After Robin Bailey was unexpectedly told her job at Brisbane radio station 97.3FM had come to an end earlier this month, the first thing she did was pick up the phone.
The call she made was to her new partner, Sean Pickwell.
In an interview with Mia Freedman on the No Filter podcast, Bailey reflected on how “amazing” Pickwell has been since their relationship began earlier this year.
Bailey’s husband of 16 years and father to her three sons, Tony Smart, tragically died after a long battle with depression two years ago.
Listen to Robin Bailey tell Mia Freedman about her new relationship on No Filter.
The prospect of starting a new relationship hadn’t occurred to Bailey when she ran into an old friend and colleague at an event in Brisbane.
“It just started up as a friendship and texting and so on,” Bailey told Freedman. “He’d separated [from his wife] a while back, so he was more open in some ways, and I think because he was in the industry there were a lot of boxes ticked because I knew him. I felt safe. And he got my world.”
Pickwell was Bailey’s boss in radio 25 years ago. They maintained a professional friendship, with both happily married.
“We’d run into each other very occasionally at events and stuff…there was nothing there,” Bailey said.
But something changed when they reunited about a year ago.
“I think I just needed someone to give a shit. For me. And he absolutely does. He is such a kind, kind lovely man. He doesn’t interfere in my life, but he gets it,” Bailey said.
"I wasn't coping. I just wasn't taking care of myself," she told Freedman.
The pair developed a romantic relationship, but Bailey has been very conscious of his role with her three sons.
"My kids don't need another father. They had a father," she said. "And that's something that they're fiercely proud of, as they should be."
"He is developing his own friendship with them, and that is a good thing. I think strong male role models, wherever they come from, are amazing," Bailey explained.
A few months after the pair began dating, Bailey shared a picture of the two to her private Facebook page.
Bailey spoke on Mamamia's podcast The Well, about being betrayed by a close friend who leaked the image to the press, which forced her to have an "unfair" conversation with her children.
You can listen to the full episode of No Filter with Robin Bailey, here.
Bailey and Pickwell live in separate states, which means she might fly down to Sydney once a month, or he flies up to Brisbane to spend a weekend with Bailey and her children.
Ultimately, they live "two separate lives" and enmeshing the two will be a "very slow process".
But Bailey is in no rush.
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If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner or in Australia, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.