Ex-Sunrise boss shares the surprise reason for Sam Armytage's exit

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Sunrise's executive producer Michael Pell finished up work on the show last week after taking on a new role within the Seven network in the US.

Speaking with TV Tonight, Michael shared what it was like working with Samantha Armytage, revealing why the former Sunrise host left the show.

Sunrise's Michael Pell with Sam Armytage
Sunrise's Michael Pell, who finished with the show last week, has opened up about his friendship with Sam Armytage and why she left the show. Photo: Getty

"She did really well in a field that maybe she never really wanted to go into. In some ways she's the anti-TV presenter," he told the publication. "She doesn’t even really love the idea of being in the limelight. She’s a country girl who likes a quiet life. But, this very busy life found her and she killed it."

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Michael shared that he and Sam shared a close bond like "brother and sister", though they still fought "like cats and dogs over the creative process" from time to time.

Sam left the show in March last year after marrying her husband Richard Lavender and moving to the NSW Southern Highlands in 2020.

Sunrise team
Michael shared that Samantha left the show because she doesn't like the idea of being in the limelight. Photo: Instagram/Michael Pell
Michael Pell and Natalie Barr
Michael added that he's 'really sad' to be leaving the show when Natalie Barr has only been in the chair for a year and is doing 'such a great job'. Photo: Getty

She will soon be seen on TV again as an on-air 'matchmaker' on Seven's dating show Farmer Wants A Wife and has also been working on a podcast for Stellar magazine.

Michael added that he's "really sad" to be leaving the show when Natalie Barr has only been in the chair for a year and is doing "such a great job".

"The numbers show that the audience has not only accepted her, she’s excelled. She’s really come into her own. I did call her the Queen of Breakfast TV...we had a lot of great times together. And she’s only just getting started."

'Highly scrutinised'

Former Sunrise host Samantha Armytage
Sam described her role at Sunrise as a 'highly scrutinised, high-adrenaline, high-pressure job'. Photo: Instagram/Samantha Armytage

Sam described her role at Sunrise as a "highly scrutinised, high-adrenaline, high-pressure job" in a chat with New Idea recently.

During her last day on the show, Sam said, "I do want to say that I never fully understood some of the scrutiny and the snarkiness and the bullying from some aspects of the media."

She added that "some aspects of the media" treated her unfairly.

"But today we move on from that, because there is a new chapter starting and it has been overwhelmingly a good experience in my life."

"Most of all, I thank all of our viewers. You are just wonderful people. There are so many lovely people. So many more lovely ones than the nasty ones," she finished.

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