Home and Away actress Kate Ritchie is to be the co-host for Nova radio’s new drive show after the sudden sacking of Matthew Newton last week.

Newton, who returns to court next week to face charges of assaulting his former girlfriend actress Brooke Satchwell, was to make his first foray into regular radio with comedian Akmal Saleh.

The Akmal Show with Kate Ritchie goes to air from Monday, between 4pm and 6pm, (AEDT) on Nova 969 in Sydney and Nova 100 in Melbourne.

Ritchie fuelled speculation during Home and Away’s summer break that her character Sally Fletcher could be killed off after a 2006 season cliffhanger left her in a coma.

But the character regained consciousness in last Tuesday’s episode.

Now Ritchie, who has said she was looking forward to challenges outside Summer Bay, has signed a short-term contract with Nova.

She will present between three and five shows with Saleh each week.

Channel Seven and Home and Away producers already have begun adjusting her filming schedule to cater for her new commitments.

Ritchie has no radio presenting experience but has been a regular on Merrick and Rosso’s Nova breakfast show for the past few years.

“I’m delighted to be joining Nova,” Ritchie said.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Merrick and Rosso and to be able to expand on that is really exciting.”
Saleh, also a first-timer on radio, has welcomed the new recruit.

“I’ve never done radio before,” said Akmal.

“Neither has Kate. We both just responded to a ‘No experience necessary’ ad.

“It’s clear that to work for Nova you just need to have no idea what you’re doing.”