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MAFS Star Dr Trisha Stratford’s Final Moments Revealed By Family

Her fellow MAFS colleague John Aiken said, “I’m heartbroken and devastated.”

Former relationship expert on reality TV program Married At First Sight (MAFS), Dr Trisha Stratford, has died aged 72.

At this time, the cause of death has not been revealed, however Channel 9 has released a statement of condolences to her loved ones and fans.

Channel 9 said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr Trisha Stratford.

Aiken and Dr Trisha Stratford (Credit: Image: Instagram)

“Our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathies go out to her family and those closest during this difficult time.” reports that Dr Stratford spent her final moments with family before her shock passing. Her family described her as a “matriarch” and “wonder woman”, who “died peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones”.

She leaves behind a daughter, Gina, and partner Roger Lampen, who is described as her “true love”. 

Her children, grandchildren, siblings and other loved ones are expected to farewell their beloved family member in Auckland on Friday. 

Dr Stratford was a key relationship expert in the series from the first season until the seventh, alongside John Aiken, Sabina Read and Mel Schilling.

Aiken took to his social media to share the news of Dr Stratford’s passing.

“I’m heartbroken and devastated that my friend and dear colleague Trisha has passed away,” he wrote on Instagram. “We shared an amazing seven seasons of MAFS together. She loved everything New Zealand, relationships, the All Blacks, the Black Caps, French wine and traveling the world. I’ll miss you, Tish. Thank you for all the memories.”

While Dr Stratford was known for her time on MAFS, she was an experienced clinical neuropsychologist who specialized in relationships.

While the series is known for its dinner parties and scandalous affairs, the experts on the series do their best to impart wisdom and help contestants better understand their errors in their romantic endeavors.

Another of the sentimental images posted by John Aiken. (Credit: Image: Instagram)

Dr Stratford was a crucial part of the series up until the seventh season, when she announced she would not be returning for the next installment.

“I have decided to step back from the television series to focus on my writing, research and neuropsychotherapy,” she said in a statement at the time.

However, she told Women’s Day New Zealand in 2021 that there was another reason for her departure: producers of the show tended to ignore her advice on the contestant’s wellbeing during the shoot.

“By the end, I couldn’t compromise my professional and personal standards because there were participants on the show who I felt shouldn’t have been there,” she told the magazine. “Then it got supersized … The participants we got in seasons six and seven were so outrageous and outside the norm that it wasn’t what I signed up for.”

She was also open about the toll being on the show had. “I run workshops on resilience here and in Australia, talking about things like conflict in war zones. Now I bring MAFS into it because it was a tough gig psychologically,” she said.

When Dr Stratford left the show, she was replaced by clinical sexologist Alessandra Rampolla, who works with John Aiken and Mel Schilling to form the three-expert advisory team.

Upon her exit, Nine thanked Dr Stratford for her “extraordinary contribution” to the series.

“She showed great courage joining this very unconventional social experiment in its first short series and helped transform it into the hugely successful franchise it is today,” a spokesperson said.

Dr Stratford was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but worked professionally in Sydney, Australia for many years. She relocated to Auckland during the pandemic in 2020.

While Dr Stratford was known for her psychology work, she also had a career in television. She had worked for 60 Minutes in Australia and New Zealand, and was even a war correspondent. She produced and directed over 20 television documentaries, mostly on social justice issues.

Her work on MAFS will not be forgotten, with the series becoming a hugely successful program that is moving into its eleventh season.

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