Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell finally addresses THAT rift with Samantha Armytage 

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Samantha Armytage and Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell were rumoured to have a highly publicised falling out.  

On Sunday, the wunderkind, 38, finally addressed the chatter about the breakdown of his friendship with Sam, 44, in an interview with the TV Blackbox podcast. 

‘I have known her for 20 years. And she’s like a sister to me. And like a brother and sister relationship, you have good times and bad times,’ he said. 

Tell all: Samantha Armytage and Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell were rumoured to have a falling out. On Sunday, the wunderkind, 38, finally addressed the breakdown of his friendship with Sam, 44, in an interview with the TV Blackbox podcast. Both pictured

Tell all: Samantha Armytage and Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell were rumoured to have a falling out. On Sunday, the wunderkind, 38, finally addressed the breakdown of his friendship with Sam, 44, in an interview with the TV Blackbox podcast. Both pictured 

‘We have always been honest about that. There is a mutual respect. I think she is brilliant at what she does and I think she thinks I’m alright at what I do’. 

He added that the pair did grow apart as friends, as their lives took them on different paths.   

‘I don’t think it was as much a falling out as we had our lives. Her roots are more in the country now and she wasn’t around me,’ he said. 

Honest: 'I have known her for 20 years. And she's like a sister to me. And like a brother and sister relationship, you have good times and bad times,' he said. 'We have always been honest about that. There is a mutual respect. I think she is brilliant at what she does'

 Honest: ‘I have known her for 20 years. And she’s like a sister to me. And like a brother and sister relationship, you have good times and bad times,’ he said. ‘We have always been honest about that. There is a mutual respect. I think she is brilliant at what she does’ 

However, Michael says the pair grew close again in the months before her departure from the breakfast show.  

‘Towards the end of her time at Sunrise we got back to that place we were at the beginning. We sort of came full circle,’ he revealed.  

Michael says right when they healed their friendship, Sam told him she wanted to leave Sunrise. 

Parted: He added that the pair did grow apart as friends, as their lives took them on different paths. 'I don't think it was as much a falling out as we had our lives. Her roots are more in the country now and she wasn't around me,' he said

Parted: He added that the pair did grow apart as friends, as their lives took them on different paths. ‘I don’t think it was as much a falling out as we had our lives. Her roots are more in the country now and she wasn’t around me,’ he said 

‘We got really close and that is when she came to me and said, “I think I would like to leave because I want to see what life’s all about”. 

‘And she’d had a tough year last year. If you aren’t enjoying it anymore you should seek something else to do. You have to do what it’s in your heart and it wasn’t in her heart… it just wasn’t for her anymore’. 

Michael said he was ‘fully supportive’ of Sam’s exit from the show, and is delighted that she is so happy with her new husband, Richard Lavender, 60. 

Closer: However, Michael says the pair grew close again in the months before her departure from the breakfast show. 'Towards the end of her time at Sunrise we got back to that place we were at the beginning. We sort of came full circle,' he revealed

 Closer: However, Michael says the pair grew close again in the months before her departure from the breakfast show. ‘Towards the end of her time at Sunrise we got back to that place we were at the beginning. We sort of came full circle,’ he revealed

‘She went and met Richard and I didn’t matter anymore!’ he joked, adding, ‘I love Richard. He is a great guy, and I have never seen her happier’.   

For months there had been rumours the once-close friends had fallen out, and media insiders took notice when Sam did not mention Michael in her parting message to viewers and saw this as a sign relations were still frosty. 

However, they shut down the gossip by cuddling up at Catalina Restaurant in Rose Bay in March, during a celebratory gathering with several high-profile Seven staffers. 

Leaving: Michael says right when they healed their friendship, Sam told him she wanted to leave Sunrise. 'We got really close and that is when she came to me and said, "I think I would like to leave because I want to see what life's all about". And she'd had a tough year last year.  You have to do what it's in your heart and it wasn't in her heart... it just wasn't for her anymore'

Leaving: Michael says right when they healed their friendship, Sam told him she wanted to leave Sunrise. ‘We got really close and that is when she came to me and said, “I think I would like to leave because I want to see what life’s all about”. And she’d had a tough year last year.  You have to do what it’s in your heart and it wasn’t in her heart… it just wasn’t for her anymore’

Rumours of Sam and Michael’s falling out were no secret in media circles.  

In fact, their supposed feud had been gossip fodder for The Sydney Morning Herald’s Private Sydney column for months. 

The column’s author, Andrew Hornery, maintained the Sunrise boss had become ‘increasingly frustrated’ with Sam’s ‘cavalier’ approach to her critics.

Likes him: Michael said he was 'fully supportive' of Sam's exit from the show, and is delighted that she is so happy with her new husband, Richard Lavender, 60. 'I love Richard. He is a great guy, and I have never seen her happier,' Michael said

 Likes him: Michael said he was ‘fully supportive’ of Sam’s exit from the show, and is delighted that she is so happy with her new husband, Richard Lavender, 60. ‘I love Richard. He is a great guy, and I have never seen her happier,’ Michael said 

He also reported in December that this worsening of relations was a sign Sam would soon depart Sunrise – a prediction later proved correct, even though Sam publicly denied it at the time.

Before their rift, Sam and Michael had been close friends for years.

They would hang out socially, attend the races arm in arm, and pop up on each other’s social media accounts. 

Their close bond was unsurprising: Michael was the man who hired Sam to host Sunrise – Australia’s number-one breakfast show – and was also one of her most staunch defenders against criticism in the press. 

Back on: For months there had been rumours the once-close friends had fallen out. However, they shut down the gossip by cuddling up at Catalina Restaurant in Rose Bay in March, during a celebratory gathering with several high-profile Seven staffers

 Back on: For months there had been rumours the once-close friends had fallen out. However, they shut down the gossip by cuddling up at Catalina Restaurant in Rose Bay in March, during a celebratory gathering with several high-profile Seven staffers

In March, Sam stepped down from hosting Channel Seven’s breakfast show after eight years, with claims that she did so in order to spend more time with her family.

She was replaced by longtime co-star Natalie Barr, 53, who took up the helm alongside David ‘Kochie’ Koch, 65.    

Her departure followed her intimate wedding to millionaire businessman Richard Lavender on New Year’s Eve.

The quaint ceremony was held at his Southern Highlands home and was attended by a small number of guests due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Moving on: In March, Sam stepped down from hosting Channel Seven's breakfast show after eight years, with claims that she did so in order to spend more time with her family

 Moving on: In March, Sam stepped down from hosting Channel Seven’s breakfast show after eight years, with claims that she did so in order to spend more time with her family

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