TV

Joanita Wibowo

Former staffer's Sunrise slap-down: "Family-friendly" to "nasty"

Former staffer's Sunrise slap-down: "Family-friendly" to "nasty"

Channel Seven’s Sunrise has turned from a family-friendly show to a “nasty” watch in recent weeks, an ex-producer said.

The program has topped the breakfast TV ratings for years as the show for Australian families to wake up to, but it has “turned b**chy” with new scandals such as the post-Logies “Elbowgate” feud, according to ex-producer Rob McKnight.

McKnight worked at Seven Network for eight years until 2008.

In a recent episode on his podcast TV Blackbox, he referred to a segment on the show where co-host Samantha Armytage made a remark about Channel Ten following the TV Week Logie Awards.

“I found another clip and I just went, ‘Oh my gosh, has Sunrise just become nasty?’” McKnight said before playing a clip where Armytage’s co-host David ‘Kochie’ Koch mentioned the rival network after the awards night.

“[We] had a drink with Channel 10 last night... they took over the bar of our hotel,” Kochie said in the segment.

“They got a lot of Logies last night, more Logies than viewers!” replied Armytage.

McKnight commented, “I’ve worked on Sunrise in the past, and Sunrise was the family [show], you know. It was all about the family and friendship and, you know, going up and rebuilding houses after cyclones and things like that.

“Has Sunrise just turned b**chy?”

The morning show made headlines in recent weeks after claiming Married At First Sight star Martha Kalifatidis “elbowed” him on the Logies red carpet to get him out of the way so that she could be photographed.

“I’ve still got bruises in the ribs from the Married At First Sight woman who elbowed me on the way through on the red carpet!” Kochie told viewers on July 1.

“Do not get between Martha and the camera,” sports reporter Mark Beretta said.

“Especially when you've only got 15 minutes of fame!” Armytage added.

In a video shared on her Instagram account, Kalifatidis emphasised that she “never elbowed” Kochie.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Martha Kalifatidis (@marthaa__k) on Jul 3, 2019 at 3:19am PDT

“Sam and Koch have caused me so much stress and anxiety these past few days, and I feel like it’s just so unnecessary, like for what? I don’t even know. Like for ratings? I don’t know why they would do it. But it’s at the expense of my wellbeing and it’s not fair,” she said.

“Everybody keeps going on about me trying to milk my 15 minutes of fame. I didn’t ask for this, they brought this up.

“Kochie, I never elbowed you … Despite there being hundreds of photographers, hundreds of videographers and reporters at the Logies, there’s not one ounce of evidence backing their claims, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”