Celebrity News

Radio gaga! Sam Wallace wows his longtime love

Sarah had no inkling of the romantic surprise to come.
Robert Trathen

It was never going to be a run-of-the-mill proposal. When Coast FM Breakfast co-host Sam Wallace decided to pop the question to his partner of nine years, Sarah Bowman, he naturally wanted his co-stars Toni Street and Jase Reeves and his listeners to be in on the act.

In December, the 39-year-old proposed on-air in an elaborate “ruse” where Sarah thought she was attending the marriage vow renewal ceremony of Toni and Jase with their respective spouses.

But just before the exchange took place on Auckland’s Narrow Neck Beach, guests were asked if anyone had any objections and Sam stepped forward and revealed the real reason they were there.

An overwhelmed Sarah, who is pregnant with twins, said yes to a chorus of claps and cheers.

The more observant would have noticed how nervous Sam was beforehand. He spent most of his time pacing up and down the beach.

“Relieved,” is how he felt afterwards, he says.

“This proposal had been a long time coming. It has always been on my mind but in the last two years since we’ve had Brando it became imperative. Sarah was so keen to get married and as I started planning it, it became really important to me as well.”

No one was more surprised than Sarah when her beloved went down on one knee.

It took the former Breakfast TV weatherman a while to settle on how he would pop the question but, in the end, he knew it could only be live on air. “The fact I’m on radio, that’s my superpower,” he explains.

Sam enlisted the help of Toni and Jase and the idea for a fake vow renewal ceremony was hatched.

“It was a beautiful moment,” Sarah, 37, says glancing down at her left hand, which is now adorned with a beautiful diamond ring that Sam had custom-made by Naveya & Sloane. “I did not see it coming and I just feel really happy.”

It’s a lovely next step for the couple who first met at the races in Ellerslie. “It was actually Toni who introduced us,” Sam says. “We were filming that day for [TV 1] Breakfast and it was Lindauer on the Lawn. Beautiful things come from Lindauer on the Lawn. Toni knew Sarah from different friends.”

The couple was smitten from the start, they admit.

“Sam gave me his jacket to keep warm,” Sarah says. “Afterwards I messaged Toni and said, ‘is your friend single?’ A few minutes later I had a friend request from him on Facebook. I thought this is exciting!”

Celebrant Kay Gregory kept a straight face

Their first date was dinner at a Japanese restaurant. “We had plum wine and we were very well behaved,” Sam grins.

What makes this couple tick is that they’re polar opposites of one another, the Celebrity Treasure Island winner shares.

“Sarah is the perfect complement to me. I’m an absolute idiot and she’s a details person; she’s got common sense. You know that old adage about someone who completes you? She makes up for all the bits and pieces that I don’t have. I have a load of flaws and she has less flaws and kind of paves those cracks.”

“I have different flaws,” Sarah insists, then adds, “For me, you’ve got such a warm, open heart, and you’re always so positive and happy and kind.”

“We also do everything together,” Sam adds. “We train together, we live together, we have babies together!

“We’ve got mutual goals in terms of trying to stay healthy and of course our most mutual goal now is Brando and the twins, being such a unifying force.”

Toni Street played along on the act.

While a wedding date has not been set, the couple plans to wait until Sarah has finished breastfeeding the twins, which are due in early February, so that she can enjoy a glass of bubbles.

She can’t wait to start nutting out the details. “What an exciting thing to talk about,” she laughs.

The couple is leaning towards a summer wedding and say there will be lots of Sam’s Coast FM colleagues on the guest list. If Sam’s proposal is anything to go by, his listeners might be present too.

“Yeah, we’re going to go large,” Sam laughs. “But as long as the kids are there and all the people we love, it will be the best day.”

Toni and Matt with (from left) Mackenzie, Lachlan and Juliette.

Love is in the Air!

Toni & Jase give their top tips on how to have a long and happy marriage.


“I don’t think things change when you get married, you’re already committed. So my advice would be to keep your humour and realise that it is very hard when you have little kids, it can be stressful. But at the end of it you’ve got each other, and to have someone that always has your back is the most amazing thing in the whole world.”

Jase and Louise with sons Max (left) and Olly.


“When we first met, we were our own people already and I’m not going to lie, I’m a better person because of Louise, but I think it’s still important to have your moments where you miss each other. And I know it’s cheesy, but we are literally best friends. There’s no one else I’d rather call when I have good news, or bad.

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