Fran Kelly is stepping down as RN Breakfast host after 17 years at the helm of the ABC’s agenda-setting news program.
An emotional Kelly told her listeners she loved the job, but the early mornings were getting to her and it was time for change.
A former ABC TV 7.30 political editor and European correspondent, Kelly will stay with the ABC and plans to cover the federal election and continue as co-host of the political podcast The Party Room.
She told listeners about her move shortly after 7.30am on Thursday.
— ABC Radio National (@RadioNational) October 20, 2021
“I’ve got some breaking news too,” Kelly said. “I just want to let you all know that my days presenting RN Breakfast are coming to an end. After 17 years it’s time.
“This has been, as you can hear I think, an extremely difficult decision to make. I absolutely love this job. I am so passionate about what we do here on RN Breakfast for you and with you, every morning .
Huge news on @RNBreakfast today - the most wonderful host and human being @frankelly08 is stepping back from the Breakfast mic. Her partner Marion Frith came in to watch her farewell our audience today pic.twitter.com/5DjhfYgis0
— Julia Holman (@JulesHolman) October 20, 2021
“I have given it my heart and soul, I really have and I really will keep doing it, I love it. But Breakfast hours are a hard taskmaster. So I am going to step aside from this role later in December. I gonna take a break and catch some sleep. You will see me next year around the ABC in the lead up to the election.”
— Matt Bevan (@MatthewBevan) October 20, 2021
She then thanked her team, before adding: “I can’t believe I’ve actually got those words out. In fact I have been dreading saying it out loud and making it real. RN Breakfast has been such a huge part of my life.
Thank you Fran! Mornings in Australia won’t be the same without you. You are a champion - rigorous, fair and always respectful. @RNBreakfast
— Malcolm Turnbull 💉💉 (@TurnbullMalcolm) October 20, 2021
Waking up without @frankelly08 on ABC Radio will not be the same.
You didn’t simply listen to @RNBreakfast, you listened to Fran. You didn’t do an interview on RN Breakfast, you did an interview on Fran.
— Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) October 20, 2021
— Lenore Taylor (@lenoretaylor) October 20, 2021
.@frankelly08 is a brilliant broadcaster, a punishingly hard worker, and one of the finest humans I know. Thank you for keeping us informed as we’ve woken up for the past 17 years. Could not be more grateful for that public service 💜
— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) October 20, 2021
This will be such a BIG loss. @frankelly08 is such a great broadcaster and person. I will never forget how welcoming she was to me when I was a young reporter in the Press Gallery in 1990’s. Go well, Fran! 👏👏👏 https://t.co/R7gaXNzc28
— Michael Rowland (@mjrowland68) October 20, 2021
“I will miss it and I will miss you. As I say, it has been a privilege and an absolute joy. For now, until December let’s keep doing what we do here together for a little while longer.
“And that means at 28 minutes to eight it’s time for the weather.”
— David Speers (@David_Speers) October 20, 2021
Politicians, fellow journalists, ABC colleagues and listeners were quick to pay tribute to Kelly after her announcement.