Sunrise host Samantha Armytage is ‘thankful’ to have escaped the deadly NSW bushfires in one piece after making a desperate dash to safety over the New Year’s period.
The 43-year-old took to Instagram to wish her followers a ‘belated’ happy New Year on January 1 and confirmed she’d ‘made it out’ of the dangerous South Coast fire zone where blazes have claimed the lives of seven Aussies.
“A belated HNY to you all,” Sam wrote alongside a snap of herself and a male who appears to be her businessman boyfriend Richard Lavender in a car, while her beloved dog Banjo and another pup snooze on the backseat.
“We’ve made it out of the South Coast fire zone & I’m feeling very excited for a shower, some electricity & telecommunications,” she added, tagging the post in Nimmitabel, a small town in southeast NSW.
Sam Armytage’s dash to safety
Sam went on to reflect on her own good fortune and share condolences to those affected by the catastrophic event.
“More seriously, I’m feeling very thankful for my lot in life & very sad for those who’ve just lost lives, livestock & livelihoods,” she said.
The death toll for New Year's Eve alone stands at seven in NSW and one in Victoria.
The popular TV personality used Instagram Stories to document how she fled from the small beachside town of Narooma on the far south coast via Bemboka, west of Bega where the fires were at their most intense.
“The sky was on fire” she captioned a photo of Narooma’s red sky where she, Richard and their canine companions appeared to stay in a caravan on New Year’s Eve.
“So bloody devastating,” she wrote on a short video shot from her 4WD as she drove into clouds of smoke, her bonnet covered in ash.
In one pic, Sam noted that she was sharing the updates from ‘home’ but did not specify if it was her Bowral property or her Bondi pad.
“There’s no internet or phone reception down there, still. Posting these now I’m home. Thinking of everyone still there x,” she explained.
New Year’s resolutions
The confronting experience seems to have thrown Sam’s life into perspective and given her a new outlook on 2020.
“I plan to use the year ahead wisely. To simplify my life,” she wrote.
“With more love for my loved ones, more kindness, more patience, more healthy living. Wishing for more rain for our farmers, better management of our environment & good karma for all those brave souls (paid & unpaid) out there fighting these horrendous fires,” she added.
“To you & yours, from me & mine, be safe. Be happy & love lots in 2020. SA xx,” she concluded, making sure to include the hashtag #wwaunzambassador.
Sam is the current face of WW (formerly Weight Watchers) which saw her undergo a dramatic slim down last year.
Whether or not 2020 will see Sam and her beau of eight months Richard tie the knot remains to be seen, however, the pair did spark engagement rumours in September last year after returning from a romantic getaway in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands.
Richard, who is reportedly in his late 50s, split from his wife about two years ago and was casually dating before linking up with Sam in mid-2018.
The couple reportedly split their time between Sam’s Bondi pad and former farmer Richard’s Bowral home, where Sam also owns a $2.2 million property.
Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org