Entertainment

Sam Armytage’s shock move to dating show

It’s one of several big surprises Seven disclosed, including an unexpected return to the screens for My Kitchen Rules, which did not air this year after several seasons of declining ratings.Elsewhere, Seven is going hard on TV talent shows, with The Voice, Australian Idol, Australia’s Got Talent and a Voice spin-off called Generations all vying for viewers.Sam Armytage’s loved-up new roleHer new gig on Farmer Wants A Wife marks an unexpected career pivot for the longtime Sunrise host – but perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, given she quit brekkie TV earlier this year to settle down in the NSW Southern Highlands with her very own farmer, Richard Lavender. No, she’s not hosting – that’s still Natalie Gruzlewski’s job – and she’s not appearing as a contestant. Instead, Armytage will spend several episodes as a special guest, presenting a segment called ‘Sam’s choice’ – which will see her introduce each farmer to a new lady based on her own expertise and experience.“She’s perfectly suited to offer a bit of romantic advice between farmers and contestants … It seemed like a smart match to us,” Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross told news.com.au. “I‘ve always been a huge fan of the show and of country people, and I know first-hand that falling in love with a farmer is just about the most wonderful thing you can do,” said Armytage in a statement released by Seven today.MKR’s surprise returnPerhaps the biggest surprise from today’s Upfronts is the return of My Kitchen Rules, which was off air in 2021 after a disastrous 11th season last year that saw the cooking show’s ratings drop under 400,000 viewers at one point. Ross told TV Blackbox in May that 2022 would be “way too soon” to bring the show back. Five months later, it’s a very different story, but he tells news.com.au there will be “significant retooling” of the format.“The show needed to be rested, but it is a proven format – eight out of its 10 years it was the number one show on television. We’re looking at all options regarding judges for the show, and it’s going to be made by a third-party production company, so we’ll have fresh eyes looking at it,” he said.Battle of the singing compsThe Voice, Australian Idol, Australia’s Got Talent plus a new Voice spin-off called Generations which will see performers from different age groups team up. Yep, in 2022, you won’t be able to move for singing competitions on Seven. But Ross said he’d rather face the problem of juggling all these tentpole shows than giving one up to a competitor. “We’re not going to be running these shows back to back, we’ll give them all their own space. I would rather have those formats in my armoury to roll out how I want, versus somebody else having them,” he said.And he’s confident Australia has enough undiscovered talent out there to populate all four shows. “People were saying with The Voice, ‘There’s no talent left, Nine’s right to discard it.’ We’ve proved that wrong – there’s always new talent coming through.”Other shows coming in 2022SAS Australia is back, along with Big Brother – as well as a second season of Big Brother VIP, the celeb version of the show that’s caused a lot of controversy before season one has even aired. House Rules will get a rebrand as Apartment Rules next year, with renovators tackling apartments in one of Australia’s biggest cities. Dancing With The Stars: All Stars will also return after a successful season this year.For more serious fare, there’s a new four-part true crime series called Claremont, investigating the disappearance of a young woman 25 years ago. Strike Force will give viewers a close look into real crime busts using footage shot by the police themselves, and another new show, Code 1: Minute By Minute, examines some of the most horrific events in recent Australian history, told in forensic detail by first responders.

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