(Image: ABC iView)

Barrie Cassidy’s reign as host of Insiders on Sunday ended with a bang -- 794,000 for the live broadcast and throwing in the smaller audiences for the repeats later in the day and early Monday, well over 800,000 -- the highest for a non-post election morning. It would have made Insiders the seventh most watched program on Sunday, one of its highest ever top 10 placings.

Insiders and Offsiders (which Cassidy originally hosted), are the last of the serious Sunday morning chat shows left standing. Weekend Sunrise on Seven and Weekend Today on Nine are lightweight competitors and have been left behind in the wake of the steady growth in viewers for Insiders.

When Insiders first aired, the original half hour show had an audience of  134,000 in the five major metro markets. On Sunday, for Cassidy's final episode, it was 402,000 in the metros and 187,000 in the regions and a further 207,000 on the News channel. Insiders is also the most watched program on any news channel each week.