Sunrise host Samantha Armytage and partner Richard Lavender are engaged, after meeting a little over a year ago.
The pair announced their happy news on Sunday on Armytage’s Instagram profile: Photos of the two of them together outside, with a glistening diamond clearly visible on Armytage’s less-than-subtlely placed left hand.
They were the talk of the Sunrise desk on Monday morning.
“Look at that rock! Congratulations to Sam and Richard from everyone here at Sunrise,” Armytage’s long-time co-host David ‘Kochie’ Koch said on the panel.
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) June 22, 2020
The news of her nuptials comes at the same time as she quietly steps back from her Sunrise duties, dropping back to just four days a week.
Armytage is needed on set in Sydney five days a week for her co-hosting gig, while Lavender’s property is nearly a two-hour drive from the city.
The couple are splitting their time between their two homes, but a four-day city working week for Armytage would allow them more time in the countryside they love.
Armytage, 43, and Lavender, 60, met at Easter last year through mutual friends.
Their relationship blossomed quickly, spurred on through a shared passion for the country outdoors, horses and architecture.
They confirmed their relationship publicly in November in Who‘s ‘sexiest together’ edition.
“It’s really important to have a lot in common. And so far, so good,” Armytage said at the time.
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“He doesn’t care what people think of him, which I admire greatly. He’s very decent, very honest. I love that he’s so modest.”
Lavender admitted he didn’t know who Armytage was when they met, but said he was “instantly” attracted to her.
Lavender is a businessman who owns a 40-hectare property in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, where Armytage also owns a property.
He has two daughters.
Change comes with the Sunrise
The move to shift Armytage’s TV duties to four days a week – Tuesday to Friday – was instigated by the journalist, Channel 7 said.
She will be replaced on Mondays by Natalie Barr, who already co-hosts the show on Fridays. Koch also works a four-day week, Monday to Thursday.
“Sam’s doing a great job. We’re happy. The ensemble is doing fantastically. There is no suggestion we want her anywhere but here,” Channel 7 news director Craig McPherson told The Daily Telegraph.
McPherson said Armytage has been asking for a reduced working week for about a year.
At the start of June, a video of Armytage from 2015 that was branded racist resurfaced, as part of the spotlight stirred by the Black Lives Matters movement.
Armytage apologised for the segment at the time – in which she congratulated a white woman (who has a dark-skinned twin sister) for her fair skin tone – saying it was part of an ongoing rapport she has with viewers about her own skin colour.
As the video began trending on social media and through overseas news websites again, Armytage set her Instagram profile to private.