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Natalie Barr's candid admission about Sunrise shake-up: 'Biggest gamble'

The Channel Seven star has revealed what happened behind-the-scenes when Kochie left the show.

Sunrise’s Natalie Barr has opened up about David ‘Kochie’ Koch’s departure from the breakfast show last year and how she really felt when Matt ‘Shirvo’ Shirvington stepped in to replace him.

The TV host told Stellar's Something To Talk About podcast this week that while things have been “surprisingly great” with Shirvo, she and the show’s producers were very nervous about the shake-up.

Sunrise’s Nat Barr and Matt ‘Shirvo’ Shirvington.
Sunrise’s Nat Barr has admitted she felt ‘nervous’ about Matt ‘Shirvo’ Shirvington replacing long-time host David ‘Kochie’ Koch. Photo: Instagram/natalie_barr7

“This was a gamble,” she remarked. “This was probably one of the biggest gambles in Australian television. We had the longest host of an Australian breakfast TV program leaving, Kochie, and we had to make it work.

“I love Kochie. He pulled me aside at the end of [2022] and said, ‘I’m leaving, we’re not going to announce it yet, so keep it a secret’. And I was really happy for him because he told me he needed to go, he’d come to the end and he wanted to do new stuff, but at the same time I knew it would be different.”

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Nat went on to explain that she was already comfortable working alongside Shirvo as he had been hosting Friday’s shows for the past year - plus they “live around the corner from each other”.

“It worked, the gamble paid off,” she said. “He’s a great guy and he’s so good at his job. Kochie and I used to say we never feel unsure, we never feel left out to dry, we never feel like there’s dead air there where one person’s not saying anything. That’s what it’s like with Shirvo.”

 Sunrise’s Melissa Doyle and Nat Barr.
Nat addressed rumours of a ‘feud’ between herself and Melissa Doyle. Photo: Instagram/natalie_barr7

Nat addresses 'feud' with former co-star

Elsewhere in the interview, Nat addressed rumours of a ‘feud’ between herself and former Sunrise star Melissa Doyle, who co-hosted the show from 2002 to 2013.

She asserted that there has never been tension between herself and any of her co-stars, and she normally tries to “ignore” rumours that suggest otherwise.

“Basically I got along with everyone. I can't remember any catfights in the Sunrise office, whatever a catfight is, I can't remember any,” she laughed.

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She also shut down speculation that she felt “overlooked” when Samantha Armytage became the host of the breakfast show in 2013 instead of her.

“I remember going for dinner with the boss of the show and Sam, right after she announced it, and having a glass of wine and saying, ‘Cheers, you are the best person for this job and I honestly believe that’,” she recalled.

“I didn't think I was ready for the job, hand on heart, I didn't think I could do the job then. I thought Sam was the best person for the job, and she was at that time. It's weird the way no one believes you when you say things like that because you can't say it often enough.”

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