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Seven confirms departure of ANDREW O’KEEFE after ‘brilliant’ but ‘troubled’ career

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The Seven Network has confirmed it is parting ways with long time, game show presenter Andrew O’Keefe in the wake of domestic violence charges.

The decision comes after the Television presenter was charged with assault and had a provisional apprehended violence order placed upon him, after an incident involving his partner, Dr Orly Lavee on Sunday morning.

O’Keefe’s’ contract with the network expired at the end of 2020. Discussions had been ongoing regarding a renewal, however the network had been seeking assurances from O’Keefe regarding his mental health and ability to continue working without production breaks.

Seven confirmed the network’s decision to part ways with the presenter with a network spokesperson stating:

“Seven has had a 17-year relationship with Andrew across a number of programs, although he is no longer with the network. As this is a police matter before the courts, we cannot comment further.”

“The program hosted by Andrew, The Chase Australia, is not currently in production.

“The program is produced for Seven by ITV Studios Australia. Production will resume soon, and a decision about who will host future series still has to be made.”

Last weekend should have been a happy time for the O’Keefe family.

On Friday night, the extended family gathered together to celebrate a milestone birthday for his mother. His new relationship with Dr Lavee had brought much joy to his life, and it’s understood she had played an important role in helping him with his issues.

However, things turned ugly on Sunday morning when police were called to his home.

Despite his history of personal issues, O’Keefe has until now remained hugely popular at Seven. Sources within the network described him yesterday as a ‘brilliant’ performer, but someone who was always troubled. Much had been done to try and accommodate his needs and shield him from media attention.

Andrew O’Keefe hosts THE CHASE AUSTRALIA (image – Seven)

Production on The Chase has been suspended three times over the years due to O’Keefe’s mental health issues. The most prolonged delay was for eight months in 2019-20 when the network went dangerously close to running out of new episodes and was forced to air multiple repeats each week to pad out the season.

The decision to part ways brings to an end a 17-year career for O’Keefe at the Seven Network. A career which would see him start out as a comedian on 2003’s Big Bite performing impersonations of quiz host Eddie McGuire. It wasn’t long before O’Keefe would himself enter the world of gameshows fronting the hugely popular Deal Or No Deal while getting to show his serious side co-hosting Weekend Sunrise for 11 years.

Since 2014, O’Keefe has hosted The Chase Australia for Seven, The evening quiz has proved too be hugely successful and provides a critical ratings lead-in for the networks 6pm news service. The format had proved so successful for Seven the network also commissioned a series of Beat The Chasers specials in 2020.

As revealed by TV Blackbox yesterday, the network currently has approximately six months’ worth of unaired episodes of The Chase which were filmed in the final months of 2020.

O’Keefe will face the Waverley local court on Thursday.

If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual abuse or family violence contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732

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Kevin Perryhttps://tvblackbox.com.au/author-kevin-perry/
Co-Creator and Editor of the TV Blackbox website, Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting. Media enquiries please Call or Text 0428-275-111
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Comments

  1. Saddened by all of this.
    Much preferred Andrew to his competition at Nine.
    To be honest I often wondered how tedious and boring for him to go over the same stuff episode after episode
    after episode.
    That in itself would drive many nuts.
    Felt Seven could have used his talent in many more different roles .Aware they tried a few.
    Also think Seven should have waited untill ALL facts were known.

    • Agreed Chris, it’s a serious allegation that will destroy his entire reputation after being such an advocate for women for so many years.

  2. I feel really sad for Andrew as he battles with his demons. At this stage however it is alleged assault and not convicted so we must wait for the outcome. Poor Ryan Phelan lost his job and reputation over a proven false DV charge. How awful for everyone involved. Andrew is a decent man with mental health issues.

  3. I feel very sad for Andrew, mental health is a huge issue and people really do not understand it. I will not watch the chase if Andrew is not host, I will go to Eddy channel nine. Mental health is a hidden illness, I have experienced this with a family member. All the best Andrew

  4. All the best for the future Andrew.I have loved watching all your shows.I feel very sad and hope you get your health and orher issues sorted.This should not ruin his reputation.Its the 21st century.Show some compassion people.

  5. We have always loved Andrew on the TV. Especially on the Chase. Feel so sad this has happened to him. We can only wait and see the outcome. It won’t change my opinion of him.

  6. Being honest? No. I fully support Andrew O’Keefe; he has earned himself his huge following, and my best wishes go to him. Their private family life is his and his partners own to manage , the same as with anyone, and to see the media destroying yet another fantastic personality because it can , in my view , is disgusting.

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