Katherine Leigh Ritchie is an Australian actress, radio presenter and children's author, she remains best known for her long-running role as original character Sally Fletcher on the television soap opera Home and Away, for which she won two Gold Logie awards. She played the character for 20 years, appearing from the pilot episode in 1988 until 2008. Ritchie is currently part of Nova FM's national drive show, Kate, Tim & Joel with Tim Blackwell and Joel Creasey.
|Alma mater||Hurlstone Agricultural High School|
|Awards||Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television (2007 & 2008) |
— Home and Away
Prior to her retirement from Home and Away, she shared with fellow original cast members Ray Meagher and Norman Coburn the record (recognised by Guinness World Records) for the longest continuous role in an Australian drama series. After a five-year absence, Ritchie returned to Home and Away in 2013 for a short reprise of her role as Sally Fletcher to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series. In addition to 20 years on Home and Away, Ritchie has also hosted various television events and appeared in commercials, a mini-series and an Australian film. She has also been involved with the Campbelltown Musical Society.
Ritchie was born as Katherine Leigh Ritchie. Her parents are Heather and Steve, and she has three younger siblings, Rebekah, Stuart and Susan. Ritchie attended Campbelltown North Public School and Hurlstone Agricultural High School – the latter a New South Wales agricultural and selective school.
Ritchie was cast as Molly, the child lead in the 1986 Nine Network–PBL mini-series Cyclone Tracy, starring Chris Haywood and Tracy Mann. She started working with Home and Away in 1987, at age 8. Production began in July 1987 (shortly before her ninth birthday) and it premiered on the Seven Network on 17 January 1988. In 2006, Ritchie played "Nicole" in the ABC film Stepfather of the Bride. Whilst promoting Home and Away in the United Kingdom in 2006 with Mark Furze and Jodi Gordon, Ritchie appeared on The Friday Night Project and Loose Women, and appeared on interviews for Five and Five Life.
In 2006, Ritchie was a contestant on the celebrity singing competition It Takes Two, partnered with Troy Cassar-Daley. The pair placed fourth in the competition. She co-hosted the second series of It Takes Two with Grant Denyer in 2007. In 2007 Ritchie joined Nova radio to co-host the drive show with comedian Akmal Saleh, replacing Matthew Newton. She was replaced in May by New Zealand comedian Cal Wilson.
In September 2007, Ritchie announced that she would be leaving Home and Away in mid-December. Her final scenes were filmed on 13 December 2007, and she last appeared on Australian screens as Sally Fletcher on 3 April 2008. Her UK demise with the same episode occurred not long after the Australian, with her departure being screened on UK terrestrial television on 12 May 2008.
On 14 January 2008, Ritchie began work on the Nova 96.9 breakfast show with Merrick & Rosso. Shortly after the 2008 Logie Awards Ritchie did an interview with Rove McManus on Network Ten, her first interview with another network since leaving Home and Away, and her first television appearance since leaving the show. On 16 October Ritchie appeared on pay-TV, on The Merrick & Rosso Show.
In November, it was revealed that Ritchie would appear in the second series of Underbelly, as Judi Kane, the wife of slain 1970s standover man Les Kane. The series screened in 2009. This was her first TV drama role since leaving Home and Away. Throughout 2009, Ritchie continued her radio role on the Merrick & Rosso and Kate Ritchie Show.
In 2009 Ritchie became the face of Vaseline. It was announced on 7 November 2009 that Ritchie would host the 2009 ARIA Awards on 26 November, alongside actor and fellow Underbelly cast member Gyton Grantley.
On 10 November 2009, Ritchie announced she would be leaving Nova 96.9's breakfast team and returning to acting. In January 2010 it was announced that Ritchie had been cast with a lead role in Nine's new police drama Cops L.A.C. The series did not rate well and was cancelled after the season finale.
In 2012, Ritchie narrated the Australian version of the reality series Don't Tell the Bride, which aired on Ch-10. In early 2013, it was announced that Ritchie was returning to Home & Away, reprising her role as Sally Fletcher.
In 2013, Ritchie announced via Twitter that she would be hosting the Nova FM drive show with Tim Blackwell and Marty Sheargold in 2014, following the departure of Meshel Laurie, who went on to host Breakfast on Nova 100 in Melbourne.The show won three major ACRA awards. In 2015 the team won Best Networked Program at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards, and the Best On Air team in both 2016 and 2017.
On 25 November 2015, Ritchie became the Godmother of the Cruise liner Pacific Eden, which is from the P&O Fleet.
In 2016 Ritchie released a children's book illustrated by Hannah Sommerville called I Just Couldn't Wait To Meet You. Her second book, It's Not Scribble to Me, was illustrated by Jedda Robaard and published by Random House Australia in 2018.
In June 2016 Ritchie was announced as the brand ambassador for QV Skincare.
Ritchie was to host the retrospective 50th anniversary of Play School in July 2016.
Ritchie started dating St George Illawara Dragons player Stuart Webb in 2008. On 9 September 2009, it was announced that they were engaged. On 25 September 2010 Ritchie married Webb in a countryside outdoor wedding at Quamby Estate in Tasmania.
Shortly after her wedding, the weekly magazine Woman's Day ran what it claimed to be an exclusive cover story on the event. ABC-TV's Media Watch revealed that the article had been a fabrication, as in reality, Ritchie and Webb had wanted their wedding to be kept private and had not allowed any media to attend. A photograph purporting to be of Ritchie in her wedding dress was actually one taken of her at an awards evening earlier that year and photo-shopped over an image taken from the wedding venue's website. The article, which the magazine claimed to have been written by an insider who attended the wedding, was mostly fabricated, containing errors including a mention that actor and Ritchie's Home & Away co-star Ray Meagher was present whereas in reality, the actor was in the UK at the time doing panto.
On 17 August 2014, Kate gave birth to daughter, Mae Webb.
On 7 November 2019, Stuart Webb agreed to an AVO which was applied for by a police constable on behalf of Ritchie following a domestic incident on 17 October. The AVO prevents Webb from stalking, intimidating, assaulting or threatening, as well as approaching or being in the company of Ritchie "for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs".
|1986||Cyclone Tracy||Molly||TV mini-series|
|1988–2008, 2013||Home and Away||Sally Fletcher||Pilot episode, Seasons 1–21 (main role) • Season 26 (recurring role) |
Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress (2006–2008)
Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality (2007–2008)
Nominated—Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality (2006, 2009)
Nominated—Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress (2009)
|2002||The Best of Aussie Drama||Host||TV documentary|
|2006||Stepfather of the Bride||Nicole||TV movie|
|2006–2007||It Takes Two||Herself||Contestant (2006)|
|2007||Mere Oblivion||Sonia||Short film|
|2007–2009||Carols in the Domain||Co-host||Co-hosted annually with Grant Denyer for 3 years|
|2009||Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities||Judi Kane||TV series|
Nominated—Australian Film Institute Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama
|2009||The 23rd Annual ARIA Music Awards||Co-host||Co-hosted with Gyton Grantley|
|2010–2011||Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation||Contestant / Surprise Guest||2 episodes|
|2010||Cops L.A.C.||Samantha Cooper||TV series|
|2012||Don't Tell The Bride||Narrator||Reality TV series|
|2013||Mr & Mrs Murder||Celeste||TV series|
|2013||It's a Date||Zara||TV series |
- Yeaman, Simon, "Kate and Bay belong together", The Advertiser, 2 July 2005
- "Kate Ritchie reveals TV plans as she returns screen for Play School's 50-year special]".
- "Accolade for our 'iconic' Ritchie", Macarthur Chronicle, 16 May 2006
- "Star Watch – Katie Ritchie". Herald Sun. 29 October 2005.
- "Briefly – Katie gonged". Macarthures Chroniclesa (Sydney, Australia). 9 May 2006.
- "Cyclone Tracy". IMDb. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
- Home sweet home, Sunday Mail, 21 January 2007
- "Days just keep getting brighter", Hobart Mercury, 9 November 2006
- "It takes two and Kate's happy", The Daily Telegraph, 25 April 2007
- Mitchell, Glenn, "Kate Ritchie's taken over", Herald Sun, 25 January 2007
- Javes, Sue (6 August 2007). "Fourth time lucky – Radio". Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Kate Ritchie quits Home And Away". 26 September 2007. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007.
- "Final scene for Kate after 20 years at Home". Daily Telegraph. 14 December 2007.
- "Kate's summer comes to an end". The Advertiser. 3 April 2008.
- "New voices in on-air battle". Daily Telegraph. 15 January 2008.
- Clune, Richard (16 November 2008). "Kate's bold return to TV". Sunday Herald Sun.
- "Kate goes from soap to Vaseline | News and Gossip | Home and Away". Holy Soap. Archived from the original on 7 August 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- "Breakfast radio shake-up as Merrick, Rosso split". news.com.au. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
- "Kate Ritchie's Sally Fletcher returns to shooting in Summer Bay for Channel 7's Home and Away". The Daily Telegraph. 26 February 2013.
- "Kate Ritchie returns Home for soap's anniversary". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Ritchie, Kate (2018). It's Not Scribble to Me. Random House Australia. ISBN 9780143790136.
- Rakowski, Ian (9 September 2009). "NRL star Stuart Webb proposes to Kate Ritchie". news.com.au. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
- "Woman's Day's fairytale exclusive". 4 October 2010.
- "Magazine under fire for faking celebrity wedding story". The New Zealand Herald. 6 October 2010.
- AU, POPSUGAR Celebrity. "Woman's Day Faked Most of Their Kate Ritchie Wedding Story".
- "Kate Ritchie Welcomes A Baby Girl!". Yahoo7! Who. Yahoo7!. 18 August 2014. Archived from the original on 18 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
|Awards and achievements|
for Blue Heelers
| Gold Logie Award
Most Popular Personality on Australian Television
2007 – 2008
for Home and Away
for Packed to the Rafters