Kay McGrath: The moment I lost it on air
AS VETERAN Seven newsreader Kay McGrath prepares to sign off tomorrow night for the final time, she has revealed the story that still manages to bring her to tears.
In a video to be aired tomorrow highlighting her extraordinary career over the past 40 years, McGrath breaks down when she speaks about the day that Brett Peter Cowan's verdict was handed down.
McGrath had to read the verdict out live on air, and lost her trademark composure when the news came through that Cowan had been found guilty of the murder of Daniel Morcombe.
"It was a really historic time in Queensland, the whole nation was wanting to hear that guilty verdict and that outcome for Bruce and Denise Morcombe, it touched so many people,'' she said.
"It was a genuine physical response at the time, and the tears still come up, all this time later.''
McGrath, 63, will sign off from the weekend news desk tonight for the final time, however she will still remain with Seven doing special reports and mentoring.
"I knew the day would come, but it is difficult to prepare for something like this,'' she said.
The ever-modest television icon said while she was very much appreciated "all the love and care" that had gone into her farewell, she admitted she still found the prospect of signing off "somewhat confronting and uncomfortable''.
"A big part of me would happily slip away quietly and avoid any fanfare,'' she said.
"But I am doing my best to embrace it, and appreciate it. It's a privilege - what I've done, who I've met, where I've been.
"There is a lot of emotion about it, but I just don't want to dissolve into tears live on television!"
McGrath - who will be replaced by Katrina Blowers - thanked all the viewers who had taken time to send her heartfelt handwritten notes since she announced her decision to step away from the desk.
She said she was planning to spend her first weekend "of freedom" in Tasmania with fiance Richard Moore, visiting her two adult sons.