Airdate: 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without Magda Szubanski who is joining comedian Joel Creasey, The Feed’s Patrick Abboud and comedian Urzila Carlson to host the SBS broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’s 40th anniversary.

The broadcast, to screen the night after the Sydney parade, will include an interview with Mardi Gras guest, Cher.

Magda Szubanski said: “Mardi Gras is a spectacular celebration of equality, pride and self-expression that promotes a broader message of diversity and acceptance. I’m so proud to be hosting for SBS again in 2018 – after a year of monumental change in Australia. Bring on the glitter cannons!”

Joel Creasey said: “I’m so thrilled to be hosting the broadcast of the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. As a gay man, (you’re shocked, I know) Mardi Gras is a chance for all members of our community and beyond to come together and celebrate all things LGBTIQ+ and all things fabulous. I am particularly stoked to be working alongside Magda, Urzila and Patrick – a dream team if I’ve ever seen one! Strap up, strap on and strap in, Australia!”

Urzila Carlson said: “I’m so excited for 2018 and for our community. Not only do we have marriage equality but it’s also the 40th birthday for Mardi Gras. My leather is polished, my tassels are fluffed – who knows I might even wear heels! (Just kidding, no heels). Get your fab on Sydney!”

Patrick Abboud said: “This year, more than ever before, it’s so important that we are celebrating those unsung heroes that have fought the good fight for equality over the past four decades. I’m looking forward to taking you on a walk down memory lane during the broadcast with a special series of stories I’m working on. Happy 40th birthday queer family!”

SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an iconic Australian event. It celebrates the triumphs of the LGBTIQ+ communities whilst promoting the universal messages of unity, inclusion and acceptance – values that are relevant to all Australians. It is an opportunity to celebrate diversity and SBS is truly proud to offer viewers a front row seat to the 40th Anniversary event.”

In the lead up to the event, SBS & NITV will also feature queer-themed programming in recognition of the 40th anniversary.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the world’s largest and most high profile LGBTIQ+ celebrations. Having started as a civil rights protest in 1978, Mardi Gras has grown into an opportunity to celebrate diversity, equality, inclusion and pride on a global scale.

Following last year’s historic same-sex marriage vote, this year’s Mardi Gras will be a celebration of how far the LGBTIQ+ communities and their allies have come in the last 40 years, as well as a reflection on the community’s hopes for the future.

The television broadcast will feature the best and brightest floats and costumes in the parade, interviews with special guest and celebrities including international music icon Cher, commentary from Magda Szubanski and Joel Creasey, as well as on the ground coverage from Urzila Carlson.

The Feed’s Patrick Abboud will present a series of stories which introduces us to parade participants, the people and special meanings behind the floats, and the stories of Mardi Gras marchers– including the 78’ers who pioneered this global event 40 years ago.

A live stream of the parade will be available on SBS On Demand and the SBS Twitter account on Saturday, 3rd March. SBS Radio 3 will join forces with Australia’s premier gay and lesbian community radio station, JOY 94.9 for a Mardi Gras weekend simulcast, which can be accessed via the SBS Radio mobile app, digital radio and around Australia on digital television.

SBS Celebrates Mardi Gras across the network:

Premiering Thursday, 1 March, NITV’s commissioned documentary Black Divaz goes beyond the make-up, the glue guns and the glamour of drag, following the Inaugural Miss First Nations Drag Queen competition.

From Thursday, 15 February on SBS VICELAND, The Feed’s Patrick Abboud will present a collection of LGBTIQ+ shorts, created by emerging filmmakers. Developed as part of the Generator Emerging Film Fund with Create NSW, each of the shorts celebrates LGBTIQ+ diversity through a wide scope of themes including LGBTIQ+ acceptance in multicultural communities, small-town bigotry and family acceptance amongst others. Patrick will go behind the scenes, providing exclusive access and interviews with the filmmakers. The collection will be available on SBS On Demand from Thursday, 8 February.

SBS On Demand will host a Rainbow Pride Movie collection, with titles such as Brokeback Mountain, Holding the Man, Heartbeats and My Beautiful Laundrette, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. SBS On Demand will also premiere Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves – a powerful Swedish drama exploring love in the shadow of AIDS.

Coverage of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is produced by Blink TV for SBS.

8:30pm Sunday March 4 on SBS.


  1. Three out of four hosts aint bad….. Sorry Joel may have mainstream appeal but I thought he talked over everyone last year so if I have it on it will be with the sound down. SBS just because he is mainstream appeal doesn’t make him a good host.

  2. I agree with David re: the shouting and an edited version allows for a better program. Back in the day it was good going to the parade and then knowing you could actually check it out properly on SBS the next night.
    However now with so much catch up chances thats invalid now and with the extra stations a live version would fill up some program slots otherwise occupied by Saturday night repeats.

  3. It’s 2018 and this event airs on television 24 hours after it happens. Just ridiculous. SBS should be ashamed of themselves for not broadcasting it live.

    • In two minds about this. Some Live broadcasts in the past (incl from other broadcasters) have been a hot mess. It’s challenging with a parade as there can be big gaps, rain, noise etc. An edited version cleans it up. My big concern is to please not let the hosts shout. Put glass around them. I don’t want to hear 2 hrs of hosts shouting.

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