Former AFL player turned TV presenter Tony Armstrong has a new gig.
The ABC has announced that Armstrong will be the full-time sports presenter on News Breakfast.
He’ll take over from Paul Kennedy, who is moving into a new role as a senior sports reporter across all ABC news programs.
Armstrong, a Barranbinya man, said in a press release: “Firstly, a huge congratulations to PK for the amazing job he did in the role. He’s unreal at what he does but even better as a person. He took me under his wing from the second I walked into the place.
“I’m really excited about officially starting with the News Breakfast team and pumped to continue getting to know them and our valued audience better.”
Armstrong continued: “I don’t take it lightly when it comes to the new role. I understand the importance of having representation for my people on screens. I love that I’m part of that – and I love that by giving me the opportunity the ABC is part of that too.”
News Breakfast host Michael Rowland said about Armstrong: “Tony has already made quite an impression on the team and our viewers. He has an MCG-sized personality and wisdom beyond his years. He’s a tremendous addition to the program.”
Armstrong, who played for Adelaide, Sydney and Collingwood in the AFL for a total of 35 games, has developed a cult following since joining the ABC last year.
Social media is filled with complimentary comments from viewers who have been wowed by his presenting skills and his good looks.
sorry but im in love with tony armstrong from abc breakfast. i will not be taking questions at this point. just the expected ‘so true bestie’
— ruby innes (@rubyinnes) July 6, 2021
Just a thought, but imagine if Tony Armstrong married my sister so I could flirt with him on Christmas Day every year until I died. pic.twitter.com/abhCURKYxr
— Samuel Leighton-Dore (@SamLeightonDore) July 8, 2021
Seriously considering becoming a professional athlete purely so I can be introduced to Tony Armstrong from the ABC news breakfast show and bat me lil eyelashes
— steph_against_smoking (@bubblegumjim93) July 8, 2021
Is Tony Armstrong now the most well-liked person in the Australian media? Waiting for him to be snapped up by The Bachelor any day now…
— Michael O’Donnell (@TheMikeOD) July 7, 2021
Tony Armstrong has a transfixing presence on screen
— Joshua Gynther (@joshuagynther) June 12, 2021
Tony Armstrong, what is about seeing your handsome face on ABC Breakfast every morning that makes me smile and feel so good?
— marie moran (@marieatsawtell) June 10, 2021
How fab is Tony Armstrong @Tonaaayy_ ? First indigenous sports-calling reporter on ABC News TV apparently.
Ex AFL (incl Collingwood, but let’s not hold that against him🙄), knowledgeable, articulate… not to mention good-looking! First time I’ve seen him.@abcnews#sportpic.twitter.com/T7mhjHWAI7
— Miriam Cosic (@miriamcosic) June 2, 2021
His popularity with viewers has seen him appear in comedy segments on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and as a guest co-host on Channel 10’s The Project.
In a recent interview with Domain, Armstrong said he hopes to use his media exposure to encourage future Indigenous broadcasters.
“I feel a real responsibility to keep doing everything that I’m doing and more: to increase opportunity, to increase visibility, to hopefully inspire, to kind of be the litmus test for networks so that they can trust Indigenous people behind the ink, behind the mic, in front of the camera,” he said.
“I’ve got an opportunity where I’m across all of those mediums, and I’m getting a really great platform. So, I’d be asleep at the wheel if I wasn’t making the most of that opportunity, to try to do good things and try to progress.”
Originally published as ABC star Tony Armstrong lands new gig