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Celebrity Families

How Jessica Rowe and Peter Overton's love story began with a date he didn't want to go on

How they've kept the romance alive over two decades.

By Rebecca Sullivan
We've become so used to hearing stories about famous TV star couples breaking up, that it can seem like an anomaly when two high profile silver screen presenters manage to create - and sustain - a love that's clearly one for the ages.
But that's exactly what Channel Nine newsreader Peter Overton, 55, and former Studio 10 co-host Jessica Rowe, 51, have managed to do.
The adorable couple getting ready for a date night. (Instagram)
The pair have been married for 18 years and have two daughters together, Allegra 15, and Giselle, 12, and happily live in Sydney's eastern suburbs with their cats.
The story of how they met is just too damn cute not to smile at - as is the beautiful way Peter speaks about his gorgeous wife.
Keep scrolling to learn more about his wonderful, genuine couple, from how they fell in love to how they've made their marriage last 18 years.

Peter had to be convinced to ask Jess out

Peter and Jessica actually first met when the former Studio 10 host was just 19-years-old and was doing university work experience at Channel Nine.
Peter was a sports reporter at the time and was one of the few journalists who actually gave her the time of day.
Years later, when Jessica was an established journalist in her own right, the pair bumped into each other at the Logies, and Peter recognised her.
They got talking and with a bad boyfriend on his way out of her life, Jess thought, "Why can't I meet a nice man like this? Why am I not attracting really good decent people like this beautiful man?'," she told Mia Freedman's No Filter podcast.
She got chatting to her friend, rugby league reporter Tony Peters, about her sudden singledom and her desire to find a nice guy.
The couple pictured in the early days of their romance, attending Fashion Week. (Getty)
She mentioned Peter's name and the next thing you know, he had rung up Peter and convinced him to ask Jessica out. But why did Peter take some convincing?
Well, Peter was newly divorced - he married his childhood sweetheart but they split in 2000 - and had just started a busy new job at 60 Minutes, where he was still finding his feet.
He wasn't really looking to date anyone, but Tony kept at him, and eventually Peter agreed he'd give it a shot.
"I said, 'Well if she rings me within 10 minutes and asks me out, I'll go,'" Peter told 9Honey.
"And she rang. And I said, 'I like your style.'
"We went out on a Sunday night to a Thai restaurant in Balmain. That was in June 2001 and we've never been apart."
The pair were married in 2004 and have been together ever since.
Peter and Jessica pictured on their wedding day in 2004. (Supplied)

A difficult road to parenthood

Jessica has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition that means she doesn't ovulate every cycle and only produces a few eggs a year.
The condition can have major impacts on a woman's fertility, so the couple went down the path of IVF, going through several cycles in the hopes of starting a family.
Jess has previously said she felt "completely powerless" when the procedures didn't work and confessed in her emotional book Is This My Beautiful Life? that seeing mothers put a strain on her mental health.
"I wanted to scream, 'I'm on IVF and I don't know if I can be a mum. I have just come from having a blood test to see if my body is responding to the hormones I'm pumping through my body.
"Don't tell me how wonderful it is to be a mother! And don't you dare complain about how tired you are,'" she wrote.
WATCH: The Weekly chats with Jessica Rowe, Peter Overton and their daughters. Story continues after video.
Eventually, after four failed cycles, she fell pregnant with her daughter Allegra and two years later, miraculously, her second daughter Giselle was conceived naturally.
In her book Jessica recounted the exact evening Giselle was conceived, which came after months of not feeling like herself while she battled breastfeeding and postnatal depression.
But on one particular date night with Pete, something changed.
"I put on my black bodysuit with tight black Sass & Bide jeans and we tossed back glasses of pink Champagne, laughing and sharing tales of our changed lives," Jess wrote in her book.
"When I got home that night I peeled off my shimmery jeans and felt sexy for the first time...
"The pair of us laughed and kissed before we made love against the kitchen bench top. Gradually, a sense of equilibrium returned to me."
Now she says the pair "still enjoy date nights" as a way to keep the spark alive.
Jess and Peter with their gorgeous daughters when they were younger. (Getty)

In sickness and in (mental) health

As mentioned above, Jessica dealt with crippling post-natal depression that left her fighting anxiety and panic attacks after giving birth to Allegra.
Writing for The Australian Women's Weekly, she explained: "I knew that what I was experiencing was different to the sorts of emotions a new mum would traditionally go through."
Afraid for her mental health and safety, as well as the safety of her baby girl, Jessica turned to her mum for advice, who made her promise to tell Peter.
So she did, trusting her husband to support her through the painful thoughts and emotions she was experiencing.
WATCH: Jessica Rowe opens up about post-natal depression. Story continues after video.
"That conversation I had with Petey was one the hardest things I've ever done. I was so afraid of telling him," she wrote.
"By telling him, I thought I was letting him down, letting our beautiful baby girl down and letting our brand new family down. I was afraid what he would think."
But Peter stood by her and supported her as she sought out the help she needed from her GP and a psychiatrist, who prescribed her antidepressants.
Jessica worked hard and over time she got better, all of it with Peter at her side supporting her every step of the way.
To find your own fairytale love story, sign up for eHarmony today!

The way Peter speaks about Jess will make your heart melt

"She's a very generous person of spirit, very caring of people," Peter he told 9Honey.
"She's also very strong-willed and strongly opinionated. She sticks up for herself and doesn't mind calling things out if they need to be called out."
He went on to say that he's always admired his wife for dancing to the beat of her own drum, adding that it's definitely a trait that has led her to success.
As well as praising Jessica's professional achievements, Peter can't say enough good things about her role as a mum to their two girls.
"I love everything about her. I love her courage. She's a great example to our daughters about what you can do in life," he continued.
The family on holiday in Uluru before the pandemic put travel on hold. (Instagram)
Though he and Jessica are opposites in many ways, it's clear the couple balance each other out and their incredible bond is based on mutual adoration and respect.
Peter revealed that the key to the couple's success is their ability to communicate and be honest with each other.
"We're very, very good communicators," he told 9Honey, joking that it's probably because they both work in media, before adding: "That's the glue that keeps it all going."
Even if that means communicating how he feels about Jess's "crap housewife" cooking!
"I do order food in for myself, I went through a phase of eating cream cheese and biscuits for dinner," Peter joked during Jessica's farewell episode of Studio 10 in March 2018.
"But she's a beautiful mother and a beautiful wife. When we're out as a family [people] come up to Jessica and thank her for being so open about telling her story and her advocacy of mental health. I'm mighty proud of her."
WATCH: Jess Rowe's top Crap Housewife tips. Story continues after video.

More than 20 years of bliss

Now, more than two decades after they went on that first date to a Thai restaurant in 2001, Jessica and Peter have defied the showbiz odds by remaining as in love as ever.
In January 2022 they celebrated 18 years of marriage and Jessica made sure to honour her husband in her oh-so-relatable manner.
"18 years ago today I made the best decision of my life - marrying this darling man!" she wrote on Instagram on the day of their anniversary.
"And today we 'celebrated' by scrubbing the fridge for our move! (actually Petee did the scrubbing while I carried on like a pork chop!) #craphousewife #weddinganniversary #18years #luckywife #peteishandywithascrubbingbrush."
Peter and Jess have been married for 18 years and couldn't be prouder of what they've achieved. (Instagram)
Jessica and Peter have even kept the romance alive as their two girls grow into young women.
Giselle graduated from Year Six in 2021 and her proud parents were there by her side, cheering her on together as they have been for years.
Meanwhile, the couple's elder daughter Allegra just turned 15 and is looking more like her mother every day - though there's no denying she inherited some of dad's features too.
Jess marked the milestone with a tribute that read: "Happy birthday to my wish upon a star. Fifteen years ago today you sparkled into our world & life has never been the same. "

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