‘I’ve decided to finish up’: Why Tracy Grimshaw is stepping away from A Current Affair

Sep 06, 2022
Tracy Grimshaw has surprised fans with her announcement that she will be stepping down as host of A Current Affair. Source: Getty Images.

Following an impressive 17 years behind the desk, veteran journalist Tracy Grimshaw has revealed she will be stepping down as presenter of A Current Affair.

Grimshaw, 62, shocked fans with the announcement at the end of A Current Affair’s Monday, September 6 show, 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.”

Grimshaw began her career as a reporter in 1981 with the Channel 9 Melbourne newsroom and in 1985 began presenting 9News daytime bulletins. In 1995, she joined the Midday Show as co-host alongisde David Reyne.

Grimshaw then went on to co-host Today with Steve Liebmann in 1996.

Grimshaw interviewed a range of people during her nine-year term with Today, including world leaders, movie stars to everyday Australians. She hosted the live coverage of the Stuart Diver’s rescue from the Thredbo disaster and took on hosting duties again for the coverage of Princess Diana’s death.

On January 30, 2006 she began presenting for A Current Affair, where she covered the rescue of the two miners in Beaconsfield, Brant Webb and Todd Russell.

She was awarded the Walkley Award for Broadcast and Online interviewing in 2009.

Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Darren Wick, said Grimshaw’s departure from A Current Affair has generated “mixed feelings of joy and sadness” for those close to her.

“She is the best interviewer on television and has been for many years. And she will forever take her place alongside the greatest interviewers that Australian journalism has ever seen,” Wick said.

“Tracy is stepping away from A Current Affair at the peak of her powers. That generates mixed feelings of joy and sadness for those among us who have known her for many years.

“Joy, because Tracy has decided now is the perfect time to leave the program. She is doing it on her own terms on her own timetable. Just as she has done throughout her whole career.

“And sadness because she is irreplaceable. I know we work in an industry where it’s often said that anyone can be replaced. But that’s not true with Trace. She is one of a kind. She cares about her colleagues and she cares about her viewers.

“We love her. We admire her. And we will miss her nightly on our screens.”

Following Grimshaw’s announcement, fellow media personalities and fans alike took to social media to express their dismay over her retirement while reflecting on her stellar career.

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