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'For The Final Time, Thanks For Watching': Barrie Cassidy Departs Insiders

Insiders host and stalwart of Australian television Barrie Cassidy has signed off after almost two decades.

"Given that this is my last show after 18 years, there will be a fair bit of indulgence," Cassidy said.

Joined by Malcolm Farr of News.com.au, Karen Middleton of the Saturday Paper, and Dennis Atkins of the Courier-Mail, Cassidy delivered both a rich program as per usual, and farewelled the audience.

"It's the audience. It's you that I want to talk to very briefly," Cassidy said.

I've been, over the years, pulled up in the street so many times. So many emails from people who essentially make the same point that they change their routine, they change the way that they manage their Sunday mornings around Insiders. I just loved hearing that along the journey.

Cassidy and the panellists all wore purple, in tribute to one of the show's much-loved guests, Matt Price, who died in 2007 from a brain tumour, age 46.

"Matt often wore purple, being a Freo Dockers fan, [but] he just claimed he liked purple anyway," Cassidy said.

barrie cassidy
An emotional Barrie Cassidy thanks the audience for watching. Photo: ABC.

He grilled Labor Deputy Leader Richard Marles on his party green-lighting national security laws put forward by the Coalition -- before being gifted his very own snow dome from Canberra's biggest enthusiast.

"From those of us who are on the inside, this is the interview of the week," Marles said.

"And the person who has sat in this chair changes week on week, and from party to party. But the person who has been sitting in that chair for the last 18 years has been a constant, and that's been you, Barrie. And that's an enormous contribution to our public debate."

Politicians, ABC colleagues and Insiders fans alike paid tribute to the television great on Twitter.

John Lyons, the ABC's head of Investigative Journalism and the man who live-tweeted the AFP raids this week, live-tweeted the show.

READ MORE: Jane Caro: ABC Raids Spell The End Of Democracy As We Know It

Cassidy even shared a story from a few weeks ago, from a man who met his wife on Tinder after she said she was looking for "somebody who watched Insiders, preferably with a hangover".

"And now they're married!" Cassidy said. "How good is Insiders?"

Sky News' David Spears is set to take over the show Cassidy began in 2001, taking it to the most-watched morning show in 2017, beating every other morning-based news, sport, business and chat show.

"My final message is that I am moving on. But next week, and into the future, it will be the same team, it will be the same coach. Just a different captain, so stay loyal, because the people around me deserve that. They really do.

"For the final time, thanks for watching."