with being a sports reporter for the network. Turns out he did a top-notch job because he’s landed the coveted gig.
An insider has also reported that Shirvo has already received Kochie’s blessing.
“David believes Matt is a great fit and thinks he will do a fantastic job,’ an insider told the Daily Mail Australia.
“[Matt has] been filling in for David for a few years now and has earned his stripes. Viewers like him and he is very well-regarded internally so it’s a natural step up for him.”
I also think it’s incredibly important to note that both Kochie and Shirvo have shortened last names as their nickname. It’s called consistency. Aussies eat that shit up.
While Shirvo nabbed the gig, he wasn’t the only bloke fans thought would take over the role. Many thought Dr Chris Brown, Stan Grant or Sunrise‘s long-term weather man Sam Mac were in with a shot.
When pressed on who might actually be taking over, he hinted that it might be someone already associated with the network.
“Look, we’ve got plenty of great talent here working on Sunrise, and look, to use football parlance, I’ve talked to the list managers. It’s time for the next generation to come through and they’ve got a lot to choose from,” Kochie said.
ICYMI, the veteran television host announced his departure from the show at 8am on May 29.
“I’ve decided to hang up the boots as co-host of Sunrise after nearly 21 years, over 5300 shows and almost 16,000 hours of live TV” he announced.
“It’s time now to work some business hours and have a bit of flexibility to focus more on [his wife] Lib, our big family, the family business and frankly my footy club as well,” Kochie, who is also the chairman of the Port Adelaide Football Club, explained.
“So after 20 consecutive premierships in the breakfast TV ratings game, I’m frankly finding it harder to get off the ground to take those spekky marks and I think it’s time to bring in the next generation,” he said.
He went on to thank the network for his time on the program and the experiences he had on the job.
“I have loved every single minute of my time at Sunrise, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 21 years,” he reflected.
“I’ve been privileged to experience so many adventures, to meet so many incredible people, and to cover so many moments of history in the making. It really is the world’s best job.”
Speaking to The Kyle And Jackie O Show shortly after his announcement, he confirmed that while he’s leaving his full-time presenting gig on the show, it’s not the last we’ve seen of him.
“I’ll pop up now and again but back in my finance-nerd roots where I came from,” he said.
Kochie first joined the Sunrise team with Melissa Doyle in 2002, but before that he was a trained accountant-turned-finance -journalist. He’s credited with helping to build Sunrise‘s viewership to that number-one spot.
Old mate’s departure is pretty bittersweet for many viewers. Generally speaking, it’s a sad one for everyone’s mum and dad who watch the show religiously as they smash down their daily All-Bran.
Although I’m excited to see someone with a fresh, and hopefully more progressive, perspective in his seat, I’ve got to admit that it’s pretty sad for people who have grown up watching Sunrise. I guess it’s kind of like saying goodbye to an uncle who lived in your garage, only popped up at breakfast, and gives unsolicited financial advice. Or something like that.
So while we welcome the new era of Shirvo on sunrise, pour some out for Sam Mac, who I reckon has been waiting in the wings for this job for yonks. Also, pray for me because I bet on our podcast, The Show Off, that if Sam Mac didn’t get the hosting gig, I would down a can of seltzer on air.
Wish me luck, and catch me trying not to burp into the mic on the pod next week.
Image Credit: Getty / Chris Hyde