The Seven Network has announced its replacement for David Koch on morning TV’s Sunrise.
Regular fill-in host Matt Shirvington will join co-host Natalie Barr as a permanent fixture on the Sunrise news desk, the network said on Monday.
“I’m so excited but also humbled by the opportunity to co-host such an important show to so many Australians,” Shirvington said in a statement released by the network.
“It’s a privilege to follow on from Kochie. He leaves behind a legacy of honesty, humility and a whole lot of fun, and I can’t wait to continue adding to that.
Koch, Australia’s longest-serving breakfast television host, announced only a week ago he was quitting Sunrise after nearly 21 years at the helm.
His last show will be this Friday, with Shirvington stepping up after that.
Shirvington, 44, is a former Olympic sprinter who joined Seven in 2020 as a sports presenter.
“A big thank you to the Seven executive team, in particular James Warburton and Craig McPherson, for backing me to do this,” he said on Monday.
“Sunrise is a tight-knit team of talented and passionate people who work ridiculously hard … I admire you all and won’t let you down.”
Shirvington said the step up was a huge shift for him and his family.
“To my new on-air family, particularly Nat, thanks for making me feel so welcome right from the start. Brekky Central, my new home. I like the sound of that!” he said.
There had been speculation that Seven’s new million-dollar signing Chris Brown might step into the Sunrise gig. The network is yet to confirm any definite plans for Brown, who switched from Network Ten earlier this year.
On Monday, Seven West Media managing director and chief executive James Warburton said Shirvington had become an invaluable member of the network’s team.
“He is the consummate professional, all about the entire team – just like Kochie – and brilliant at his job,” he said.
“Of course, Matt has big shoes to fill but we have already seen viewers welcome him with open arms during his time on the show.”
Seven’s director of morning television, Sarah Stinson, said Shirvington represented “an exciting new chapter for Sunrise“.
“Dedicated, talented, warm and dependable, he is more than ready to permanently join Nat and the team each morning as Australians start their day,” she said.
Barr also had kind words for her new co-host.
“Shirvo is an iconic Aussie and an all-round great guy. I can’t think of anyone better to join us on the Sunrise couch,” she said.
And there was a warm welcome from Koch, who described Shirvington as “the perfect fit to shift into my chair on a permanent basis”.
“A good bloke with solid values, he will do a terrific job and I wish him great success,” he said.