TV star reveals ‘special’ friendship with Australian music legend

todayAugust 7, 2023 1

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Television star Kate Ritchie has opened up about her “special relationship” with an Australian music legend.

The Home And Away alum revealed she was just nine years old when she first met her “idol”, musician John Farnham.

Ritchie told Channel 7 that she met the You’re The Voice singer while filming a special episode of Home And Away in 1998.

The two filmed a video clip together, a moment Ritchie said she had never forgotten.

Camera IconTV star Kate Richie has opened up about her relationship with singer John Farnham. Channel 7 Credit: NCA NewsWire

“He made the child that I was feel like I was the important person on set that day,” she said.

“It was like he had come to see me and he needed my help.”

In the episode, Ritchie’s character, Sally Fletcher, wins tickets to see Farnham perform.

Tragically, at the last minute, Richie’s character gets an “awful case of the chickenpox”.

“Because he (Farnham) is such a great guy … he decided to come back to Summer Bay,” she said.

In the clip, Farnham sits next to Ritchie – who is in her pyjamas in bed – and performs for her.

Singer John Farnham in a clip from Home and Away in 1998. Picture: Channel7
Camera IconSinger John Farnham in a clip from Home And Away in 1998. Channel 7 Credit: NCA NewsWire

Ritchie said she remembered feeling like she was the “luckiest little girl in Australia”.

More than two decades later, she still counts herself as one of the musician’s biggest fans.

“I’ve bored my family over the years and (his 1990 song) Burn For You is a bit of a favourite,” she said.

“I think that if you’re celebrating the nation we live in … and you’re not playing John Farnham, you’re not doing it correctly.”

Last year, Farnham was rushed into a 12-hour surgery after being diagnosed with throat cancer.

Doctors were able to remove the tumour from his mouth and had to reconstruct the singer’s jaw.

John Farnham in Channel 7’s John Farnham: The Lost Tapes. Channel 7
Camera IconJohn Farnham in Channel 7’s John Farnham: The Lost Tapes. Channel 7 Credit: Supplied

Farnham’s family since revealed he is recovering well, with son Robert telling The Morning Show his dad was “cancer free”.

Robert said his father was even singing, tap dancing, and walking his dogs again and was “really happy”.

After decades of stardom, many have forgotten “how big John Farnham was”, Richie believes.

“Not only was he our soundtrack, but he was the guy you wanted to be friends with,” she said.

“He an incredible talent and so likeable, I feel as though he represented what Australia was all about.”

The revelations were aired during a television documentary special aired by Seven.

The special was a ratings boon and chronicled the singer’s decades-long career.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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