Nova’s morning radio hosts were shocked on Thursday as one of their beloved stars quit live on air.
Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald, Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli and Kate Ritchie‘s longtime newsreader Matt de Groot announced he was stepping down from the role after 10 years.
An emotional de Groot, 35, held back tears as he surprised listeners with the news, revealing that he is relocating to London with his family early next year.
‘It has been the best 10 years with the best team,’ he said on air.
Matt explained the move comes following the news of his wife Bronte Coy relocating to the UK for work.
‘It’s too great an opportunity as a family to pass up the chance to move to London and live over there for a couple of years,’ he added.
‘So after 10 years of telling people “it’s busy on the M5”, someone else will have the opportunity to do the best job in Sydney radio news next year.’
‘Don’t go,’ Wippa begged, before joking, ‘You obviously had to choose, you have to think about the choice, do I choose my wife or the team?’
Having joined Fitzy & Wippa in 2013 as a news presenter, Matt said he’d delivered approximately 39,000 traffic reports and 20,000 news bulletins.
He has read the news from the top of the Harbour Bridge, in an ice bath, in a fighter plane, in a helicopter, on the snow, on a cruise ship, and in line for a Harry Styles concert.
‘We know the love you have for your family, and we’ve been trying to talk you around this and is there any way we can have you involved,’ Fitzy said.
‘The insight you bring into this show and your personality – you have been a vital part of this show for 10 years and we want to say thank you very much for all of that, buddy.’
‘You’re making me upset,’ an emotional Wippa told Matt.
‘I have loved this, and love it, and I’m not going because I don’t love it,’ Matt continued.
Matt continued his love for the role in a statemtent: ‘It’s been the most unique ‘news’ role in the industry, where on one hand you cover the main stories each day, and on the other your car is wrapped in gladwrap while you’re at your desk.
‘In the ten years with Fitzy & Wippa, they’ve created un-real moments, with sole purpose of amusing themselves.
‘Nearly being arrested chasing Meghan Markle with a huge bouquet of flowers, then shaking Prince Harry’s was a high point while arriving home one day and having my entire apartment cleared out and re-setup at Manly Warf in Sydney was probably the lowlight.’
‘I will miss this team and the show that’s changed my life, but I’m so excited to support my wife in London and sleep in a little bit,’ he continued.
Over the next few weeks the team will celebrate Matt’s time with the show before the search begins for a new news presenter to join the team following their return in January 2024.