Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin made a farewell speech to the NRL Footy Show fans after being unceremoniously dumped late last year in favour of Erin Molan.
Vautin said he never got a chance to say goodbye and extend his thanks, but his mood indicates he no longer harbours any grudges.
“I got relieved of my duties in October last year which was a bit of a shock and disappointment, but in this world you’ve got to put the big boy pants on and move on, and actually I’m extremely happy now being back in the commentary box and doing a bit of work with Rabs and Ray and all the boys, Joey and Sterlo. It’s good to be back at the local grounds, the grassroots of rugby league and enjoying myself,” he said.
“I’m not here to whine and whinge. I’m here to express my gratification at being allowed to host the NRL Footy Show for the last 24 years. I think it’s one of the greatest television shows in the history of television and I’m so proud to have been involved in it.”
His comments come at a time when a trimmed down show, sans studio audience, is struggling in a later timeslot. Vautin’s blessing may be pivotal in winning over aggrieved viewers.
He also opined on the show’s early days and the various cast changes including Matty Johns, Paul Harragon, Ray Hadley, Sterlo and Darryl Brohman and various producers.
“Beau Ryan came on board, extremely funny man as well, he’s great. And then Erin Molan who has also taken over the show, Erin I wish you all the best with the baby and hope it goes well and may you continue to host the Footy Show for a long, long time.
He adds, “And last of all to thank is the fans. Because we did this show for the fans. Whether you supported Manly or Parramatta, it didn’t matter, we did it for you. It was pretty hard to get the balance right but we tried hard, we tried to keep you laughing for a long time.
“I’m proud of the fact that the show won 11 Logies including the last five in a row as the best sports show in Australia, I’m proud of the fact that the show is still on air, the show is still going in its 25th year. I’m proud of the fact that I made a lot of friends and I’m also proud that when everyone came on I like to think they walked off thinking, ‘That was fun, I’d love to do that again’, and I hoped you laughed with me.
“Thanks for watching. It’s a sign out from me. See ya!”
You can see his farewell at Wide World of Sports.