After an incredible 17 years behind the desk of A Current Affair, Tracy Grimshaw used the closing moments of the show’s Monday broadcast to announce to loyal viewers that she would be stepping away from her hosting duties.
Grimshaw, 62, no doubt shocked fans with the announcement, explaining that she made the choice to step down and wasn’t “being shoved out the door by the boys club” because she was “too old”.
“Normally right about now we’d be telling you what to expect tomorrow night but lately I’ve personally been thinking longer term, and I have some news that I wanted you to hear from me before you hear it from anyone else,” she told viewers.
“I’ve decided to finish up with A Current Affair this year.
“It’s been a big decision and before the gossip websites start telling you rubbish, I want you to know it’s been my decision alone and I’m not being shoved out the door by the boys club because I’m too old.
“I’m not too old, I’m just a bit tired. And for the record both the boys and the girls have asked me to stay.
“But I’ve basically been a shift worker for 26 years, driving to work before dawn for 9 years on the Today Show, and the past 17 years driving home after dark here on A Current Affair and it’s time for less of that daily obligation.
“It’s been my privilege to host this show.
“I was just a kid in 1971 when Mike Willesee started it and in our family it was required viewing each night as Michael either forensically dismantled some politician or maybe laughed along with Hoges.
“Back then, I was going to be a vet or a flight attendant so if you’d told me that one day I’d sit in this chair, let alone occupy it for 17 years, I’d have thought you were mad. Well lucky me.
“You’ve let me indulge my love of interviewing here. I’ve talked to people who’ve made us all laugh and cry, who’ve shared their triumphs and their challenges and their wisdom and despair.
“And because it’s your show not mine and you get to vote each night with your remote control, you told us you wanted more of that. So thank you for that opportunity.
“Thank you for your loyalty. I hope I’ve repaid it. I’m around until November then I’m going to take a long holiday, but it’s business as usual until then. See you tomorrow night.”
“Thank you for your loyalty. I hope I’ve repaid it.”
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for gracing our screens.
— A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) September 5, 2022
The Walkley Award-winning journalist began presenting for A Current Affair in 2006, where only a few months into the role she covered the rescue of the two miners in Beaconsfield, Brant Webb and Todd Russell.
Following the announcement, Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Darren Wick, revealed that Grimshaw’s departure from A Current Affair has generated “mixed feelings of joy and sadness” for those close to her.
Similar sentiments were felt across the nation as a number of public figures, colleagues, and fans conveyed not only their dismay that Grimshaw would soon be missing from their screens but also reflected on her career and wish her the best for her future.
Today show host, Karl Stefanovic, was entirely unaware that Grimshaw was planning to retire telling viewers that he “had the great fortune of working with her for a year and she was exceptional”.
“I learned so much in that year,” he said.
“She’s been a shift worker for 26 years, starting with the early wake-up calls for the Today show. She was host for nine years before becoming the anchor of A Current Affair in 2006.
“Her last shift will be in November behind that iconic desk. Tracy Grimshaw, you deserve a rest.”
Former A Current Affair host, Ray Martin, also offered his best to Grimshaw.
“She is going to be hard to replace,” Martin told 2GB.
Channel 10’s National Affairs Editor sent his “hugs and applause” to Grimshaw following her announcement.
When I started at Channel 9 in Bendigo St, Richmond in the late 80s, Tracy was my desk mate. She was great then. She is great now. Love that woman. Well played, Tracy. I send hugs and applause. #TracyGrimshaw https://t.co/3FiLuqb33h
— Hugh Riminton (@hughriminton) September 5, 2022
Australian author and radio personality Peter FitzSimons cited one of Grimshaw’s interviews with former Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a testament to her journalistic skill.
Tracy Grimshaw announces her retirement. In terms of sheer impact, this one, just before the last election was right up there. Go well, Tracy. https://t.co/onYcjWBv6u
— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) September 5, 2022
Media Watch’s Paul Barry called Grimshaw “a class act” and expressed that “she will be missed”.
‘Tracy Grimshaw to depart A Current Affair after 17 years on air’ https://t.co/Q6qZowZxsc
— Paul Barry (@TheRealPBarry) September 5, 2022
Messages of support were not just confined to media heavyweights with loyal viewers across the country also sending their well wishes to Grimshaw.
God love ya Tracy! Despite what some people think, you do ask questions that other journalists are too scared to. Good luck with whatever you decide to do next!
— T.K (@Elsquenchez) September 5, 2022
Such a delight Tracy. Hope you enjoy your well earned long break & we see you on our screens interviewing on 60 minutes in the future ❤️
— Carla JS (@CarlsCarla) September 5, 2022
Congratulations on a stellar career, @tracygrimshaw. Enjoy your freedom from the daily deadlines.
— Kathy Bowlen (@kathybowlen) September 5, 2022
Overwhelmed by the touching response she received from the public, Grimshaw took to her own social media to thank her loyal viewers for their kind words.
“Thankyou for such lovely messages about my news last night re stepping down from @ACurrentAffair9,” she wrote.
“I’d thought to reply to everyone but I’m overwhelmed by numbers, so resorting to this. Sincerely thankyou. Its a lovely way to bow out (in November).”