Just weeks after it was announced that Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Natarsha Belling were being axed from Studio 10, the show has suffered another casualty as Joe Hildebrand announced he is quitting the Channel Ten show live on air on Thursday morning.
Addressing the audience this morning, Hildebrand revealed he had some news, saying: “I wanted to say it here first before you saw it or heard it anywhere else.”
“I am leaving Studio 10,” Hildebrand continued. “I have given it a huge amount of thought. It’s been really hard, but also really lovely to be able to look back on all the wonderful things we have done.
“We all know the show is getting a bit of a shake-up. Channel 10 and my lovely bosses asked me if I’d stay on in a new role. We talked about it really openly and warmly about what that might look like, and they were really keen. So don’t lash out at them.
“But I just thought it’s probably just better to draw a line under this amazing little story that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of and give the new show – whatever it may look like – a chance to breathe and have a fresh start without me hanging around.”
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) September 9, 2020
Joe also became visibly emotional as he thanked his colleagues for their support, particularly “best friend” Sarah Harris, who also appeared to be holding back tears as she listened to Joe’s announcement. “I love you Sarah,” he said. “I love all you guys. I love the crew, I love the make-up girls – I adore you all.”
He added: “The other thing I really do want to say is, I’m very lucky I made this decision of my own accord … but I know there are people that don’t have other jobs to go and they just don’t know what the future holds. There’s plenty of people at this network, there’s hundreds of thousands of people right around the country who have been just slaughtered by this and they don’t have a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Many viewers took to social media to express their sadness at the news of Joe’s departure, with one writing: “True class @Joe_Hildebrand. You have always been a man of integrity and honour and your sign off shows that in spades. Best wishes for your future projects and I look forward to continuing to agree/disagree with you on Tweeter.”
Another said: “That was a lovely speech, Joe. Very touching to see how much you’re loved by your coworkers.” While another commented: “I love watching this show because of you Joe. Because you tell it how it is.”
Kerri-Anne Kennerley was sacked from the show last month as part of talent cuts across Network Ten. At least 20 jobs were slashed, according to internal documents seen by industry publication Mumbrella, including Network Ten weatherman Tim Bailey.
The 66-year-old television star discussed the news on the show the following day and confirmed that she would be leaving the popular morning panel show in a matter of weeks, along with co-star Natarsha Belling.
“It’s very, very tough for a lot of people,” Kennerley said. “But I’ve always worked on a personal level, the Charles Darwin theory that says to survive you don’t have to be the most intelligent, you don’t have to be the strongest, but you have to be [to survive] the most adaptable.
“I have had such a good time, with all my new friends, and I don’t say that lightly because you’ve all been so delightful, so charming and so generous … I’ve had a ball. But, if you are being run out of town, get in front of the parade … or get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade.”