Somewhere between her days as a little known roving reporter and her days hosting Dancing With The Stars and interviewing some of the world’s most famous faces, Australia fell a little bit in love with Edwina Bartholomew. And with that love came remarkable attention, and a quiet, piqued interest in her personal life.
So you can imagine why, back in April, she decided not to announce her engagement to longtime love Neil Varcoe for more than two weeks, reveling in their own private happy bubble for a while before popping it, welcoming the public in for the ride.
Now, in an interview with Stellar Magazine, Varcoe and Bartholomew have told the beautifully awkward tale of how the engagement came about.
“I have never been so nervous in my life,” Varcoe admitted to the magazine, saying he initially intended to propose twice before, until his soon-to-be fiance spoiled the surprise – and their privacy – by inviting friends to the farm they own together.
“I had trouble getting the words out. There was always a chance she would say no. I had been wanting to do it for so long, and I wanted to get it right.”
On an unassuming Tuesday morning, he took her for a walk around their farm, a carefully designed ring inside his sock.
He proposed, she said yes, he dropped the ring, the couple rummaged through the grass until it was back on her finger.
In March this year, just a month before the couple were engaged, Bartholomew told Mamamia the secret to their relationship is their decision to “sleep apart”.
“During the week he sleeps in one room and I sleep in the other.”
For the first two years of their relationship the couple slept in the same room, but with an early alarm, problems were inevitable.
“I would wake him up every morning at 3am ... he could just never go back to sleep and then we were both tired and it was a total disaster,” Bartholomew said.
“We just started to resent each other.”
She told Mamamia through her hectic and busy schedule, she's had to make a conscious effort to ensure she saves some of her energy for their relationship.
“He [Neil] did say something to me a few years ago that really stuck with me,” she said.
“This was at a particularly low point where I’d be away all the time and I’d come home on a Friday, fall asleep on the couch, rinse and repeat on the Saturday, and he said, ‘it’d be nice if you saved some smiles for home.’
“My little heart just broke,” Bartholomew said.
“I went, ‘oh my gosh, you’re so right.’ You expend all this energy at work and you forget sometimes that the people around you have stood by you and been with you all this time, they’re the most important thing.”
And so, they began to make deliberate efforts to ensure the other is happy.
"We set up a noticeboard in our kitchen so that when I leave for work I leave him a note and then when I wake up there’s something there,” Bartholomew said.
In announcing their engagement, Bartholomew wrote on Instagram the duo are "over the moon".
“On this day, two wonderful weeks ago, the love of my life asked me to be his wife. And I said… umm…. ahh… let me have a think… just kidding… YES. We are over the moon."
Sunrise presenter Edwina Bartholomew on realising work was interfering with her love life.