The exit of Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang from SBS coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest has landed at short notice, not unlike ABC’s axing of Good Game after two presenters decided to call time.
Next week’s Melbourne-event announcing the Australian act for 2017 was to have been hosted by Zemiro. Just 5 days out SBS is yet to clarify who will now take hosting duties.
While Eurovision fans were reeling from the news, SBS confirmed the departure was Sam and Julia’s own decision, due to scheduling and other commitments.
“SBS has been fortunate to have had Julia and Sam at the helm of the Eurovision broadcast for so many consecutive years,” an SBS spokesperson said.
“Given the rigours and commitment of an overseas job, and both Julia and Sam’s many other projects on TV and radio, juggling schedules becomes more challenging each year and as such Julia and Sam each decided this is the time to hand over to a new team.”
Both have busy schedules, with Zemiro currently shooting a film, The BBQ, with Nicholas Hammond, Magda Szubanski, and Shane Jacobson. Her ABC Home Delivery series has been a hit and she remains in high demand for corporate gigs. Sam Pang has daily radio commitments with NOVA, weekly appearances on Have You Been Paying Attention? and Sam, Santo & Ed’s Total Football Podcast for ABC.
Last month SBS Channel Manager Ben Nguyen recently told TV Tonight the broadcaster was keen to have both attend the event in Ukraine.
“I think that’s yet to be locked in, but obviously that’s what we’d like to do,” he said.
Whether the fate of RocKwiz and Julia Zemiro’s departure from Eurovision are linked is unclear. SBS is yet to announce another series of its long-running music quiz.
“We’re talking with them about a special. Hopefully something more solid to announce soon,” Nguyen said recently.
Yesterday SBS said, “We are always speaking with both Julia and Sam about opportunities however nothing to share at this time.”