Australian Celebrities

Sam Armytage and Richard Lavender’s low-key love affair

"I found the love of my life at 42. How lucky am I?"
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Australian TV fans have long been intrigued by the relationship status of Farmer Wants A Wife host Samantha Armytage.

WATCH: Samantha Armytage shares details of her engagement to Richard Lavender

And after the 47-year-old and her beau Richard Lavender secretly tied the knot on New Year’s Eve in 2020, it seems Sam is off the market for good after finding happiness with her low-key love.

Sam and Richard were introduced by a mutual friend around Easter time in 2019 in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands.

Richard Lavender Sam Armytage
Richard Lavender (left) and Sam Armytage (right) met around Easter, 2019 and in June this year became engaged to be married. (Credit: Instagram)

Sparks flew immediately, with Sam admitting she was struck by Richard’s eyes as she confessed to WHO Magazine that “there was an [immediate] connection”.

The feeling was mutual. Richard recalled in the same interview that “she had a sparkle in her eye.” He added: “She has a quick wit, a terrific sense of humour.”

Intensely private, Sam first went public with their relationship in a photoshoot and interview for WHO’s Sexiest People feature and revealed that her big attraction to Richard was the fact that he had “no idea” who she was when they first met.

Sam Armytage Richard Lavender
“He’s very decent,very honest.I love that he’s so modest,” Sam gushed of Richard. (Credit: Supplied)

However, a few weeks into their blossoming romance, the blonde beauty decided enough was enough and asked Lavender, “Can you watch this show [Sunrise] once so you know what I actually do for a living?”

Sam also shared that Richard is completely comfortable in his own skin, a trait that appeals to her.

“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,” she said.

Sam Armytage Richard Lavender
Sam spending time with her man. (Credit: Instagram)

Equestrian businessman Richard and TV host Sam divide their time between Sydney and the Southern Highlands, where Richard owns a 40-hectare property.

Nearby lies Sam’s $2.2 million five-bedroom country retreat, which she bought back in 2017.

As their love continued to blossom, Sam was snapped meeting Richard’s adult daughters Grace and Sasha in September 2019 after celebrating Richard’s 60th birthday with an intimate family lunch in Sydney.

Their romance stepped up a notch and Sam solidified her place in the family when Richard popped the question and the smitten couple announced their engagement.

Sam Armytage
Sam is married to equestrian businessman Richard Lavender. (Credit: Getty)

Appearing on Sunrise for the first time after the news broke, Sam shared all the gorgeous details of the proposal live on-air.

The journalist explained the proposal was a very thoughtful, albeit understated, affair on her Southern Highlands property in NSW.

“We just had a little bonfire on the weekend in the paddock, it was all very low-key. Like Rich and I, very low-key,” she said.

Sam later added: “We’d been picking weeds in the paddock and he said, ‘Darling, do you want to marry me?’

“It was very sweet, very romantic. He’s just a very charming, lovely fellow.”

Sam Armytage engaged
“It was very sweet, very romantic. He’s just a very charming, lovely fellow,” Sam said of the proposal. (Credit: Channel Seven)

Sam’s former co-host David “Kochie” Koch, who has now retired from Sunrise, also made sure the bride-to-be gave viewers an up-close and personal look of her engagement ring.

Holding up her perfectly-manicured hand to the camera, Sam flashed her new bling – which features an oversized diamond set on a classic white-gold band.

“Woah, Beyonce!” Kochie proclaimed of the ring, which is reportedly worth around $80,000, before joking, “Geez, I should have brought my sunglasses.”

Sam Armytage ring
Sam’s engagement ring is rumoured to be worth $80,000. (Credit: Channel Seven)

Despite COVID-19 restrictions throwing a spanner in the works of the planning of her big day, Sam finally walked down the aisle in a stunning Carla Zampatti dress on New Year’s Eve 2020 in a secret ceremony in the Southern Highlands.

In January 2021, Sam returned to work on Sunrise, and the newlywed shared new details of the wedding – revealing it was all a bit of a last-minute scramble.

“Three days before we decided we’d do it for New Year’s Eve,” Sam explained to her co-hosts. “We did it, we got it done, it was a little bit stressful for me but Rich was very relaxed.”

“It was Dad, my dad, we were all sitting around, at Christmas time as you do, having a few drinks and Dad said because of COVID and everyone’s in lockdown… Dad said ‘just do it!'”

Since the wedding, Sam had been hinting there may come a time to step away from the small screen and swap Sydney for their Southern Highlands base.

Sam Armytage Richard Lavender
Richard and Sam looked happier than ever as they spent time in Scone. (Credit: Instagramm)

“I don’t think any of us want to do the same thing forever. There’s a lot about television that’s all about you and that’s an awful way to live your life. TV isn’t a place that’s necessarily very healthy,” she told Stellar.

“It’s full of sociopaths and narcissists – it can be a dangerous environment, let me tell you.”

And, on March 3, 2021, it appeared Sam had enough and sensationally quit her long-time role on the breakfast show.

“The time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise,” she tearfully explained. “I have always been brave and fearless in my career and this decision is no different.”

She added: “I want to take a break and find some peace and calm. I go out of this job at a time of my own choosing and on top of the ratings, which not many people on television can say they do.”

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“This is what the next chapter looks like…” Sam captioned the shot. (Credit: Instagram)

Since stepping away from her high-profile gig, Sam seems happier than ever with hubby Richard as they live a quieter life.

Just over a week after leaving Sunrise, the podcast host took to Instagram to share a photo of the happy couple beaming from ear to ear while posing inside a car.

“‘Edit your life frequently & ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.’ My mum.” Sam captioned the image. “And I did. And this is what the next chapter looks like..”

During the launch of Dan Murphy’s new lines of rose wine, Sam radiated happiness as she said her husband helped solidify her new path in life.

“I met a divine and decent man, sweeter than the sweetest rose,” she gushed at the event in February 2022.

“I found the love of my life at 42. How lucky am I? And I realised you do not find the happy life, you make it.”

sam armytage husband
Sam calls her husband “sweeter than the sweetest rose.” (Credit: Instagram)

After finding such a happy romance with her farmer, it makes sense Sam stepped in as host on Farmer Wants A Wife Australia in 2022, and is still helming the show for the 2024 season.

“I love being a part of this show. It’s genuine and our motives are pure: we want to help farmers find true love. What could be lovelier than that?” Sam revealed ahead of the 2023 season premiere.

“It’s a real honour to be the host this season. I loved getting to know all our gorgeous farmers. And I was so impressed by these women, who hope to make their lives in the country.

“My job is to introduce them and then try to guide them through the highs and lows of this journey to find true love. Oh, and also guide them through country life.”

Farmer Wants A Wife airs on Channel 7 and 7Plus.

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