David ‘Kochie’ Koch’s Sunrise colleagues have shared sweet tributes on social media following the announcement that he will be leaving the breakfast show after 21 years.
The 67-year-old shared the surprising news live on-air on Monday morning, telling viewers that he’s “loved every single minute” of his time on the show but “it’s time to bring through the next generation”.
Taking to Instagram following the announcement, Sunrise’s newsreader Edwina Bartholomew said it has been “the greatest pleasure” to work alongside Kochie for almost two decades.
“He is one-of-a-kind. Exactly the same on TV as he is off-air,” she wrote. “An incredible mentor to so many of us at @sunriseon7. My very first job on the show was helping him locate a suitably awful and vaguely appropriate ‘Joke of the Day’.
“I will always look up to him (literally) as a broadcaster but mostly as a father and grandfather. Family is everything to Kochie, and it’s so wonderful he now gets to spend more time with Lib and the kids.”
Sunrise’s long-time sports presenter Mark Beretta also sent his well wishes to Kochie in the comments section of his farewell post.
“Kochie, you have made an enormous contribution to changing the entire tone of breakfast TV for the better,” he said.
“Your generosity, honesty and care for others has made a massive impact on so many. I could never have wished for a better mentor and mate. Love you so much mate. Enjoy this new chapter and thanks so much for all you have given us over so many years.”
Sam Mac's sweet memory
Weatherman Sam Mac shared a lengthy post on Instagram about Kochie alongside a screenshot of the text message the Sunrise host sent him on his first day on the job in December 2015.
The message read: “Mate, that was weather at its best. It was real, it connected with our heartland, it had charm. That street is the face Australia and we don’t see it enough. Great morning.”
“This was my FIRST Day EVER on Sunrise!” Sam captioned the screenshot. “I didn’t even have the job yet. I was just some weird kid from The Project filling in on trial. I had no idea if I fitted in or if I’d bombed spectacularly.
“The only piece of feedback I got that day was from the star of the show, Kochie! (he went to the trouble of finding my number). It may seem like a simple gesture, but in the cutthroat biz of TV, this level of support & kindness is surprisingly rare. That message meant so much to me, and tells you everything about Kochie’s character.”
Sam also shared a photo a sweet photo of his mum Loretta standing next to Kochie at the 2019 Logie Awards.
“When I was nominated for the Gold Logie in 2019 Kochie attended for the first time in years (again, in an act of support),” he wrote. “But what I’ll remember most is how he went out of his way to include my mum and make her feel a part of the team.
“It made the night extra special and probably kept her away from Delta Goodrem for a few minutes (ultimately saving us a seemingly inevitable restraining order). Congrats on a phenomenal innings @kochie_online. I wish you nothing but success (with the exception of Port who I hope tank the 2nd half of the season).”
Katie Brown, who joined the breakfast show as a roving reporter earlier this year, wrote on social media that she’s going to miss Kochie “so much”.
“You’re supposed to be on my TV for breakfast… for forever!” she commented on his post. “Kochie you’re a superstar and more importantly a bloody great bloke! Thanks for being you, I’m gonna miss you like the rest of the country. Congratulations on all you’ve achieved.”
Former showbiz editor Nelson Aspen also said he was “proud” to have worked alongside Kochie for 19.5 of his 21 years at Sunrise.
“Congrats, Kochie,” he wrote. “I know you’ll be busy and happy with your other endeavours… and your beautiful family.”
Seven News Melbourne presenter Rebecca Maddern added that Kochie’s run on the breakfast show is “truly exceptional’.
“Thank you for being so kind and giving - when a young girl from Geelong sat on the set to read the news,” she shared. “Congratulations.”
Kochie will officially step away from the Sunrise desk next Friday, with his replacement yet to be announced.
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