MAFS 2024: Surprising way the show will honour late expert Trisha Stratford

The former relationship expert passed away in September.

Married At First Sight is set to launch its most explosive season yet with an in-memoriam tribute to Dr Trisha Stratford when the show returns on January 29.

Trisha, who passed away in September at the age of 72, appeared as a relationship expert on the reality show’s first seven seasons before quitting in 2019.

MAFS' Mel Schilling, Dr Trisha Stratford and John Aiken.
MAFS will honour former relationship expert Dr Trisha Stratford when the show returns at the end of January. Photo: Channel Nine

Despite her controversial exit from the series, a source tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Channel Nine will acknowledge her sudden passing at the beginning of the new season.

“No one was more shocked by the news of Trisha's passing than John Aiken and Mel Schilling and they both wanted their former colleague and friend to be acknowledged,” the insider shares.

“John had made the first seven seasons of MAFS with her and yet knew very little about her health struggle. He was quite worried how the network would handle the tragic loss of such an instrumental part of the MAFS family and he really made his voice heard to make sure that something was going to be done.”


Our source adds that the final touches are currently being made to the new season of MAFS and it won’t be difficult to add a tribute to Trisha in the premiere.

“It would really be making a statement if they don't include her in the first episode. Fans of the show would be disappointed and not to mention John and Mel would feel cheated,” the insider continues.

“After all, they have all put so much of their lives into the success of MAFS. They will feel more valued when they see this kind of acknowledgement.”

MAFS’ Dr Trisha Stratford and John Aiken.
John Aiken 'really made his voice heard' to make sure the show acknowledged Trisha's passing. Photo: Instagram/johnaikenlive

Why Trisha Stratford left MAFS

Although she found the first couple of seasons to be “fulfilling”, Trisha said she found herself “conflicted” as the direction of MAFS shifted to focus on drama rather than genuine connections.

“I thought I had very strong resilience after everything I've done in my life, but MAFS took me to another level,” she told Woman's Day in 2021.

She added that she felt “sick” at some of the dinner parties and believed some of the contestants were “so outrageous and outside the norm” that it left her feeling like it wasn't what she had signed up for.

“By the end, I couldn't compromise my professional and personal standards because there were participants on the show who I felt shouldn't have been there,” she said.

“If someone gets through the critical selection process, when we say we don't want them on the show because they're quite fragile, they're not going to do well after the show.”

Trisha was subsequently replaced on the show by sexologist Alessandra Rampolla, who is set to return as an expert in the upcoming eleventh season alongside John and Mel.

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