Home And Away Star Kate Ritchie Could Lose Her Radio Job After DUI
After almost a decade hosting Nova’s popular drive show, Kate Ritchie’s time at the radio network could be up.
Well-placed radio sources say the future of the former Home and Away star – who joined the show in 2013 alongside Tim Blackwell and former host Marty Sheargold – is ‘uncertain’ as she and her management enter contract renegotiations.
Her hopes of a new deal were delivered a huge blow when she was busted for drink-driving in Sydney‘s eastern suburbs this week.
The former Home and Away star was stopped by police for a random breath test in her blue Subaru station wagon at 2.45pm last Monday on Heffron Rd in Pagewood.
Ritchie, 44, tested positive by the roadside and was immediately arrested and taken to Maroubra Police Station where she underwent a secondary breath analysis which returned a positive reading of 0.06 – just over the legal limit.
A police spokesman told Daily Mail Australia that: ‘She was issued with an infringement notice for the offence of Drive with Low Range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol and issued a Licence Suspension Notice.’
Ritchie is understood to have been fined $600 on the spot and suspended from driving for three months.
She snubbed the media near her home when she was seen for the first time since being busted and refused to answer questions about it or her future.
The incident came while the veteran star is on three weeks’ leave from her show, after clocking up a series of extended holidays over the past few years.
The recent extended absences from the airwaves have been cited by an industry insider as one of the black marks against Ritchie’s name, along with her bumper salary package which has steadily grown over the years to an estimated $1million.
At one point in 2020, Kate Ritchie took seven consecutive weeks of leave from her late-afternoon shift, which one radio figure said was ‘unheard of’.
A Nova spokesperson was quick to dismiss speculation Ritchie was being replaced, insisting she was ‘collaborating’ with her management to balance her radio commitments with a planned ‘return to her acting roots’.
The former soap star, who is also a judge on the upcoming season of Australia’s Got Talent on Channel Seven, hosts Nova’s drive show with Blackwell and relative newcomer Joel Creasy, who replaced Sheargold in 2020.