Weekend Sunrise

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Weekend Sunrise
Weekend Sunrise Logo.png
Genre Breakfast news program
Presented by Matt Doran
Monique Wright
Sally Bowrey
James Tobin
Opening theme (Reach Up for the) Sunrise, Duran Duran
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes600+
ProducerMichael Pell
Production locationsMartin Place, Sydney, New South Wales
Running time180 minutes
Original network Seven Network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release10 April 2005 (2005-04-10) 
Preceded bySunday Sunrise
Related shows Sunrise
The Morning Show
External links

Weekend Sunrise is an Australian breakfast television program, broadcast on the Seven Network and currently hosted by Monique Wright and Matt Doran.



In 2005 the Seven Network replaced its struggling Sunday morning program Sunday Sunrise with a program called Weekend Sunrise which originally was an hour-long (8 am – 9 am) program with an identical format to Sunrise . Hosted by Chris Reason and Lisa Wilkinson, the program was successful and various critiques at the time called for the program to be lengthened to two hours (7:00 am – 9:00 am) and be extended to Saturday mornings as well as Sunday.[ citation needed ]

In 2006, Weekend Sunrise was extended from an hour to a two-hour show, running every Sunday from 8 am till 10 am. When Sportsworld returned for the football season Weekend Sunrise settled into a 90-minute format, 8:00 am – 9:30 am. After Sportsworld's series concluded, the show returned to a two-hour format. Andrew O'Keefe initially temporarily replaced host Chris Reason in 2006, but after improved ratings he was given the hosting position permanently. In 2007, Wilkinson moved to the Nine Network to host Today , and was replaced by Samantha Armytage. [1] In 2008, Weekend Sunrise moved their start time 30 minutes earlier to 7:30 am, to match the new start time of Nine's Sunday program. The program continued to run through to 10:00 am, meaning the program had a two-and-a-half-hour running time.

In 2009, the program's start time was moved even earlier. Originally, it was announced that Today on Sunday (now Weekend Today), the replacement the long-running Nine's Sunday, would run from 7:30 to 9:00 am. But this was changed on 28 January 2009 to 7:00 am to 9:00 am. As result, Seven announced that Weekend Sunrise would also commence at 7:00 am and run through to 10:00 am, meaning the program would go for three hours, the same as the weekday version of Sunrise. [2]

On 13 February 2010, Seven announced that Weekend Sunrise would extend to Saturdays to compete against Weekend Today. The Saturday edition airs in the same time slot as Weekend Today, i.e. 7:00 am – 10:00 am. [3] Saturday Disney , which previously occupied the timeslot, immediately followed Weekend Sunrise, [4] until in 2012 it was permanently moved to 7Two, airing in the same time as Weekend Sunrise. The original Saturday team consisted of Samantha Armytage co-hosting with Larry Emdur with Sarah Cumming presenting the news, Simon Reeve presenting sport and James Tobin presenting the weather. [5]

In November 2011, Adam Boland was appointed executive producer of the program. [6] Boland overhauled the program introducing a new format, a number of new segments and new regulars. These changes were scheduled to introduced on 5 November 2011, [7] however due an apparent server crash, the program was canceled at the last minute. [8] The relaunch took place the following day as a result.

In September 2012, executive producer Adam Boland announced that the show would extend to three hours on Saturday from October. [9] Boland finished with the Seven Network in February 2013 to later join Network Ten. Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell replaced Boland. In June 2013, Melissa Doyle announced that she would be leaving Sunrise for a national network role, with Samantha Armytage replacing her. [10] Monique Wright initially replaced Armytage on Weekend Sunrise, but it was not until February 2014 in which Wright was made a permanent co-host on the show. [11]

In February 2016, Angela Cox joined and filled-in for Monique Wright as co-host of the show whilst she was on maternity leave. At the same time, Sally Bowrey joined the show as entertainment and social media presenter. On 4 March 2016, Weekend Sunrise held a Parathon, to raise funds to send athletes to the 2016 Paralympic Games. The program included appearances from stars of Home and Away , My Kitchen Rules and Saturday Disney , as well as performances from Samantha Jade and Russell Morris and was extended to midday. [12] It raised over $1.6 million. [13] In December 2016, Angela Cox returned to Weekend Sunrise to cover news whilst Sally Bowrey was on maternity leave. In July 2017, Bowrey returned to the show as news presenter.

In December 2017, after twelve years in the role, O'Keefe stepped down from the role, citing his desire to spend more time with his family on weekends. [14] Basil Zempilas was announced as his replacement. [15] In September 2019, Zempilas announced that he will step down as regular host of Weekend Sunrise, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, but will still appear on the show intermittently as a summer and fill-in presenter whenever required. [16] In October 2019, it was announced that Matt Doran would replace Zempilas on the show from 12 October. [17]

Simon Reeve made his last on air appearance on Weekend Sunrise in March 2020 before Seven made him redundant in June 2020. [18] Reeve would later sue Seven over his axing. [18] [19]


Similar to Sunrise , Weekend Sunrise blends a mixture of news every thirty minutes, interviews and light-hearted feature pieces into three hours each morning. Occasionally, Weekend Sunrise may present the show from other locations, however, unlike Sunrise , this is less common.


As with Sunrise , national news updates are provided at the half-hour mark, followed by a summary of overnight sport and weather.


Monique Wright Co-host2013–present
Matt Doran Co-host2019–present
Sally Bowrey News & Sport2016–present
James Tobin Weather2009–present

Current fill-in presenters that have recently hosted or co-hosted Weekend Sunrise include Kylie Gillies, Natalie Barr, Mark Beretta, Basil Zempilas, Larry Emdur, Mike Amor, Mark Riley, Sally Bowrey, Angela Cox, Edwina Bartholomew, Chris Reason, Gemma Acton, Denham Hitchcock and Michael Usher.

Other Seven presenters who have either filled in or presented Weekend Sunrise in the past include Matt White, Jessica Rowe, Andrew Rochford, Kellie Sloane, Rebecca Maddern, Rahni Sadler, Ryan Phelan, Ben Davis, Mike Amor, Simon Reeve, Jillian Whiting, Jim Wilson and Ben Damon, amongst others.

Previous hosts

Chris Reason Co-host2005
Andrew O'Keefe Co-host2005–2017
Lisa Wilkinson Co-host2005–2007
Samantha Armytage Co-host2007–2013
Basil Zempilas Co-host2018–2019
Kylie Gillies Sport2005–2007
Ryan Phelan Sport2014–2015
Simon Reeve News
2007–2014, 2015–2020
Sharyn Ghidella News2008–2010
Jessica Rowe News2010–2013
Talitha Cummins News2007–2008, 2013–2016

Previous hosts of Weekend Sunrise include Chris Reason, Andrew O'Keefe, Basil Zempilas, Lisa Wilkinson and Samantha Armytage. Kylie Gillies was the original sports presenter until she moved to The Morning Show and Talitha Cummins presented the news from June 2007 until July 2008. Sharyn Ghidella presented the news from 2008 until 2010. Larry Emdur hosted Weekend Sunrise on Saturdays in 2010. Sarah Cumming previously presented the news on Saturday until she became the weather presenter on Seven News Sydney in 2011. Samantha Armytage hosted the program from June 2007 until August 2013 and is now host of Sunrise . Jessica Rowe presented the news from 2010 until 2013. Ryan Phelan presented sport throughout the first half of 2015 before Simon Reeve returned to his post following the axing of Million Dollar Minute . Talitha Cummins presented the news from 2013 until 2016. Cummins was later dismissed from the Seven Network whilst she was on maternity leave; Sally Bowrey later replaced her.


Steve Hargrave UK/Entertainment correspondent2013–present
Amber Laidler or Samantha BrettSydney reporter (occasional)2019–present
Paul MarshallCorrespondent2014–present
Blair Late Showbiz reporter2010–14
Richard Arnold UK entertainment2009–present
Nuala Hafner Melbourne correspondent2010–11 (various reports before)
Christie CooperMelbourne reporter2021–present
Tamra BowQueensland reporter2020–present
Mark Riley Chief political correspondent2005–present
Jabba Movie reviews2013–present
James Mathison Movie reviews2012–13
Jonathan Coleman Movie reviews2011–12
Jane Caro Masters of Spin2011–present
Nick Cater Masters of Spin2014–present
Paul Murray All Stars2006–10
Tim Ross All Stars2011
Keith Suter Foreign affairs2005–present
Andrew Rochford Health editor2014–15


Because Australia has more than one time zone, Weekend Sunrise is not broadcast live to all of Australia, it is instead broadcast delayed. New South Wales (including ACT), Victoria, Tasmania have Weekend Sunrise broadcast live all year round, Queensland has Sunrise broadcast live in wintertime, but during Daylight Saving Time in Sydney has the program delayed by one hour. The Northern Territory has Weekend Sunrise delayed 30 minutes during winter and 1 hour and 30 minutes during daylight saving in Sydney. South Australia has it delayed by 30 minutes all year around, and Western Australia has it delayed by 2 hours in wintertime and by 3 hours during daylight saving in Sydney.

Occasionally, broadcasts of Weekend Sunrise are altered during special circumstances. On the morning of 17 July 2010, Weekend Sunrise was extended well past 9am continuing into 1pm when Julia Gillard announced that Australia would be heading to the polls on 21 August. When Weekend Sunrise was covering the Victorian bushfires in February 2009, the show extended its coverage until 11am, with the extra hour dedicated to the events occurring in Victoria.

Neither Sunrise nor Weekend Sunrise air on Christmas Day. Between 2007 and 2014, when Seven had the telecasting rights to the V8 Supercars, Weekend Sunrise did not air on the day of the Bathurst 1000.


Theme song

Weekend Sunrise used Duran Duran's "(Reach Up for the) Sunrise" as its theme song until 2010 when MGMT's "Electric Feel" replaced it. In November 2011, "(Reach Up for the) Sunrise" was reinstated as the theme song.

See also

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