Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton to retire

Date

Scott Ellis

<i>At the Movies</i> hosts Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton.

At the Movies hosts Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton.

We give this news zero stars: Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton are calling it a day.

After nearly three decades of arguing, agreeing and informing Australians about which films they should be watching the pair will retire at the end of this season, and At The Movies will not return in 2015.

Pomeranz and Stratton first worked together at SBS on The Movie Show and then the ABC for At The Movies.

"After 28 years reviewing films on television with Margaret, ten of them at the ABC, I feel it’s time to go," Stratton said in a statement.

"We've had a wonderful time, thanks to very supportive and encouraging audiences, throughout that period. And we've worked with wonderful teams, both at SBS and at the ABC, people who discovered movies alongside us, helped and assisted us, and in the process became valued friends. We couldn't have done it without them.

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"Most of all, working with Margaret, whose enthusiasm, commitment and passion has been amazing (and only occasionally irritating) has been a joy for over a quarter of a century. But, since I turned 75 last week, I look forward to less pressure and more opportunities to enjoy the movies I love, in the years ahead."

In a rare moment for the pair, Pomeranz agreed unequivocally with her on-screen partner.

"As David says, it's time to go from the small screen after a great innings, thanks to all our viewers and the fabulous teams we've worked with over the years. And thank you to the ABC and SBS. We've been lucky to work for two great public broadcasters, and long may they prosper.

"My gratitude goes to David who gave me credibility just by being prepared to sit by me and discuss film when I am just a film enthusiast, not the great walking encyclopedia of film that he is. He's a grand person, a most generous, decent man, even if a little stubborn at times.

"We've seen Australian films continue to mature over nearly three decades on air and I look forward to a continued involvement in this wonderful industry of ours which explores and reflects our culture and our peccadilloes. It's been such a privilege to have been on the sidelines, witnessing the talent that this country produces in all areas of film production. 

"I'm very sad to have to call an end to our show, it started out as a very fragile thing and only survived because there are enough lovers of film in this country to support a specific program about cinema. Thank you all."

The announcement marks the end of an era, said ABC managing director Mark Scott, given the fact they are known simply as Margaret and David – a sign of how much they are a part of the Australian television landscape.

"Their passionate and enthusiastic championing of the cinema art form, their articulate and always entertaining reviews and their personal rapport on stage (not to mention those earrings) have defined them," Scott said.

"Their contribution to the ABC and to the wider arts community has been enormous. We are so proud to have worked with them for over a decade at the ABC and we will miss them. I give them five stars."

Twitter reacts to Margaret and David's announcement