Basil Zempilas to scale back Weekend Sunrise role

Basil Zempilas will finish up as a regular Weekend Sunrise host in late September to allow for more family commitments, but will remain part of the Sunrise inner circle.

Perth-based Zempilas, who became co-host when Andrew O’Keefe left in March 2018, has a gruelling schedule and travel itinerary with 6PR breakfast radio, Weekend Sunrise in the east plus duties for Seven in the west including sport.

In pulling back on his commitments he will still appear as a summer presenter and occasional host. Next year he also has Olympics duties for Seven.

Zempilas is fondly regarded by Chair Kerry Stokes and his name has always been in the mix when future Sunrise anchors attract speculation. The move is understood to not believed to have diminished those prospects should David Koch also choose to wind back his role.

Seven, which has been contacted for comment, is yet to announce a replacement.


  1. There is such a thing as to much Basil,I stopped listening to 6PR because of him & others, maybe he will do us all a favour and stand for the Liberals in State or Federal Parliaments
    His bias will be no great loss

  2. It was utter nonsense that he was appointed in the first place!! We knew this charade of a schedule for him wouldn’t work out for him and he is much more loved in Perth where his family is. Like I said, it should have been Matt Doran or Michael Usher from the beginning. Regardless of ratings, it just isn’t viable for the poor guy. He deserves better than that and quite clearly he prefers living in Perth too

  3. I think they should give James Tobin a chance if he wanted it. He has been doing weather for a long time and is a really nice bubbly kind of guy. I sometimes wonder what he does with his weekdays. Get someone fresh, genuine and a bit younger to brighten our weekend mornings up. I thought he did a good job hosting the Geeks show.

    • Give him a test run maybe but he is probably not well rounded enough. Michael Ussher would be a better fit with his journalistic background and friendly nature.

  4. Interesting that no one wants to confirm this. Unless they are waiting for an article to appear in The West or Sunday Times (both owned by Seven) announcing Basil’s departure and tie it in with Fathers Day.

    It is a pretty demanding schedule flying from Perth to Sydney every weekend. Especially when you have a young family.

  5. Disappointed but not surprised. He works seven mornings (two interstate) and five evenings a week and has a young family. At some point something has to give. I hope Michael Usher replaces him. But could Chris Smith be a contender for the role? Obviously he will be looking for a substantial gig and he’s already a regular on the show.

    • They won’t put Michael Usher in given his Latest and 6pm commitments. Chris Smith is a commentator, not a host. He’s far too opinionated to deliver news.

      Best bet is Matt Doran, and Basil can still fill in on occasion.

      • Each to their own but I don’t like Matt Doran in this kind of role. I don’t find him an interesting or engaging host. Too vanilla. If he took over I’d consider switching to Channel 9. Watched Weekend Today once a few weeks back and it wasn’t too bad.

  6. If hosting Weekend Sunrise is too much of a commitment, how could he possibly host the weekday Sunrise ? Unless he relocates to Sydney perhaps. I think he is more suited to hosting and commentating sports programs.

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