He’s the loveable host of The Chase Australia and according to an exclusive report by The Daily Telegraph on Sunday, Andrew O’Keefe will be taking a leave of absence from the hit quiz show to deal with a “long-term health crisis”. The report did not specify what the health issue was.
O’Keefe’s manager Mark Klemens confirmed to the publication that the 47-year-old would be taking a month off to deal with some “personal issues”.
“Over the past year or so AOK [Andrew O’Keefe] has had to come to terms with his marriage breakdown among a range of other issues,” Klemens said in a statement, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The former Weekend Sunrise host was described as being “emotionally exhausted”, with Klemens confirming to the publication O’Keefe was currently being supported by his family.
“He is also determined to deal with these issues and is committed to getting back on track as soon as he can,” the statement continued. “He is looking forward to full health and hopefully being back in the studio in a couple of weeks.”
According to the report, repeat episodes of The Chase Australia will air from next week. O’Keefe has hosted the hit show since its debut in 2015, while Bradley Walsh fronts the UK version of the show.
O’Keefe previously hosted Deal or No Deal and Million Dollar Minute. He also hosted Weekend Sunrise for 12 years but announced his shock resignation from the show in 2017.
“As much as I love my Weekend Sunrise family to bits, I think it’s time to give the weekends back to my real family,” O’Keefe said in an official statement at the time. “There are many overdue camping trips and too many unseen soccer matches to catch up on.”
O’Keefe previously spoke to Starts at 60 about the joys of working on The Chase Australia.
“The stand-out moments for us are when things don’t go according to plan, it’s always a lot of fun,” he said in a 2018 interview. “For example, some of the great contestant answers we’ll never forget.
“You have to stop to have a little giggle, and I don’t always keep a straight face. One or two time I’ve had to stop the clock because I’m just convulsing with laughter.”
Starts at 60 has not been able to independently verify this report. Starts at 60 has contacted O’Keefe’s manager Mark Klemens for comment outside of usual business hours and is awaiting reply.