ABC News Breakfast host Tony Armstrong sparks rumours he's going to be the next Bachelor

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TV star drops major clue he’s going to be the Bachelor: ABC breakfast host Tony Armstrong announces he’s taking a ‘few weeks off’ as new season begins filming on the Gold Coast… after fans said he’d be perfect for the role

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Bachelor fans went into overdrive on Friday when a TV host widely tipped to be the new suitor announced he was taking time off work for an unspecified project.

Former AFL player-turned-ABC News Breakfast sports presenter Tony Armstrong has for several months been one of the bookies’ favourites to hand out roses this year.

At the end of the day’s broadcast, the 32-year-old told his colleagues Lisa Millar and Michael Rowland he would be stepping away from the couch ‘for a few weeks’.

Coincidence? Bachelor fans went into overdrive on Friday when ABC News Breakfast sports presenter Tony Armstrong (pictured) - one of the bookies' favourites to be this year's suitor - announced he was taking time off work for an unspecified project. The Bachelor is scheduled to begin production on the Gold Coast any day now, and will air on Channel 10 later this year

Coincidence? Bachelor fans went into overdrive on Friday when ABC News Breakfast sports presenter Tony Armstrong (pictured) – one of the bookies’ favourites to be this year’s suitor – announced he was taking time off work for an unspecified project. The Bachelor is scheduled to begin production on the Gold Coast any day now, and will air on Channel 10 later this year

The timing of his exit is telling given the new season of The Bachelor is scheduled to begin production on the Gold Coast any day now.

While he didn’t reveal his plans for the break, co-anchor Rowland made a telling remark about Armstrong’s mind being elsewhere during his last day at work.

‘We’ve given Tony a break from presenting his final sports report because your mind is starting to turn… elsewhere as you finish your shift today,’ he said.

Dropping hints: Armstrong, who played 35 games for Adelaide, Sydney and Collingwood, told his co-hosts he'd be stepping away from the couch'for a few weeks'. While he didn't reveal his plans for the break, Michael Rowland made a telling remark about Armstrong's mind being elsewhere during his last day at work. (Pictured training with the Magpies in August 2014)

Dropping hints: Armstrong, who played 35 games for Adelaide, Sydney and Collingwood, told his co-hosts he’d be stepping away from the couch ‘for a few weeks’. While he didn’t reveal his plans for the break, Michael Rowland made a telling remark about Armstrong’s mind being elsewhere during his last day at work. (Pictured training with the Magpies in August 2014)

Choosing his words carefully, Armstrong replied: ‘It’s, er… I’m, er, taking a few weeks off the News Brekky couch. The great Catherine Murphy will be filling in for me.’

Armstrong’s fresh ‘mullet’ haircut had also been a running joke throughout the program, as noted by fans on The Bachelor and Bachelorette Spoiler Forums.

The ABC has a long history of sharing talent with Channel 10, with the likes of Todd Sampson and Waleed Aly making programs for both networks.

Popular: Fans and commentators, including gossip columnist Richard Reid, have long said the charismatic ex-footy player would be perfect for the role. Armstrong is also no stranger to Channel 10, having appeared on current affairs show The Project several times (pictured)

Popular: Fans and commentators, including gossip columnist Richard Reid, have long said the charismatic ex-footy player would be perfect for the role. Armstrong is also no stranger to Channel 10, having appeared on current affairs show The Project several times (pictured)

Armstrong is also no stranger to the commercial broadcaster, having appeared on current affairs show The Project several times in the past.

Fans and commentators, including gossip columnist Richard Reid, have long said the charismatic ex-footy player would be perfect for the role.

Casting for The Bachelor’s tenth season began in January, with ‘single women and men between the ages of 21 and 50’ invited to apply.

Ladies and gentlemen: Casting for The Bachelor's tenth season began in January, with'single women and men between the ages of 21 and 50' invited to apply. (Pictured: the 2020 cast)

Ladies and gentlemen: Casting for The Bachelor’s tenth season began in January, with ‘single women and men between the ages of 21 and 50’ invited to apply. (Pictured: the 2020 cast)

The MyCastingNet online application form states: ‘You must be willing and available to be filmed for the duration of the series.

‘Filming will roughly commence May to July of 2022 and may take up to 12 weeks.’

There are rumours the upcoming season will be a ‘hybrid’ of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, with a male and female suitor.

Plot twist: There are rumours the upcoming season will be a'hybrid' of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, with a male and female suitor. (Pictured: franchise host Osher Günsberg)

Plot twist: There are rumours the upcoming season will be a ‘hybrid’ of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, with a male and female suitor. (Pictured: franchise host Osher Günsberg)

The show has also relocated from Sydney to the Gold Coast. 

The Channel 10 dating franchise has seen its ratings plummet in recent years, with Brooke Blurton’s 2021 season of The Bachelorette plunging to record lows.

A Channel 10 spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘We don’t have any details to share at the moment, but the identity of our Bachelor will be revealed soon!’

The ABC has been contacted for comment.

Decline: The Channel 10 dating franchise has seen its ratings plummet in recent years, with Brooke Blurton's (left) 2021 season of The Bachelorette plunging to record lows

Decline: The Channel 10 dating franchise has seen its ratings plummet in recent years, with Brooke Blurton’s (left) 2021 season of The Bachelorette plunging to record lows

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