Viewers tuned in to Sunrise to relive some of Sam’s best moments after she announced her decision on Monday to step away from her role to “enjoy a bit of slow living and spend some time with my precious family, my husband and Banjo”.
Watch the video above to see the hilarious moment Sam Mac took over Sam Armytage’s earpiece
“The time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise,” she said during Monday morning’s show announcement.
“I have always been very brave and fearless in my life and my career and this decision is no different.”
Sam’s tearful goodbye
The Channel Seven star said her final goodbyes after a special edition of the show on Thursday.
“To you guys, my on-air family, thank you for everything,” she said.
“You are the best in the business as well, it has been an extraordinarily wild ride and I thank you for your friendship over the years and your lovely words today.
“I do want to say that I never fully understood some of the scrutiny and the snarkiness and bullying from some aspect of the media but today we move on from that because there is a new chapter starting.
Watch Sam’s heartfelt farewell speech below
“It has been overwhelmingly a good experience in my life, so I thank all of you.
“Most of all I thank all of our viewers who are just wonderful people. There are so many lovely people.
“Thank you everyone for having me in your loungerooms and I appreciate it more than you know and I will miss you too, and if you see me in the supermarket come and say hi.”
Tears shed as Sunrise team share their favourite memories with Sam
David Koch, Natalie Barr, Edwina Bartholomew, Mark Beretta and Sam Mac all sat down to chat about how much fun they’ve had to sit at the desk with Sam every morning from 5.30am.
Kochie said despite there being so many memories to choose from, one of his favourites was when he and Sam took their mums to Fiji for Mother’s Day.
Nat described Sam as being “the fun person”.
“She’s the fun person everyone wants to sit around, everyone loves being around,” she said.
“She is just a ball. She’s a blast to be around,” Beretta added.
See the team in an emotional farewell to Sam in the video below
Eddie struggled to hold back tears as she wished Sam well.
“I visited Sam at home a few weeks ago and she was just so so happy and to see her find love finally with Rich who is an authentic, beautiful man,” Eddie said.
“Sam I just wish you all the greatest happiness on the show as a colleague and as a friend.”
Special surprise leaves Sam Armytage in tears
The Channel Seven star got emotional when the breakfast show surprised her with a video call from her younger sister Georgie and niece Lucia, who are locked down in London.
The siblings have been separated for well over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and were unable to be together when their mum tragically passed away late last year.
Georgie described Sam as “such an amazing big sister,” telling viewers that “she’s fun, she’s the life of the party and she has an enormous heart.”
“We’re so excited for you, we’re so proud of you in this chapter and we’re so excited for your next.”
Watch the emotional moment in the video player below
Sam then spoke about how difficult it was to not be be with her sister at her mum’s funeral.
“It’s been so hard to go through everything we’ve been through without being there with each other,” she said.
“We have missed you. It’s really hard when you’re on the other side of the world at times like this.”
Why Samantha Armytage is leaving Sunrise
Sam revealed through tears on Monday she had endured a “bittersweet” year following the death of her mother Libby and her marriage to horse breeder Richard Lavender on New Year’s Eve.
She said she took into account her late mother’s advice when deciding to step away from the co-host chair.
“As many of you know, the last six months of my personal life have been very bitter-sweet, some bits have been very happy, and some bits have been very, very sad,” she said.
“And I want to step out of this public world for a while and take some time and calm things down, enjoy a bit of slow living and spend some time with my precious family, my husband and Banjo.
“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.
“My mother used to say to me, ‘edit your life frequently and ruthlessly, it’s your masterpiece after all’,” Armytage added.
“And that’s precisely what I’m doing.
“This is a chapter, it’s not the whole story, and I have a few days left to say goodbye to you all, for now.”
Reliving Sam’s time on Sunrise
Co-host Kochie, Nat and Beretts have been this week been reliving some of Sam’s top moments as co-host of Australia’s number one breakfast show since she took over the hot seat in 2013.
In 2013, she showed off her singing skills by belting out Dusty Springfield classic I Just Don’t Know What To Do during a hilarious karaoke segment.
She also revealed a bombshell about her first day co-hosting Sunrise.
On Wednesday’s show, the TV presenter admitted to her colleagues that she was battling a hangover on her very first day.
“I have a confession to make… I wasn’t drunk, but I was hungover,” she said on Wednesday.
Sam explained that her Weekend Sunrise colleagues “had a farewell for me down at Bondi” on the Sunday before her move to weekdays and that she “got led astray by our boss.”
“I don’t look like it though do I? I can’t handle a hangover like that these days,” she joked.
Armytage said that despite her sore head and the early morning wake-up, she still “fronted up and looked fresh.”
“See, you’ve never known that for eight years!”
Co-host David ‘Kochie’ Koch joked that “things haven’t changed, eight years on!”
Tributes to Sam
Sam’s Sunrise co-host Kochie said ever since Sam joined the show that she “has been the rock of the program and always led from the front”.
“Sam’s humour, work ethic and team first values have been an inspiration to us all,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“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.”
Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, said while it will be sad to see her leave, he does “completely understand and support her decision to step back for a while and focus on her family”.
“Sam has been an important part of the Seven team for almost two decades, including eight fantastic years as co-host of Australia’s Number 1 breakfast show,” he said.
“We wish Sam nothing but the very best for her break and look forward to announcing some exciting new projects for her in late 2021 and into 2022.”
Network Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said Armytage had been “a breath of fresh air to wake up to for eight years.
“Sam carved her way through thousands of hours of news, issues, debate, the odd argument or two and a large dose of humour in her very own unique way,” he said.
“Sam can be very proud of what she’s achieved, and we all look forward to her next venture across the screens of Seven.”
‘There really is no one else like her.’
Sunrise Executive Producer, Michael Pell, added that her impact on the television landscape “cannot be overstated”.
“Her warm and genuine nature, combined with her journalistic excellence, has made her a winner with viewers,” he said.
“There really is no one else like her. But all good things must come to an end, and after years of being such an important part of so many lives, it’s time for Sam to focus on her own. She goes out on top, with Sunrise on top. I think it’s her humour I’ll miss the most.”
Samantha Armytage’s summer wedding
Sam married her partner, horse breeder Richard Lavender, at an intimate wedding on New Year’s Eve.
The ceremony was held at Lavender’s country property in the picturesque NSW Southern Highlands and was attended by a small group of the happy couple’s close family and friends.
Sam told Sunrise that the ceremony was “hastily arranged” in just three days.
“Three days before we decided that we’d do it for New Year’s Eve, and we did it, we got it done and it was lovely,” she said.
Sam explained that she and “Rich” decided to organise the last-minute nuptials after having a conversation about their desire to tie the knot with her father, Mac.
“We were all sitting outside as you do around Christmas time, having a champagne and beer on the verandah,” she said.
“Dad said ‘just do it, for god’s sake, just do it,’ so we did it!”
“It was nice, there was 12 of us there, we organised it in three days and it was fun.”
Watch Sam’s emotional announcement in the video player below