ABC News Breakfast's Tony Armstrong walks off set after stunt goes wrong: 'Scared'

Tony Armstrong and Michael Rowland couldn't take the heat.

Tony Armstrong and Michael Rowland walked off the ABC News Breakfast set on Monday morning after a light-hearted segment turned into chaos. Madeleine Morris and Michael were interviewing Gabby Del Castillo about her recent win at the Melbourne Chilli Eating Championship before attempting to eat one of the hottest chillies in the world.

Gabby revealed that she actually doesn’t “feel anything” when she eats hot chillies, and told the hosts she had to eat a large quantity to claim the title. The event wasn’t glamorous at all, with the winner admitting there was “quite a bit of vomiting” from her fellow competitors.

L: Tony Armstrong with his hand on his head during ABC News Breakfast. R: Madeleine Morris and Gabby Del Castillo with a plate of chillies.
Tony Armstrong struggled after eating a chilli on ABC News Breakfast. Photo: ABC

In front of the hosts sat a plate of chillies, with a milder habanero variety sitting next to Carolina Reaper chillies, which are at the top end of the Scoville heat scale. Michael said he was 'feeling nervous' about what was coming next, before inviting Tony to join the trio.

“Tony Armstrong has been waiting all morning to taste the world’s hottest chilli live on national TV, come on,” Michael quipped, with Tony slowly walking onscreen. “I’m going to try the mild one first. I’m gonna build up to it,” he added.

“I’m so scared. I don’t wanna do this,” Tony replied.


After the three ABC Breakfast presenters tried the habanero chilli, Madeleine didn’t seem affected at all while Tony was barely able to speak.

“That’s only a step up from a capsicum,” Madeleine declared.

L: Madeleine Morris and Michael Rowland on ABC News Breakfast
Michael Rowland had to leave set after taking a bite of a Carolina Reaper chilli. Photo: ABC

Tony grabbed the milk and tried to gain his composure while looking around the studio.

“That’s got me there, that’s got me. I bit too far down,” he blurted out.

Gabby then demonstrated how easy it is for her to eat a Carolina Reaper, chomping on the chilli with ease. After being encouraged by Madeleine, Michael decided to give it a go.


Michael Rowland walking off ABC News Breakfast
Michael and Tony looked uncomfortable before deciding to walk off camera. Photo: ABC

The heat proved to be too much for the host, who grabbed a water bottle and quickly walked off camera. Tony followed shortly, putting his face in his hands.

As Madeleine attempted to throw to a break, grunts and moans could be heard from Tony and Michael’s microphones.

“There’s a lot happening off stage…keep it together Michael!” Madeline joked.

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