Former Sunrise host David Koch left Nat Barr and Matt Shirvington surprised on Friday, when he made a return to Brekky Central for an interview with the pair.
The beloved host, 67, who helmed Seven’s Sunrise breakfast show for 21 years, was just made a Member of the Order Of Australia (AM) in the General Division.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: David Koch visits Brekky Central after being named in Australia Day honours.
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Kochie was recognised for his service to media as a television presenter, and to economic journalism, with the star telling Sunrise the accolade was a “complete shock”.
“It was an absolute complete shock, I have no idea who nominated me, so whoever did, thanks very much, that was really kind of you,” Kochie began, in the interview.
The TV icon said the honour came out of the blue. He only found out in November, with him forced to keep it a secret, even from beloved wife of more than 40 years, Libby.
Ex-Sunrise host David Koch appeared on Sunrise on Friday, after being honoured on Australia Day this year. Credit: Seven
“As you know my family rib me all the time that I can’t keep a secret, so it was only last Saturday night, after a few drinks on the deck, that I blurted out to Lib (about the honour).”
Kochie struck a reflective tone about the honour, saying it meant a lot.
“You feel a bit weird about receiving it but grateful and honoured,” he said.
“I’ve been through the list like you guys have for years. There’s so many ordinary Australians that do extraordinary things that are recognised. The light should be on them rather than a boof head that is on TV,” he said.
Kochie went on to thank Sunrise for giving him a platform for his exceptional work, including with Youth Off The Streets and Port Adelaide.
“The show has given me the platform to do things with Youth Off the Streets, Port Adelaide, organ transplants and donations. Things like that (other charities),” he said.
“At Sunrise, we know this isn’t the world’s most important job. But if we can use the platform to help others, and get things done ourselves, it makes it all worthwhile,” he added.
Kochie said he realised he could have an impact early on in the job, saying “the connection,” was so valuable.
“People would use us as a way of getting the message out. That’s the magic of this job. This is why there was nothing else like it and I loved every single minute of it for 21 years,” he added.
Beloved Kochie was the longest-serving breakfast TV anchor in Australian history, having broadcast a record 16,000 hours of live TV across more than 5300 shows and some 50,000 interviews.
He left viewers surprised last May when he announced he would be saying goodbye to the show, citing a desire to spend more time with his wife and family.
Kochie made a surprise return to Brekky Central in December to share advice on how to get the best health insurance premiums — but he did discuss life after Sunrise.
Kochie said he was enjoying his sleep-ins after so many years of morning TV.
“I’m feeling normal, it’s great,” he said of his retirement.
“Everyone goes, ‘When did you stop waking up at 3am?’ and I say ‘from day one’.
“I’m loving it — It’s really good, gives us a lot more flexibility.”
Kochie spoke of how much he loved his time on the breakfast show before he left the show.
“Sunrise, I love it dearly. I have loved every single minute, it has been the best job in the world,” he told 7Life last year.
“But it’s not just a job. It’s a lifestyle, it runs your life. So, you’ve got to be so disciplined that you got to go to bed early, you’re always on call,” he added of the show.