Farewell to Virginia Trioli

Virginia Trioli has her final day on the News Breakfast couch today.

Writing for ABC she reflects on her decade on the show which had to endure automation as a live three hour program, which invariably exposed some tech mistakes.

“I’m pretty sure no program has broadcast so many of them as us. But each time we broadcast a blooper, we set our faces straight and unblinkingly charged on,” she recalls.

“Never complain, never explain. Nothing to see here.”

“But that day — that was the day we stopped pretending. There is farce, there is high farce, and then there’s the sight of your floor manager huddled behind the couch on the floor behind you desperately wishing himself into invisibility after a studio-shattering thud.

“There was no holding it back this time: I cracked up. Michael cracked up and the tears of hysterical laughter rolled.

“Vanessa — part of the original four presenters of Barrie Cassidy, Paul Kennedy and me — sagely observed at the time that this was the moment our program changed, and for the better.

“We were up until then a rather stitched-up bunch.

“We took our remit awfully seriously: we had the weight of expectation (and scepticism) on us and a heritage of Australia’s best news and current affairs to honour.

“And we knew what much of the ABC audience thought of breakfast TV.

“We had access to the country’s best foreign correspondents and a time zone that allowed us to talk to the world’s leading thinkers in international affairs.”

“At the very beginning, we originally all dressed in suits, our weather presenter included, looking like nothing so much as a bunch of funeral directors. Or bankers.

“But something clicked that day, and we realised there was so much more of ourselves we could bring to air each morning, that we could share with our viewers, without ever compromising our unofficial motto: we send you away smarter.

“And with that, News Breakfast truly became the amazing show that it is.”


  1. We switched from Sunrise to ABC News Breakfast about 8 years ago and haven’t looked back. Virginia has been a class act, but a very warm one. I hope to still see her on the ABC from time to time.

  2. The ABC have cleverly been softening up the audience by having so many guest presenters over the past months. The loss of Virginia now feels gentler, and we know Lisa Millar and her talents before she starts permanently.

    However, doing this has highlighted the quality of Virginia as a presenter and interviewer. Several of the fill-ins struggle to meet her standards, and I am glad that those ones have not been chosen. My only criticism of Virginia was her occasional inability to hide her progressive bias.

  3. Can’t say I ever warmed to Virginia especially when she laughed at her own (not particularly funny) jokes, but she is a very good interviewer of politicians. That is where her strength lies. Sometimes her bias about other guests annoyed me. Fawning over the ones she likes, cool and brittle with the ones she doesn’t.

    I’m looking forward to Lisa Millar returning as permanent replacement. She has excellent energy with Michael. Will be interesting so see if the ratings move at all.

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