She's been there from the very beginning but Dr Trisha Stratford is saying goodbye to Married At First Sight and will not be back for the eighth season.
"After seven seasons of Married At First Sight I have decided to step back from the television series to focus on my writing, research and neuropsychotherapy," Trisha said in a statement to 9Entertainment.
She continued: "I've been involved right from the beginning in the challenge of bringing this social experiment to television. The program provides a platform for an ongoing conversation on relationships and I wish the program continued success and hope future participants find everlasting love."
Channel Nine also thanked Trisha for "the extraordinary contribution she has made to the success of Married At First Sight."
"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. We wish her all the best as she re-directs her energies back into her professional career."
Rumours that Trisha was leaving first arose when Daily Mail Australia reported that the expert was absent for the second and third stages of castings and the MAFS hopefuls were instead introduced to an American female sex therapist.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year's contestants met with the experts over Zoom and Nine's head of content, production and development Adrian Swift told Mediaweek that the show will not be able to go ahead like it did last year.
"If the couples stood 1.5 metres apart they might like each other more. I expect the show to perhaps change fundamentally next year, but it won't be about social distance."
Nine's Hugh Marks also told Mediaweek: "We have got a pretty good plan in place. It's not due to start production until October. The casting process actually was a lot better by video than it was in person believe it or not. They have got a really good cast for next year. Plans are in place to film the show in a Covid-safe environment in places that we can."
Along with relationship expert John Aiken, Trish was one of the longest-serving experts on Married At First Sight and has been there since the first season.
"I enjoy the rigorous scientific testing process, but then it is up to the individuals to decide what they will bring of themselves. It's all about matching a resilient couple in an extreme experiment conducted under intense conditions," Trisha's profile says on the 9Now website.
But when asked about matches that don't always work out, the neuropsychotherapist stated: "We're not fortune tellers. We test scientific theories to establish whether our singles are a good match and then it's up to them to let go into the process and trust the professionals. Those who commit to the process wholeheartedly have the most success in the experiment."
Trisha was renowned amongst fans for asking the contestants if they had been "intimate" with one another and her pheromones test where she asks contestants to smell each other's shirts.
Because of this, she became quite the talking point on social media when MAFS was airing earlier this year.
"Honestly obsessed with Trish's obsession with people sniffing each other's t-shirts, next time I go on a date I am just going to greet him by sniffing him and make the call right then and there," one person tweeted.
"You just know Trish is frothing at the mouth hearing them talk about 'intimacy'," another noted.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, WHO.
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