Sa­man­tha Army­tage on ‘stealth dates’, kids and those co-star feuds

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There’s just some­thing about Sa­man­tha Army­tage.

View­ers love the Sunrise co­host, Chan­nel Seven just re­signed her six-fig­ure con­tract, and those clos­est to the star say she’s one of the most de­light­ful peo­ple in tele­vi­sion.

But sto­ries about the 38year-old’s ap­par­ent diva be­hav­iour on set and feuds with other high-pro­file pre­sen­ters paint a dif­fer­ent pic­ture.

“There’s ob­vi­ously a lot of stuff go­ing on be­hind the scenes,” Army­tage says.

“I seem to be a big tar­get. Most of (what’s said) isn’t true, might I point out.”

Talk of bad blood with Melissa Doyle, who she re­placed at Sunrise two years ago, and of white-anting Chris Bath, who re­cently quit Seven, is in­ac­cu­rate, she says.

Like any work­place, there are peo­ple she’s close to and some that she isn’t.

“But in this world, it’s mag­ni­fied. Then of course it be­comes gos­sip and turns into a story about a feud, and sud­denly it’s run off on its own.”

The talk about her is to be ex­pected, Army­tage says.

The TV in­dus­try is a com­pet­i­tive beast, but she be­lieves there’s an ex­tra layer of ruth­less­ness among fe­males.

“Women aren’t al­ways nice to each other in the news­room ... Older women par­tic­u­larly aren’t al­ways nice to younger women.

“I refuse to fall into that trap of women be­ing aw­ful to other women. There’s no rea­son.”

If it all sounds like a more cut­throat ver­sion of high school, it’s be­cause it can be at times, Army­tage ad­mits.

“Some­times when I’m at work, I think it’s like the Year Eight board­ing house.”

When she needs ad­vice, she turns to a small cir­cle of friends and men­tors, at the cen­tre of which is Sunrise ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Michael Pell.

The two have known each other since work­ing to­gether at Sky News more than a decade ago — she as a re­porter and he as a ju­nior pro­ducer.

“In life, a lot of peo­ple who are suc­cess­ful, oth­ers try to tear them down,” Pell says.

“It’s hard to see it hap­pen. She’s dealt with that stuff re­ally well though. She holds her head high and deals with it with such grace and poise.”

De­spite a thick skin, Army­tage says there are times the re­lent­less at­ten­tion be­comes too much. It’s then she heads home to the coun­try to “recharge”.

“Ev­ery cou­ple of months or so, I go home for a week­end to just play with the dog, help Dad in the pad­dock, what­ever. It’s a nice lev­eller.”

Then it’s back to re­al­ity and “the best job in the world” along­side her Sunrise TV fam­ily.

But when this whirl­wind ad­ven­ture, as she calls it, comes to an end — and in­evitably one day it will, as it does for all pre­sen­ters — Army­tage sees her­self in the coun­try.

“I’d love to have a veg­gie gar­den, some peace and quiet … maybe some chil­dren and ev­ery­thing (that comes with) that.”

Sin­gle for now, she says the chil­dren part will have to wait.

“I’m sure it will hap­pen. I’m not pan­ick­ing.”

Be­cause of the in­tense in­ter­est in Army­tage’s love life, she’s taken to “stealth dat­ing”.

“You’d be amazed what I get away with … I’ve worked out a few tac­tics (of sneak­ing around),” she laughs.

Pell says he thinks of Army­tage when­ever he hears Shake It Off — Tay­lor Swift’s pop an­them for any­one who’s ever en­coun­tered a hater.

Fun­nily enough, Army­tage found her­self danc­ing wildly to it at her par­ents’ house dur­ing her last es­cape to the coun­try.

“I was singing into a pep­per grinder, my hair ev­ery­where … be­ing my daggy self,” she says.

“That’s me. I’m hav­ing fun, I’m hav­ing a go at life. I put my­self out there and some­times I get flogged for it, but what­ever. I’ll get over it.” SUNRISE, CHAN­NEL 7, WEEK­DAYS, 6AM

“Older women aren’t al­ways nice to younger women” SAM ON WORK LIFE

Sam Army­tage and (right) with one

of her big­gest sup­port­ers, Chan­nel 9’s Karl Ste­fanovic.

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