Why everyone is talking about Tony Armstrong at the TikTok Awards.

Tony Armstrong has had a big year.

The former AFL player has gone from one success to the next, having won his second Logie for Most Popular Presenter and securing a new hosting gig with ABC series Great Australian Stuff.

And last week, the television presenter co-hosted the 2023 TikTok Awards alongside media personality Abbie Chatfield and 2022 TikTok Creator of the Year, Kat Clark.

But of course, the event did not exactly go according to plan.

Watch: Tony Armstrong on the highs and lows of his career. Post continues after video. 

Video via ABC.

Things went awry when a young influencer by the name of Sopha Dopha had an encounter with Armstrong that immediately went viral.

During the ceremony, the ABC journalist asked the 19-year-old how she was feeling after being nominated for Creator Of The Year at the TikTok Awards – an event that brought together some of Australia's most well-known influencers and content creators.

"You look ecstatic," he told her. 

She swiftly responded in a joking manner, "Thank you! Wow, stop flirting with me!"


Of course, the moment was amplified by a cruel TikTok video that accused Dopha of being "self-absorbed" because of her light-hearted remark.

You can watch a snippet of the moment here. Post continues after video. 


when did negativity become the new trend?

♬ original sound - Jay Chabz

Armstrong clarified he was already in a relationship and was not flirting with Dopha. 

"Had a hard launch this week, mate. Don't know if you caught the news..." he replied. "That was not flirting, that was flattery."

The TV presenter was referring to his new partner Rona Glynn-McDonald, who goes by the stage name RONA.

Tony Armstrong and Rona Glynn-McDonald. Image: Instagram @tonaaayy.


The news came after The Daily Telegraph alleged Armstrong had previously been romantically linked to his fellow host at the TikTok Awards, Abbie Chatfield.

The publication claims the pair spent a night together after the Logies in 2022, and began seeing each other afterwards – but the romance was short-lived and quickly fizzled out.

When asked on the red carpet on Wednesday about his connection with Chatfield, Armstrong had nothing but nice things to say. 

"Abbie's brilliant," he said. "I think she’s super smart."

"She is really funny, and she works really hard."

Tony Armstrong and Abbie Chatfield at the 2023 TikTok Awards. Image: Getty.


Though Armstrong is still coming to terms with his surging public profile, he's seizing the opportunity. But it hasn't always come easily to him.

The journalist was raised in Western Sydney by his white mother (his father left before he was born) and was one of just three Indigenous children at his boarding school in Victoria.

"You put up all these defence mechanisms without even realising it. Every room you walk into, you're basically the only Blackfella. Everywhere you go, you're always a point of difference," he told Mamamia's No Filter podcast.

"I used to get pretty nervous, because kids are ruthless. They'll just come out and ask questions. And when I was younger, I didn't know s**t about [culture], really...

"So I got bloody good at ripping yarns, because when you're a kid, you want to come across as knowing who you are."

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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