The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE MCGRANE

Why does a 31year-old el­i­gi­ble man go on a TV re­al­ity show look­ing for love not once, but twice? Ac­cord­ing to Aus­tralia’s new­est Bach­e­lor, Richie Stra­han, it’s be­cause he has gen­uinely strug­gled to meet someone.

The na­tion saw just how hard he tried last year, com­ing so close to be­ing Sam Frost’s cho­sen one on The Bach­e­lorette.

“I’ve cer­tainly found it tough to meet the right wo­man. The kind of lifestyle I’ve had hasn’t re­ally led me to meet many peo­ple,” Stra­han says.

Stra­han spends a lot of time away work­ing on oil rigs as a rope ac­cess tech­ni­cian, but on a show like Net­work Ten’s The Bach­e­lor, he has his pick of about 20 women.

“I’m em­bark­ing on a jour­ney where Warner Bros has cherry-picked some of the most el­i­gi­ble and beau­ti­ful women in Aus­tralia,” he says.

The show de­buted on TV last night, but Stra­han has al­ready fin­ished film­ing.

“I’m re­ally happy with the de­ci­sion I made. It’s some­thing that I can’t wait for you to watch and fol­low my jour­ney,” he says. “It’s go­ing to be so much fun.”

Stra­han uses the word “fun” a lot to de­scribe the ex­pe­ri­ence. But last year’s Bach­e­lor winner Sam Wood has said ap­pear­ing on the show was one of the most dif­fi­cult things he’s ever done.

Stra­han con­cedes it’s tough.

“In terms of the whole process, it is with­out a doubt the most chal­leng­ing, ex­cit­ing, ex­hil­a­rat­ing, in­tense ex­pe­ri­ence I can think of,” he says. “It is next level; it de­mands so much from you men­tally and phys­i­cally.”

Last year’s Bach­e­lorette Sam Frost also re­vealed re­cently that she found it hard to have pro­duc­ers in her ear telling her what to do, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the rose cer­e­monies.

Stra­han says that level of in­struc­tion on the show is dif­fi­cult but that he went into it with his eyes open.

“I’m a very head­strong, in­de­pen­dent guy. I’m very happy with where I’m at in my life, so to be able to hand those reins over to a pro­duc­tion com­pany was al­ways a fun challenge,” he says.

“The big thing is, you’ve just got to al­ways re­mem­ber they’re mak­ing a TV show. As much as the reasons why you go down this av­enue to fall in love, they’ve got to make a TV show,” he says.

He also ad­mits that he did have some trep­i­da­tion about re­turn­ing to the re­al­ity TV show.

“It is dif­fer­ent, and it does take up a huge chunk of your life but at the same time you’re do­ing some­thing pretty fun. It cer­tainly wasn’t easy to make the de­ci­sion to go down that path,” he says.

“The big car­rot is meet­ing someone in­cred­i­ble that you can hope­fully spend the rest of your life with.”

Stra­han says last night’s first episode was “sim­ply just brilliant”.

“I could put my­self in the girls’ shoes be­cause I’ve been there,” he says.

“So I’m try­ing to make the girls relax, but at the same time I’m like, ‘What is hap­pen­ing!’. It was some­thing I’ll hold close for a long time.”

Osher Guns­berg has hosted the show since it de­buted in 2013.

And he says the re­ac­tion Stra­han was met with from the in­com­ing bach­e­lorettes was over­whelm­ing.

“The amount of limos that pulled up where the ladies were like, ‘Oh, my god, I’m so stoked it’s him’, or, ‘I was hop­ing it was him’, was in­cred­i­ble,” Guns­berg says.

The Bach­e­lor, Net­work Ten, tonight at 7.30pm

Perth's Richie Stra­han stars in Chan­nel Ten’s hit re­al­ity TV show The Bach­e­lor.

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