Natarsha Belling broke down in tears this morning at the end of an emotionally charged final edition of Network Ten's breakfast TV show Wake Up.
The curtain came down on the failed six-month experiment with co-host James Mathison delivering the immortal line to Belling: "Let’s hug it out, bitch!"
Wake Up ends with a.... what?
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Wake Up ends with a.... what?
Ten's doomed morning show Wake Up wrapped on Friday with tears and a line that might become more memorable than the show.
Shortly after the credits rolled over shots of the visibly distraught Wake Up team on the deck of Manly’s Queenscliff Surf Club, Belling, Mathison and the crew were seen sharing champagne and consoling embraces on the set.
Much of the two-hour show turned into mutual admiration fest as regular guests, including newsreader Nuala Hafner and roving reporter Sam "Mac" McMillan, lined up to say how much they would miss the program.
"It seemed like only six months ago that we started this journey," joked McMillan during a live cross from Scotland.
Melbourne-based Hafner contributed an off-key duet with her producer of Love Is An Open Door from the Disney movie Frozen.
Other cheesy musical choices included Europe’s power ballad The Final Countdown and Alex Lloyd’s over-played love song Amazing.
Earlier, Mathison revealed on Twitter that he had gone to bed barely three hours before turning up to front the show, although he seemed alert enough in spite of the sleep deprivation.
"It’s a glass half full kind of morning here at the beach house," said Belling, prompting the quip from Mathison, "Glass half full of whisky", in reference to his now infamous "scotchy, scotch, scotch" tweet when he first heard the show was being canned.
Despite Wake Up’s very short life, the producers still managed to stitch together an engaging package of highlights that had many fans taking to Twitter and Facebook to voice their support.
"There were no egos in the Wake Up team just genuine people doing their job and they cared. Please give us our morning TV back," was a typical tweet from Mary Glass.
"Best breakfast show around. Channel 10 need their heads read!!" wrote Marie Neves on Facebook.
That backing, however, failed to translate into viewing figures for the troubled show, with barely 35,000 people tuning in each morning.
On Wednesday, Ten axed Wake Up and its early, morning and late news bulletins, along with 150 of its 500 news and operations staff.
All the cancelled programs are airing for the final time today. And the network appeared to be at pains to immediately forget Wake Up ever existed, with all evidence of the program erased from the Tenplay website this morning
Hermione Kitson – presenter of Ten’s early Eyewitness News bulletin – was given farewell flowers by Studio 10’s Sarah Harris on air this morning.
On Twitter, Kitson thanked Harris for the "truly special surprise send-off; thank you @Studio10au for making me feel so loved".
A Ten spokesman said the farewell was for the axed bulletin, not Kitson.
It is unclear whether the newsreader – or the hosts of other cancelled programs, including Belling and Mathison and newsreader Matt Doran – will remain with the network.
"The voluntary redundancy program has just started," the spokesman said. "Obviously, the outcome of that program is not known at this early stage. It is inappropriate for us to discuss individual members of staff."
- with Michael Lallo
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for choosing to Wake Up with us every morning. http://t.co/101DFtwTcM— Wake Up (@WakeUp) May 22, 2014