MAFS expert Dr Trisha Stratford dies aged 72

Dr Trisha Stratford of MAFS Australia has died.
Dr Trisha Stratford of MAFS Australia has died. Photo credit: Instagram / John Aiken

Married at First Sight Australia expert Dr Trisha Stratford has died aged 72.

John Aiken, a fellow relationship expert on the show, has led tributes to her on Monday afternoon.

"I'm heartbroken and devastated that my friend and dear colleague Trisha has passed away. We shared an amazing seven seasons of MAFS together," Aiken said on Instagram.

"She loved everything New Zealand, relationships, the All Blacks, the Black Caps, French wine and traveling the world. I'll miss you Tish. Thankyou for all the memories." 

Stratford was one of the original stars of the reality TV series when it began in 2015.

She remained part of the line-up for seven seasons before announcing in 2020 that she was stepping back ahead of the eighth.

She left the show due to concerns over the direction the reality TV experiment was heading, telling Woman's Day in 2021 "the participants we got in seasons six and seven were so outrageous and outside the norm that it wasn't what I signed up for".

"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," she said at the time in an official statement.

"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."

She was replaced by clinical sexologist Alessandra Rampolla.

Stratford also worked on current affairs show 60 Minutes in both New Zealand and Australia and had been a war correspondent in Somalia and Bosnia.

The Wellington-born clinical neuropsychotherapist moved from Sydney to Auckland in 2019 to live with her boyfriend.

In a statement, Channel 9, the show's Australian broadcaster said: "We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr Trisha Stratford.

"Our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathies go out to her family and those closest during this difficult time."

No cause of death has been revealed.