Sam Armytage's final day on Sunrise was an emotional one as the Aussie star reflected on her eight years as co-host on the breakfast TV program.
Sam, who announced she was quitting the show last Monday, was joined by her new husband, Richard Lavender, on the couch to discuss her post-Sunrise plans with co-host David 'Kochie' Koch.
While an emotional Sam looked on, businessman Richard chatted candidly about their relationship, how they first met and the hidden heartbreak behind her decision to leave her job.
"It’s well documented, the misfortune that's been in Sam’s family," Richard, 60, began.
"It’s also been in my family, and I lost my sister 10 days ago from a brain tumour. She was dying while all this stuff was going on with [Sam's parents] Libby and Mac.
"So we're certainly looking forward to spending more time with our family. You re-evaluate things and you realise how important, for Sam and me, our families are."
Sam's mother, Libby, sadly passed away shortly before her 69th birthday in November 2020 following a 15-year battle with autoimmune disease.
A few months before that the Channel 7 star had revealed that both her parents had been admitted to hospital.
Taking to Instagram at the time, Sam explained that Libby — who had been “gravely ill for a while” — was being treated for heart failure caused by an ‘autoimmune disease’.
Her father Mac, who lives on the family farm in Wagga, suffered a stroke on his way to visit his wife and was lucky to survive.
'That's my girl'
Elsewhere in the moving chat, Richard revealed how he and Sam first met — and when he knew she was 'the one'.
"We met at the end of a friend’s birthday party. I remember seeing her, and I got this really nice feeling, and I thought, that’s my girl," he said.
“It sounds corny, but it was true," he added with a smile.
The next morning, Richard asked an old school friend of Sam's for her phone number and the rest is history.
“He loves all the things I love and now I have someone to do all those things with,” Sam responded.
"When I met Rich, it was like all of my values and country upbringing, I thought this was it... I was like, 'I’m home'."
Sam and Richard said ‘I do’ in front of a small number of guests on his 40-hectare Southern Highlands, NSW, property on New Year's Eve 2020.
A large portion of the couple's extended family was unable to watch the couple wed, with restrictions meaning Sam's sister, who lives in London, was unable to make it for the wedding, while several of Richard's family members were in lockdown on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Sam's next steps
When quizzed by Kochie about her plans after leaving Channel 7, Sam admitted she didn't have much in mind, for the near future at least.
“This is genuinely me taking a break for the first time in 22 years since I left uni,” she said.
“We’re doing a lot of gardening, it’s not very glamorous," she laughed.
Richard revealed that his wife is "not a good sleeper-iner" — likely because of her early Sunrise wakeup calls for the past eight years.
"That's something that probably won't happen. She likes to get up and go," he said.
Sam had been at Channel 7 for a total of 18 years, having spent seven years on Weekend Sunrise prior to her stint on Sunrise.
Just a week before she announced she was quitting, Sam revealed she was hosting her own podcast, “Something to Talk About with Samantha Armytage”.
The podcast is in collaboration with Stellar magazine, the same publication she already writes a weekly column for.
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