It was the biggest announcement in a long time on Australian TV. This morning, outgoing host, David Koch welcomed rising star, Matt Shirvington, to the Sunrise couch, where he’ll take on full hosting duties, alongside Natalie Barr and the team, next week.
Also on hand to welcome her old colleague and friend was Sunrise star, Edwina Bartholomew, who told The Weekly:
“I couldn’t be more thrilled for Shirvo! We first worked together as hosts of the Tokyo Olympics coverage for Seven. We had an absolute ball. I was secretly pregnant at the time and Shirvo would bring in snacks and lollies to help with my morning sickness. You honestly could not find a nicer bloke and better replacement for Kochie.”
The pair have been great mates since, and Edwina confessed happily, “my son Tom wears Shirvo’s son Lincoln’s hand-me-downs.”
The Olympic athlete turned television journalist has appeared regularly on Sunrise these past 18 months and speculation has been rife that Matt would take David Koch’s place since the long-time host announced he was stepping down.
WATCH: David Koch announces he’s stepping down from Sunrise (Article continues after video)
Edwina adds that while Matt will fit seamlessly into the “the Sunrise family”, David, who has been with the show for 21 years, helped to create that sense of family and will be sorely missed.
“I stated working with Kochie when I was 20,” she says. “I’m about to turn 40, so it’s been a minute … He has been a colleague but also a mentor.
“I remember travelling with him to cover the Christchurch earthquake. We flew overnight, drove three hours and then went straight on air,” reporting bleary-eyed but with their characteristic empathy from a disaster zone.
Edwina says she admires David “as a broadcaster but mostly as a dad. Family has always been central to everything he has done on Sunrise.”
“I’m actually the same age as Kochie’s kids,” she adds, “so I’ve given him no end of grief over the years about his dad jokes and lack of hair. I don’t think he will miss that. He is a big part of the family culture here at Sunrise and will be greatly missed.”