Dermot Murnaghan has signed off at Sky News for the last time by referencing the Will Ferrell comedy film Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy.
The broadcaster, 65, who has spent nearly 16 years at the news channel, said “stay classy, planet Earth”, similar to the phrase Ferrell uttered in the movie as the titular character Ron Burgundy.
Murnaghan’s last remarks as a Sky News Tonight newsreader on Tuesday also drew laughter and claps from his co-workers.
He said: “Finally, as the saying goes, some news about me. After 15 years this is my final programme for Sky News, the best organisation in the UK, which you already know for its coverage and analysis and also its dedicated, inventive, hard-working staff, so many of whom have become close friends.
“And I want to say thanks to you all for putting up with me and supporting me so resolutely through elections, resigning prime ministers and monarch’s funerals but of course, my greatest thanks goes to you, the viewers.
“You make Sky News, you are Sky News, your engagement, encouragement and feedback have been invaluable over my time here.
“I hope that I’ve managed to serve you well. It has been an absolute privilege. Thanks for making this career so worthwhile.
“I leave you with – always wanted to do this – a last look at the headlines, there they are.”
I’m getting quite emotional here before my final @SkyNewsTonight broadcast. There was I sneaking in a last quiet snap in the studio and this wonderful lot flooded in to say goodbye. I’ll miss you! #thefinalcountdown pic.twitter.com/V5jZmV7RH6
— Dermot Murnaghan (@DermotMurnaghan) February 28, 2023
Murnaghan showed the audience his news notes before throwing them from his desk, and adding: “You stay classy, planet Earth, goodbye.”
In the movie, Ferrell as an 1970s newsreader, called news anchor in America, always signs off saying: “I’m Ron Burgundy, you stay classy, San Diego.”
He also, in one memorable scene, gets into a competition with new female co-anchor Veronica Corningstone, played by Dead To Me actress Christina Applegate, as he repeats his phrase so he can be the one to sign off their news show on KVWN Channel 4.
In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Corningstone and Burgundy are married and are still co-anchors until they get into an argument.
Before joining Sky News, Murnaghan presented ITV’s News At Ten and the BBC Ten O’Clock News – now known as BBC News At Ten – as well as Channel 4 News.
Murnaghan has also hosted the BBC’s quiz programme Eggheads, which is now led by Jeremy Vine.
He has also presented Sky News At Ten and Murnaghan, a talk show similar to Sophy Ridge On Sunday on Sky News, before his last role at the station as a newsreader on Sky News Tonight.
During his time, he has covered big events such as the announcement in September of the death of the Queen outside Buckingham Palace, the 2019 general election, the funeral of Prince Philip and the 2020 US presidential election.