Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang present SBS's Eurovision Song Contest coverage.
Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang present SBS's Eurovision Song Contest coverage. Georgia Metaxas

Shock exit of Eurovision presenters

IN a shock move SBS has announced that it has parted company with Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang as hosts of its Eurovision Song Contest coverage.

The decision, announced today, comes after Zemiro and Pang had hosted SBS coverage of the annual Eurovision song contest's semi-final and grand finals for the past eight years.

The pair first broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest from Russia in 2009 and since 2012, in Baku, Azerbaijan, has been allocated a commentary booth at the event.

Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang present SBS's Eurovision Song Contest coverage.
Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang present SBS's Eurovision Song Contest coverage. Contributed

"Eight amazing years hosting Eurovision; what a wonderful and hilarious ride. Growing up in a French household in Bondi Junction, I fell in love with this amazing contest ever since Abba won the competition. The languages, the characters, the songs and the sequins have always held a warm place in my heart," Zemiro said in a statement provided by SBS.

"Giving SBS audiences a sneak peek into the machinations of this wonderfully unique event over the years has been an absolute joy and a career highlight. It's hard to say goodbye but thrilled to be handing over to the next team on a high - douze points."

Zemiro and Pang saw Guy Sebastian become the first Australian to compete in the contest, singing Tonight Again, which saw him awarded fifth place at Eurovision 2015 in Vienna, Austria. Jessica Mauboy appeared at Eurovision in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the previous year, where she performed Sea of Flags in the second semi-final, but was not considered as a competitor.

Last year Zemiro and Pang commentated as Dami Inn, singing Sound of Silence, came second in Eurovision, which was held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sam Pang said in the SBS statement: "I'd like to thank SBS for the opportunity to explore the world and share that experience with all those back home but there are only so many sequins, burning pianos, power ballads and singing Russian grannies one man can celebrate in a career, and the time has come for me to pass that privilege on to a new team."

SBS will announce the new performing artist selected for the 2017 Eurovision on Tuesday.

"We thank Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang for a wonderful eight years as the faces of such a one-of-a-kind television broadcast that is Eurovision. Julia and Sam's unique relationship with the audience is something special, and SBS has been fortunate to be able to share their love for the song contest with Australians for so many years running.

"An exciting new era of Eurovision on SBS will begin in 2017 and we are looking forward to introducing the new Eurovision hosts for this year's contest in Ukraine," SBS's Managing Director Michael Ebeid said in the statement.

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