Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and former AFL star Luke Darcy have shed light on the sad circumstances behind their exit from Triple M’s Hot Breakfast show.
The pair both made headlines last week after it emerged that they were leaving the popular breakfast radio program.
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McGuire was forced to deny ugly rumours that he and Darcy had been sacked, revealing that his family had been behind his decision to walk away from Triple M after 11 years.
It's now emerged that personal tragedies for both McGuire and Darcy, were a major factor in their decision to step aside.
The pair both lost a parent earlier in the year, with McGuire's mum Bridie passing away just two days after Darcy lost his father - former VFL football player, David.
“The self reflection, and losing someone close to you … you re-evaluate things that are important and, for me, it always comes back to family,” Darcy said.
“It had a massive impact on me, and a part of my decision making (to leave breakfast radio) as well.
“We need to work and pursue great things like the Hot Breakfast to look after our families, but at the same time, you don’t want to miss the point of life. I’m massive on that life balance part.
“This year, we’ve had the chance to stop, reflect and look at our situations.”
McGuire said his mother's death helped him empathise with Darcy's situation and his own commitment to his family made the decision to quit easier to make.
“Darce’s father was such a great friend of the show, and so well loved. My mum passed two days later, but we knew it was imminent. My view is, If you don’t learn from this year, you won’t learn from much.”
Shortly after the death of his mother, McGuire got to spend quality time inside the AFL's Gold Coast hub with his son Joe - who helps put him to air when the former Triple M co-host worked remotely.
“I spent a lot of time with my son Joe, and spent no time with my son Xander and my wife Carla who were back in Melbourne. You think, ‘Hang on, these are the things that matter,'" McGuire said.
“We came to work every day for our family. “We don’t regret that we weren’t there to drive them to school. That would be great in a perfect world where money falls off a tree.
McGuire fulfils promise to family
The Collingwood president said he’s always promised his family he would quit breakfast radio once his sons had both finished school.
“Those closest to me have always known that I continued with breakfast radio while my boys were at school and now my youngest has finished it’s time too for me to finish up a wonderful 11 year run with a 4am alarm,” McGuire said last week.
The Triple M Hot Breakfast has been losing audience share recently, down 0.9 points to 5.8% in recent ratings.
However, McGuire denied it was a factor in his and co-host Darcy's decisions to leave the show.
“They (Triple M) were keen to look at planning for the next five years, and we thought, ‘This is a good way to finish,'" McGuire told the Herald Sun.
“But, in my mind, it was probably since June I’ve known it would be the last year.”
McGuire admitted he and Darcy hadn’t always seen eye-to-eye, but shot down speculation that led to their departures.
McGuire said a confronting conversation with his family was behind his decision to walk away.
The 56-year-old explained how he reached “breaking point” when he lay down for a nap at 10am one day and woke up at 3pm.
“(Wife) Carla and the boys said to me at that stage, and they were very strong on this, ‘Enough. This is going to kill you’,” McGuire revealed.
“As much as I try to put as much into every working day, there comes a time where there’s a breaking point.
“I got too tired in the end. I would nod off in meetings, nod off at home, and I’d be zoned out at dinner.
“That’s part of life, that’s what every business person does. I’m not crying for help here. But in the end it was enough.”
As well as his breakfast radio commitments and role as chairman of Collingwood, McGuire also hosts Millionaire Hotseat and regularly appears on Channel Nine show Footy Classified.
Darcy will also remain busy through his roles with Channel 7 and calling AFL games for Triple M Footy.
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