Sam Newman to leave Footy Show

Sam Newman has announced he is leaving The Footy Show.

Newman, looking tired or possibly nervous, delivered an ad-lib monologue to camera.

“This station won’t or can’t tell us if this show will be on next year, either in this format or in some other format. And they can’t tell me if I’ll be part of the show next year if it’s on or if I’ll be part of a different show, if it’s on.”

Newman, who is the only original cast member to have survived across 25 seasons, said this year could well be the last in-house Footy Show at Nine.

“I will not be continuing… it’s opportune that I end my association with this show and the network on the off-chance that this is the final show that we do. Next week we look forward to a great grand final show,” he continued.

Newman acknowledged the show’s successes, past cast members and his own transgressions, but said Nine had backed him on each occasion.

“I’ve probably been the most criticised and traduced person in the media in Australia for probably 2 decades. I wouldn’t have it any other way. You are what you are, I know who I am, I know what I am,” he said.

“I take it with a grain of salt. People have a right to say whatever they like about me or this show or the people on it.”

But he also took aim at critics in the media and those who maligned Street Talk segments.

“I don’t think you realise how hard it is to do Live television without some transgressions. We’re not on delay and I’ve said some pretty inappropriate things, and I’ve had to apologise for them. But this station has been as loyal and committed to me as you could ever find.”

To loyal viewers he added, “I want to thank you for putting up with me, or enjoying me. I probably marginalised most people. Probably that’s a bonus. Probably it’s not. ”

Following his speech Nine’s studio audience gave him a standing ovation.

The Footy Show‘s future remains in the balance amid falling ratings, after Seven’s Front Bar has usurped its crown.

Updated: On 3AW today he told Neil Mitchell he was bemused people misconstrued his words:

Neil: “Will The Footy Show be there next year?”
Sam: “I have no idea and that was the basis of what I said last night.”
Neil: “If The Footy Show is there, will you be on it?”
Sam: “I have no idea and that was the basis of what I said last night.”

He indicated he would retire if The Footy Show did not return but would be open to renegotiations if a new show was offered. Clear…?

23 Comments:

  1. Will be sad if he doesn’t come back. Though saying that it seems quite a bit of the fun has left the show anyway. Used to tune in each week for to see where Sam went Street Talk alone pretty much, until they seemingly stopped with that for whatever reason. All the ‘Hairy Garry’ jokes when Gary Lyon was on the show was good too.

    • Well Sam wanted to take the opportunity to thank the viewers that have watched for 25 years and to say goodbye himself. Better to do that and it returns next year rather than not do it and it is cancelled. I think it was completely valid given the network couldn’t confirm if the show will return next year or not.

  2. jezza the first original one

    I must admit that I haven’t watched the Footy Show for a few years. With folk like Sam, you know what you get. You may not like it, but there’s not much false, fake or cheesey about him. In a world of safe, sanitised media, he stood out in many ways and tv will be less colourful without him….and a bit more boring

    • I agree and so would my local radio station morning hosts. They spoke about it this morning and said that television will be all the more boring without him. As one of the hosts this morning said. Too many vanilla types on television today. What will David (tvtonight) write about without Sam once in a while saying something that offends some viewers.

  3. Live TV needs an element of danger and he certainly brings that, probably the last of the old school of Variety that is missing on TV these days. If he goes they may as well switch off the lights.

    Not sure why they don’t go back to the core group – Sam, Ed, Trev, and offload the Footy Stars who only seem in it for themselves, get rid of that long desk, and only have some of the players on when they have stories to tell. We don’t need them on all show

  4. Front Bar has been killing the Footy show in the ratings so why would Nine keep the show going when they could invest in something else. Sam Newman was good 20 years ago when there was no real competition. Mick Molloy and Sam Pang are more contemporary and the audiences are voting with their feet.

  5. Sam didn’t actually quit. He said he probably won’t be back but the network hasn’t decided what it’s doing yet. In the event he doesn’t return he wanted to say goodbye given his lengthy time on the show. He likely will not return but the door isn’t shut just yet. In defence of you and the media reporting he has quit however his wording was a bit confusing and ambiguous.

  6. David you’re a bit premature like the rest of the media. As mentioned he’s said “if the show goes I go” this “sams quit the show” headline grabbing is misleading. Eddie clarified with him about it and Sam said for him to return to the show if it’s renewed, it is up to the network. If people kept watching the show they would have known this.

  7. all well & good to say get rid of the show, but what are they going to replace it with that rates as well? more reality crap? I’m sure the FTA networks must know by now they will rarely or never (i haven’t researched enough to say which) get the sort of ratings numbers they did 25 or even 10 years ago? So something that has been successful starts to not rate well for awhile & they dump it? is it because the main players want too much pay & whatever they replace it with will be cheaper?
    I’m not even a fan, not a sports fan & certainly not a Sam Newman fan but i am a TV fan & genuinely interested in how the main 3 FTA commercial networks are going to survive in a changing TV landscape…

  8. I’d say it’s time for the show to go. Look at what’s happened to the nrl show, tried a new look and feel and just isn’t the same. Let the afl show end with a fitting ending next week. 25 years on air is a major achievement. In its prime it was such great general entertainment. Good speech by Sam i thought. Honest and real.

  9. I get why as the code’s broadcaster nine persist with a low rating NRL footy show, but with no AFL association and now fairly dire ratings, surely it’s time just to kill this one off?

  10. Personally, I believe if he left a decade ago the footy show wouldn’t be in as much peril as it is now. But hey, you might not like him – but he was entertaining

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