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Mel Doyle finally responds to those rumours about why she left Sunrise.

Mel Doyle, classy as ever.

Melissa Doyle has copped a lot of flak since announcing her departure from popular brekky TV program Sunrise two years ago.

First there was speculation she was ousted for being past her prime and coming across as “too maternal” or something.

Then there was talk that she retaliated by losing weight in a mid-life makeover, a move that apparently led to career regeneration.

But really, according to Mel Doyle, she left off her own bat.

Melissa Doyle.

The former Sunrise co-host says she had to “hold her head high” as “unpleasant” rumours about her were bandied about in the media when she left the morning show two years ago.

Even now – after scoring an enviable role as host of Channel 7’s Sunday Night – the rumour mill still credits the news presenter’s ‘comeback’ to her weight loss, rather than her talent.

Doyle told News Limited she left her early morning gig to try her hand at something else.

“I left Sunrise because I was ready to do something new and the network backed me,” she said.

“From the very first moment, I knew that we could find something that would work, so I never lost faith.”

Mel with her husband and two kids.

The mother-of-two moved into radio, impressing as a host for Smooth FM, authored a best-seller called Alphabet Soup, and fronted Seven’s now axed 4pm news bulletin.

There were also rumours that producers had ditched the 45-year-old viewer favourite ‘Mel’ for a younger Samantha Armytage because of her age and perceived ‘mumsy’ persona.

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“Despite everything that was written and everything that was said, I just had to hold my head high through all of it, let people speculate and say whatever they wanted to say,” Doyle says.

“Yes, it was unpleasant, especially when things were said and written which were incorrect and hurtful, but I’ve also seen both sides of it and I can’t change people’s minds no matter what I say.”

Here are a few  more of Australia’s excellent female journalists… (Post continues after gallery):

Doyle says it was her 25 years of experience as a journalist that prepared her to anchor 12 hours of live coverage during the Martin Place siege with empathy and class, a performance credited for putting her back on the radar.

“It was just so sad,” Doyle says.

“At the end of the day I was doing my job, but if it took me 25 years of experience as a journalist to bring me to that moment to be able to handle that in the proper way, with responsibility and treating the story and people with dignity and respect, not mounting fear among the audience… if it took all those years of experience and my age to bring me to the point to be able to handle it live, then I’m really grateful to have done it.”

Doing what she does best.

She recently told New Idea, she believes age is but a number when it comes to career prospects.

“I kind of think age, within reason, is becoming less and less of a reason,” she said.

“Hopefully, across all industries today, there’s a recognition that just because you have a few wrinkles, that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute.”

Well said, Mel.

For more on Mel, try these articles:

The real reason Melissa Doyle got a promotion has nothing to do with her weight.

A funny thing has happened to Melissa Doyle.

Celeb news: Mel Doyle loses her new job… again.

FLUFF: Kochie says we need to stop talking about Mel’s “new body.”