Channel Seven has farewelled beloved Weekend Sunrise brekkie show host, Basil Zempilas, in a touching Instagram post.
“Farewell, Basil Zempilas! We hope you enjoy spending weekends with your family after two years as part of the Sunrise Family,” the team wrote on the official Sunrise Instagram account, alongside a picture of Basil with his fellow hosts, Sally Bowrey, Monique Wright and Simon Reeve.
The 48-year-old, who has been hosting the brekkie show on Saturday and Sunday alongside Monique Wright since early 2018 when Andrew O’Keefe left, also took to the social media site to say goodbye to his loyal fans.
“GOODBYE.... for now. Join me tomorrow as I close the door on two wonderful years on Weekend @sunriseon7 with Mon, Simon and Sal. I’ll be back.. but in the meantime, it’s family time,” he wrote.
Sports presenter Simon Reeve paid a gushing tribute to his friend and colleague in a lengthy Instagram post, saying that it is a ‘sad weekend’ for everyone at Sunrise.
“The big man will be signing off (not forever mind you) on Sunday to reclaim weekends with his dear family in Perth. I've said before of Mon, Sal and AOK, that I wish people could know them as I do. Ditto Baz,” Simon wrote.
He went on to say “there simply isn't a harder working person in the media.”
“Baz has a steel trap for a mind. Spotting something, hearing something, sensing something that turns at light speed into punchy, well formed thoughts and words. From calling Stephen Bradbury's impossible Salt Lake Olympic gold medal, to hosting Perth's enduring Telethon, the depth of his research and preparation is undoubtedly pivotal to his success. The Baz radar is forever tuned to his surroundings, absorbing, noting and storing,” he continued.
“He has boundless energy and is devilishly funny. Morning radio and television thrive on and devour such things. Above all, I think Baz has an almost old fashioned sense and air of the showman. The guy who brings the team and the crowd with him. Indeed Mon and he both have that essential - light up the room - gene. Step right up folks. It can be going to hell around them, but you read on, smile and leave 'em laughing.
“He's a great father, husband and most definitely a much loved colleague. Sharing the desk over the past couple of years has been a blast and a pleasure. Never a dull moment with the big man around. We will miss ya Baz.
With love and best wishes for all the good that's ahead.”
It was reported back in August that Basil was ‘scaling back’ his commitments at the network, by stepping down from his role as Weekend Sunrise host in order to spend some more time with his family.
Matt Doran has been confirmed as Basil’s replacement on the show. The TV star will host the show from October 12 alongside Monique Wright.
According to TV Tonight, Basil will remain with Channel Seven and continue his sports presenting duties in Perth, and will be part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics reporting team.
Channel Seven, has been contacted for comment.
The daily Sunrise show during the week features hosts Samantha Armytage and David ‘Kochie’ Koch joined by Natalie Barr, Mark Beretta and Edwina Bartholomew.
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