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‘Unscripted with Amber Hankins:’ How I really feel about Randy Ollis retiring

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)- Two weeks. That’s the number that keeps playing over and over in my mind today.

It’s the number of weeks I have left before my co-host buddy Randy Ollis sits in the chair beside me one last time on Life.Style.Live!

For him, it’s a long-awaited retirement. For me, it’s the end of a somewhat unexpected era.

You see, I never thought I would work this closely with Randy. Years past, the most interaction I had with him was heading over to Studio A (with the news team) to chat about the weather and maybe our show’s “Question of the Day.” That was it.

Until 2021. That was the year my world changed.

(Life.Style.Live! Photo)

Randy came in, just as sort of a sidekick to the show; a “soft retirement,” if you will. And for me, he just made everything better. I needed him, and somehow, someway, I felt like God knew it, too.

What did he do that was so special? Well, he listened. He laughed with me. Not at me. He made me feel appreciated and seen. He supported me. Encouraged me. He truly brought out the best in me. The REAL me. And I loved it.

I finally felt free.

You see, Randy cared. He genuinely cared. So much, he once prayed over me in the makeup room. He spoke, and I just cried. It was a moment I’ll never forget. His faith encouraged ME. At that moment, I knew I would be okay.

Please know life on TV isn’t all glamour. We have our hardships, and sometimes, we just need each other.

I always say, “People need people,” and I certainly needed Randy. Our relationship was one viewers would often compare to a father and his daughter– for whatever reason, our personalities just clicked, even though we were years apart in age. Somehow, it didn’t matter.

Amber Hankins joins Randy Ollis at the Indiana State Fair.)

So here it is, friends. Two weeks.

That’s all the time I have left with Randy before he leaves Life.Style.Live! — but what he gave me during these last two years is everything.

I am changed because of him. My soul is renewed. And my heart is full.

So how do I really feel about Randy Ollis retiring?

I feel happy.

Happy that I get to be the one to sit next to him as he says his last goodbyes. Happy that he’s given me some of the best moments of my career here at WISH-TV. And happy that I was chosen to share this precious time with him.

Randy was called to serve a most high purpose, and boy, did he serve it well.

In a year where I almost felt like giving up and leaving it all behind, Randy Ollis saved me.

He saved me, and he can leave here knowing the good Lord would be proud. So proud.

If that’s not the greatest honor in life, I don’t know what is.