Basil Zempilas considering move to Weekend Sunrise

Basil Zempilas has confirmed he is in negotiations to replace Andrew O’Keefe on Weekend Sunrise.

The Perth-based radio and television presenter recently filled in for David Koch on the weekday breakfast program. Speaking on his 6PR radio show on Monday, the father of three – who is also a regular AFL commentator for the Seven Network – admitted he “enjoyed it thoroughly”.

“It’s obviously no secret that I’ve been over there and done a bit of fill-in for both Andrew and David over the last six months of this year,” he told listeners.

“I can tell you categorically I won’t be moving to Sydney next year… [but] we have discussed the possibility of Weekend Sunrise and clearly there is now a vacancy.”

Zempilas said that negotiations will probably “play out” into the new year, however, given he is already locked into several commitments such as being a commentator for Seven’s coverage of the n Open. He also stressed the network is looking at other options.

“Yes it’s a possibility,” he said. “Has anything been locked in? No, it hasn’t. Is it of interest? It is of interest. Will it happen? I’m not sure yet.”

The Perth presenter has been tipped to replace Andrew O’Keefe ever since the former Deal or No Deal star announced he was quitting breakfast TV to spend more time with his family. O’Keefe had been the co-host of Weekend Sunrise for more than 12 years.

For what it’s worth, Zempilas’s radio co-host Steve Mills says he believes his mate has got the gig.

“I’m very confident that he will be there [on Weekend Sunrise] next year,” he joked on Monday. “Based on the fact I’ve seen his demeanour every time the topic’s brought up. I’m an expert. I’ve read all those body language books.”

A potential sticking point for Zempilas’s contract negotiations is the fact Seven may also be looking to replace David Koch for one day of the week. The longtime Sunrise co-host has flagged his intention to drop down to four days a week, but picking up the extra work would eat into Zempilas’s gig at 6PR.

A Seven spokeswoman said O’Keefe’s replacement will be announced in the coming weeks. BIG WEEK…. Thanks to @sam_armytage and the @sunriseon7 team for making me feel so welcome… a dream team to work with. Loved it And always such a blast being part of @7horseracing at the Melbourne Cup Carnival Shout out to #Millsy @6pr_breakfast for holding the fort while I was in, out and away… and of course to my beautiful, capable and extremely supportive wife @amyzempilas for encouraging me to do my thing and keeping team Zempilas together in my absence… Amazing Amy! @sammacinsta got it right Now, just Stakes Day and International Rules in Adelaide and I’ll be home A post shared by @basil_zempilas on Nov 10, 2017 at 1:21am PST

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