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Treasure Island Lana Searle’s love story ‘The stars aligned for us’

The More FM radio star opens up about her big day and why she’s not sure about having m ore children

When Lana Cochrane-Searle went away to film Treasure Island: Fans V Faves, she was still a bit hungover from her wild hen’s party in Melbourne and it was just weeks before she was due

to tie the knot to fiancée Katie.

“I miss her so much,” the More FM radio star told Woman’s Day in Fiji. “I definitely feel a little more homesick this time because we’re overseas, and it was a long flight and bus trip to get here. It sucks.”

But fast-forward to now and Lana, 35, has been blissfully married for two whole months, saying she loves being able to call flight attendant Katie, 40, her “wife” after five years together.

Lana feels like a winner just making it to Treasure Island.

“I just feel really content,” grins Lana. “I never thought being married would change anything because we already knew we were going to be together forever. But there was a bit of pressure to do it because we knew people had fought for the right to do this – and it really has locked things in for us. This is not just a relationship any more.”

She and Katie tied the knot in the Bay of Islands late last November on what started out as “an appalling day with a black sky and sideways rain”, recalls Lana. “I kept saying it was going to be better by lunchtime and no one believed me. But it cleared up at midday on the dot and turned into a scorching, sunny day just in time. The stars aligned for us. I was a blubbering mess by the time my dad walked me down the aisle.”

A favourite moment was when Lana’s uncle called out, “Go the Warriors! This is our year!” in the middle of the ceremony. The presenter laughs, “My family is quite grassroots and Katie’s can be the opposite, so it was two worlds colliding, but now everyone understands my passion for the world’s worst sports team!”

Another highlight was MC Jason Gunn’s “absolutely rip-roaring speech”. Lana tells, “He’d been practising at the venue all morning so he’d execute it well – and he nailed it! He was actually in the room next to the bridal suite, so he was close to the action. I woke up the next morning, went out on the balcony and there he was, like, ‘Morning, Jason!'”

Katie’s six-year-old son Jay also did a speech in which he said he loves his mummy “because she’s so handsome” and loves Lana “because she built me a hut”. The radio star grins, “He’d never heard a live band before and was dancing until 11pm. He’s kept his place card from the table setting and still calls it ‘our wedding’. He’s so funny.”

In Fiji, when we asked about the couple expanding their family, Lana told us, “Funnily enough, Katie saw a psychic who saw us getting married and having children. We’re entertaining the idea, but we’re really keen to get this wedding out of the way first.”

Lana and Katie’s romantic Bay of Islands wedding. “I was a blubbering mess by the time my dad walked me down the aisle,” says the star.

Now she says, “The talks haven’t quite begun, but we’re aware we have to speak about it. Katie’s age does come into it, but Jay’s at a really cool stage and do we really want to go back to the start? Life’s really good right now and we already feel like it’s enough. Can we have more of it? Do we want more of it?”

Lana herself can’t carry a child as she underwent a hysterectomy in 2018 after years of ill health, including blood clots and endometriosis. She recalls coming out of the “drastic surgery” and suddenly feeling a real sense of loss.

“It took a while to get over,” confides Lana. “I had a lot of counselling. It wasn’t that I felt less of a woman, but that I now couldn’t do what everyone else could do. My sister had just had twins and I had to really over- compensate by being over-the-top joyful at baby showers. There was a lot going on.

“It took about a year of therapy, but now I’m living a life and my body isn’t holding me back any more. I’m the picture of health compared to what I was. I could never have done anything like Treasure Island before. It’s a great outcome and I’m really lucky with everything.”

Treasure Island: Fans V Faves screens 7.30pm Monday to Wednesday on TVNZ 2.

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