Knife Throwing, Stone Skipping and Bed Races – ESPN embraces the world of wacky sports with THE OCHO 8

ESPN8: The Ocho takes over ESPN for 24 hours on Monday August 8, becoming the number one destination for ‘seldom seen sports’, with a marathon of the weird, wacky and wonderful sporting events from across the globe.

Meet the commentary team for the BIRMINGHAM 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES on CHANNEL 7


GRETA SCACCHI and BRYAN BROWN star in new Australian romantic drama DARBY AND JOAN

Darby and Joan tells the story of a retired Australian policeman with a dog as his only company and a widowed English nurse who meet each other and embark together on an epic odyssey in the outback of northern Australia.
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Three of Australia’s greatest athletes – Ian Thorpe, Cate Campbell and Curtis McGrath –headline the Seven Network’s commentary team with the network set to deliver a history-making broadcast with up to 30 exclusive and free, live and replay channels across Seven, 7mate and 7plus.

With an anticipated 200 genuine medal attempts for Australia, Seven has assembled a first-class team of hosts and commentators to deliver its coverage of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Beginning this Friday, Birmingham 2022 will mark the country’s second-biggest broadcast and digital event following Seven’s award-winning coverage of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

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Australia’s most loved and respected sports broadcaster, Bruce McAvaney, returns for his fifth Commonwealth Games, broadcasting from the UK alongside three-time Australian Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Tamsyn Manou.

Seven’s broadcast hosting team will be led by Hamish McLachlan, Abbey Gelmi, Matt Shirvington, Emma Freedman, Johanna Griggs, Abbey Holmes, Ryan Daniels and Trent Copeland, while Mel McLaughlin, Jason Richardson, Amy Parks and Matt Carmichael will be joined in Birmingham by Olympic great Cate Campbell.

Australia’s equal most successful Commonwealth Games athlete, 10-time gold medallist Ian Thorpe, will join Seven’s commentary team to call swimming events following his acclaimed commentary contribution during Seven’s coverage of Tokyo 2020.

Australian Paralympians Annabelle (Annie) Williams and Curtis McGrath will further strengthen Seven’s coverage as they lead the broadcast of the fully-integrated para program, while fellow Commonwealth Games medallists David Culbert, Kate Bates, Georgie Parker, Scott McGrory and Catherine Cox also join the team.

Master broadcaster Basil Zempilas leads an impressive team of callers including the global doyen of cycling commentary, Phil Liggett, rugby expert Greg Clark and accomplished callers Matt Hill, Alister Nicholson, Jon Harker, Liz Chetkovic and Sue Gaudion.

Experienced callers Alison Mitchell and Lisa Sthalekar will provide expert commentary during the T20 cricket, while Australian Rugby Seven’s athlete, Tiana Penitani former professional ironwoman, Candice Warner, and Australian cyclist, Paul van der Ploeg round out the team.

Bruce McAvaney
Bruce McAvaney (image – Seven)

For Bruce McAvaney, anticipation is building in what promises to be an extraordinary Games across 12 days featuring many of the world’s greatest athletes, and Australia’s brightest stars.

“We’ve barely taken a breath since the euphoria of both the Summer and Winter Olympics,”

– he said.

“Seeing our athletes compete again so soon on the world stage is unprecedented and these Commonwealth Games will showcase the world’s best in many sports that don’t feature elsewhere. Women’s cricket is on show for the first time and netball will see us up against our arch-rivals, New Zealand.

“The integration of para-sports means we get to see our champions such as Madi De Rozario in the same program as Nicola McDermott and Ash Maloney. The flying mullet, Rohan Browning, and Peter Bol are back, as are the Jamaicans and Kenyans who dominate world athletics. We’re formidable in the pool, spearheaded by Emma McKeon and Ariarne Titmus.

“We have a long history of Commonwealth glory. I’m thinking of Deeks and Raelene in Brisbane in 1982 and, 12 years later, Cathy’s lap of honour with the double flag in Canada, plus Kerryn McCann’s emotional marathon win in front of a home crowd in Melbourne in 2006.

“Seven’s team is primed and ready. Our athletes will be at their peak. It’s going to be something very special.”

Viewers will wake up to major live events and medal moments each day with Emma Freedman and Matt Shirvington as they steer Seven’s morning broadcast from 3.30am AEST.

The early morning hosts have also been given the honour of commentating the excitement and colour of the Opening Ceremony, alongside Australian Paralympian Annie Williams.

Shortly after the daily early morning coverage, Sunrise will bring viewers all the latest Birmingham 2022 news and exclusive athlete interviews from 5.30am, with resident sport expert Mark Beretta broadcasting live from the host city.

Esteemed broadcaster Johanna Griggs will guide Seven’s afternoon audience through two hours of daily highlights featuring exclusive interviews with victorious athletes and their families and friends, from 3.00pm AEST daily.

Following 7NEWS at 6.00pm every night of the Games, two of Australia’s most-revered sports broadcasters – Hamish McLachlan and Abbey Gelmi – will guide, inform and entertain audiences through Seven’s prime time coverage from 7.00pm, bringing viewers all the live medal moments.

Each night Mel McLaughlin and Jason Richardson will be live from the host city with the best of the late-night coverage of the Games, alongside a rotating cast of nightly guests.

Keeping viewers completely up-to-date overnight will be fan favourites Abbey Holmes and Ryan Daniels.

Hamish McLachlan said:

“Australia has always had an enormous presence and incredible success at the Commonwealth Games, and it has often been the launching pad for some of Australia’s most famous sporting names.

“Ian Thorpe and Hayley Lewis as teenagers announced themselves to the world. Stories like theirs are hard to believe, but equally mind-blowing journeys will emerge in Birmingham.

“We are one of just six countries to send athletes to every Commonwealth Games. The brilliance of our athletes has seen us place first at 13 of the 21 Games held to date, and we have been in the top three countries for all Games other than the first in 1930.

“I love the integration of schedules that sees the able-bodied and para-sport programs integrated. It was the highlight of Gold Coast 2018 for me. Watching Kurt Fearnley in the marathon encapsulated everything that is wonderful about sport.

“It is always a ‘friendly’ Games, and I’m looking forward to seeing the green and gold do well and help tell the stories of our athletes.”

Australians can tune into 7plus to catch all the action, with up to 30 live and replay channels right at their fingertips.

Featuring replays, event minis, trending highlights, exclusive interviews with Aussie athletes and all the best action on demand, viewers will not miss a moment on 7plus.

Seven Network Head of Sport, Lewis Martin, said:

“Seven stands alone as Australia’s Home of Sport and, once again, we will bring unrivalled expertise to our monumental coverage of Birmingham 2022.”

“While we will proudly get behind our incredible Australian athletes alongside the rest of the nation, we will never ignore the incredible stories of the rest of the world. You can trust Seven and our extraordinary team of experts to uncover the most gripping stories of the Games and take you inside every single event, to the best of the action, at all times.”

Australians will be able to keep up to date with all the latest news, the biggest and best moments, and exclusive content, on the 7Sport social channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.



Hamish is one of Australia’s best and most experienced broadcasters, having hosted and commentated on a wide range of sports including the Olympic Games, AFL, horse racing, tennis and Commonwealth Games. He will co-host Seven’s prime-time coverage of Birmingham each night alongside Abbey Gelmi. Hamish boasts extraordinary Games knowledge and a passion and enthusiasm for all sporting disciplines.


Abbey has quickly become one of Seven’s most versatile hosts, having presented across the network’s Olympics, AFL, cricket, horse racing and Brownlow Medal coverage with poise, grace and infectious enthusiasm. As the granddaughter of Australian middle-distance great Herb Elliott, sport is in Abbey’s blood. Following her first Olympic Games coverage for Tokyo 2020, Abbey will return to Seven’s prime-time coverage of Birmingham 2022 alongside Hamish McLachlan from 7.00pm daily AEST.

Twitter: @Abbey_gelmi Instagram: @Abbeygelmi


Johanna represented Australia in swimming at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in 1990, winning bronze in the 100m backstroke, before becoming one of the most popular TV personalities on Australian screens. Johanna has been part of Seven’s coverage of most major sporting events, including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, tennis and horse racing, as well as hosting the top-rating lifestyle program Better Homes and Gardens.

Johanna will welcome viewers on air from 3.00pm daily AEST. Twitter: @JohGriggs7 Instagram: @Johgriggs7


One of the greats of Australian track and field, Matt represented his country at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the 1998 and 2006 Commonwealth Games and seven World Championships. A key member of the 7NEWSSunrise and 7SPORT teams, “Shirvo” recently hosted the afternoon coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for the network. Matt will co-host the early morning shift, from 3.30am daily AEST.

Twitter: @Mattshirvington Instagram: @Mattshirvo


Emma is a popular television and radio presenter with extensive experience across a wide range of sports. She anchored Seven’s morning coverage of the Tokyo Games on 7mate, as well as regularly joining Seven’s horse racing coverage and the Supercars Bathurst 1000 team. Emma will co-host the early morning shift, alongside Matt Shirvington.

Twitter: @Emma_freedman Instagram: @Emma_freedman


A late convert to football after a promising netball career, Abbey led the NTFL’s goalkicking table and won a premiership in her first four seasons, memorably becoming the first woman to kick 100 goals in a season in 2013-14. An Adelaide premiership player in the AFLW’s inaugural 2017 season, Abbey has been a great addition to Seven’s AFLW and AFL coverage, both as an expert and field commentator, and featured prominently in last year’s AFL Grand Final coverage in Perth.

Twitter: @Abbeycholmes 2 Instagram: @Abbeycholmes


Ryan began his media career with Seven in 2007, working in a range of roles before joining the sports team full-time in 2010. He has always been obsessed with sports, keeping notes of statistics and facts on everything from football to basketball to badminton. During his time at Seven, Ryan has covered multiple AFL Grand Finals and is a nine-time winner at the WA Football Awards. Ryan stepped into the role of 7NEWS Perth Sports Presenter earlier this year.

Twitter: @FootyRhino


Mel is a highly respected sports anchor and live-to-air broadcaster, who has covered a host of major international sporting events, including both summer and winter Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, the FIFA World Cup, tennis and most recently the 2021-22 Ashes series. Mel will be joined by Jason Richardson to present Seven’s Birmingham live show Brum Drum, each night from 11.00pm AEST.

Twitter: @Mel_Mclaughlin Instagram: @Mel_Mclaughlin


“Richo” is a Stawell Gift race winner who has carved out an impressive broadcasting career with Seven. He has hosted and commentated on various events including the Australian Open tennis, the past two Olympic Games, the Spring Racing Carnival, the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022 and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Twitter: @JaseRicho Instagram: @Jaserichardson7


Mark, or “Beretts” as he’s more affectionately known, is one of Australia’s best known and most admired sports commentators. He has covered every major Australian and international sporting event in an incredible career spanning three decades, including every Summer and Winter Olympic Games Seven has covered since 1996, the AFL, Australian Open tennis and the Supercars. For the past 18 years, Mark has been a much-loved member of Australia’s #1 breakfast show, Sunrise, keeping viewers up to date with all the latest sport headlines from Australia and around the world. He is also a 10-time Australian water ski champion.

Twitter: @MarkBeretta Instagram: @Markberetta


During her swimming career, Annie captained the Australian Paralympic swim team, broke five world records and won numerous medals for Australia, including gold at the Paralympic Games London 2012. Her achievements out of the pool are just as impressive: an accomplished sports broadcaster, international speaker and former corporate lawyer, Annie’s humorous and heart-warming storytelling captivates, entertains and inspires.

Twitter: @Anniejowilliams 1 Instagram: @Anniejwilliams 1


The New South Wales fast bowling great, who also played three Tests for Australia, has established himself as one of the rising stars on Seven’s cricket coverage since joining the commentary team in the 2018-19 international summer. The man more affectionately known as “Copes” will jump in the hosting chair across 7plus programming for Birmingham 2022.

Twitter: @Copes9 Instagram: @Copes9



Recognised on the world stage, Bruce is one of the greatest sport broadcasters we have ever seen and heard. In recognition of his outstanding career, Bruce was honoured with the Melbourne Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award last year and was inducted into the TV Week Logies Hall of Fame in June this year. This followed his induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2002, and a Medal of the Order of Australia that same year.

Bruce’s depth and breadth of sporting knowledge is peerless, while he brings an unbridled passion and enthusiasm to the Commonwealth Games, especially track and field.


Ian is Australia’s most successful Olympian and Commonwealth Games athlete, having won a record five gold medals at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. At 15, he became the youngest male world champion when he won gold in the 400m freestyle at the 1998 World Championships. He would add 13 long-course world records and win 11 gold medals at the World Championships as well as 10 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Affectionately known as “Thorpedo”, Ian brings his brilliant sporting insight and analysis to Birmingham for Seven, backing up from Tokyo 2020.

Twitter: @IanThorpe Instagram: @Ian.Thorpe


Curtis is an Australian para-canoeist and former soldier. He took up canoeing competitively after both of his legs were amputated as a result of a mine blast while serving with the Australian Army in Afghanistan. He won consecutive gold medals in the Men’s KL2 at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and has won 10 gold medals and a silver at ICF Paracanoe World Championships between 2014 and 2019.

Twitter: @Curtmcgrath Instagram: @Curtmcgrath


A three-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and winner of 18 Australian Championships at 400m, 800m and 400m hurdles, Tamsyn will be Bruce McAvaney’s wing woman in commentary at the track and field in Birmingham, adding her sharp analysis and vivacious personality to one of the hottest events on the Games calendar.

Twitter: @Tamsynlewis Instagram: @Tamsynlewismanou


One of Australia’s most decorated members of the Dolphins swimming team, Cate is a current multiple world record holder and has won a total of six Olympic medals, including three gold between 2008 and 2020. She was one of two flagbearers for Australia at the Tokyo Games in 2020, alongside basketballer Patty Mills. The Malawi-born athlete is studying a degree in mass communications at Queensland University of Technology, with an eye to pursuing a full-time media career once she hangs up her goggles.

Twitter: @Catecamp Instagram: @Cate_Campbell


Basil is a man of many talents, presenting TV, radio, and sport as well as being elected Lord Mayor of Perth in 2020. He presented sport until 2022 on 7NEWS in Perth, and from January 2014 to December 2020 he co-hosted Perth radio station 6PR’s breakfast show with Steve Mills. He is also a member of Seven’s AFL football commentary team and has represented the network in commentary at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. He will call swimming events for Seven during Birmingham 2022.

Twitter: @BasilZempilas Instagram: @Basil_Zempilas


The former Australian women’s cricket captain carved out an impressive career as an all- rounder which saw her named Australian Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Since retiring in 2013, Lisa has made an impressive transition to the commentary box, bringing her inside knowledge of the women’s game to the highest level.

Twitter: @Sthalekar93; Instagram: @Lsthalekar


Alison brings her acclaimed sports broadcasting skills to Seven’s telecast from Birmingham, leading coverage of the Cricket T20. A member of Seven’s Cricket broadcast team, her experience also includes Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Wimbledon, Australian Open and French Open tennis, as well as Open Golf. She was the first woman to become a regular commentator on the BBC’s Test Match Special and the first woman to have called men’s cricket ball-by-ball on ABC Radio Grandstand in Australia.

Twitter: @AlisonMitchell Instagram: @Alison_Mitchell00


Alister has emerged as one of Australian sport’s most recognisable voices over the past decade, both as an ABC Grandstand commentator on cricket and AFL. While he has been a popular member of Seven’s BBL commentary team in recent years, his broadcasting experience extends to the NRL, Commonwealth Games, Australia’s major golf tournaments and the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. For Birmingham 2022, he will be calling the hockey.

Twitter: @AlisterNicho


Georgie is a popular television presenter with experience across multiple sports, including Seven’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games coverage and the AFL. She is a former member of the Australian women’s hockey team, claiming a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014.

Georgie will call the hockey alongside Alister Nicholson. Twitter: @GeorgieParker Instagram: @Georgie_Parker19 2


A long jump finalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and two-time silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games, Dave has established himself as a renowned Olympic Games broadcaster and will provide commentary for the athletics at this year’s Games.

Twitter: @Culbert_Report Instagram: @Culbert_report


Matt is a leading Australian race caller and sport broadcaster. Recognised throughout the industry for his flair, commitment and accuracy, he has honed his skills over many years calling myriad sports, from horse racing to greyhound racing, tennis, AFL, the Olympic Games and more. Matt will call various events including athletics, triathlon and para-triathlon at Birmingham 2022.


An outstanding Australian cyclist and sports caster, Scott won gold in the Madison at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney in one of the most remarkable stories every told. His accomplishment alongside Brett Aitken is legendary and he will be ready to carry that knowledge and emotion into his speedskating commentary for Birmingham.

Instagram: @Scottmcgrory


Paul is a former professional bike rider who won several national championships in the mountain bike and Cyclo-cross disciplines, along with the 2011 World Cup Sprint Eliminator in England and the 2013 XCE World Championship in South Africa. Paul will provide his expert insights to the mountain bike competition in Birmingham.

Twitter: @Paulvanderplow Instagram: @Paulvanderplow


Phil has entrenched himself as international cycling’s most authoritative voice over a glittering 54-year career. This year he will cover his 50th Tour de France, while Tokyo 2020 was his 16th Olympic Games. Among a litany of professional accolades, Phil was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2005 for services to cycling and inducted into the British Cycling Hall of Fame in 2009. For Birmingham, he will join Scott McGrory to cover all the action of the Time Trial and Road Race.

Twitter: @Philliggett


Over more than 35 years, Jon has forged a highly successful media career, working as a journalist, host and commentator across TV, radio, and print media. Jon has vast commentary experience at the Olympic Games and during Birmingham will give voice to the action across boxing events.


One of Australia’s most exciting young boxers, Harry Garside won gold in the men’s 60kg weight division at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, before taking home a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Garside has embraced unique training methods such as ballet, karaoke and army training into his training routine, which ultimately paid off when he was selected as a member of the Australian team for Tokyo 2020. Harry will step behind the microphone alongside Jon Harker to call the boxing at Birmingham 2022.

Instagram: @Harry_Garside


Kate is a former Australian track and road cyclist, a multiple national champion and the Commonwealth Games champion in 2002 and 2006. She competed in both track and road cyclin at the Olympic Games, finishing fourth in the individual pursuit at the 2004 Summer Olympics and sixth in the points race at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She retired in December 2011 due to injury and has since worked as a freelance TV commentator and host. She has covered World Championships, Olympic Games, Tour de France and other National and World Tour cycling events for Seven and SBS.

Twitter: @KatherineLBates 1 Instagram: @Katey_Bates 1


Liz is the voice of world gymnastics, introducing Australian audiences to the intricacies of a sport which matches extraordinary athleticism with spectacular drama. Her in-depth knowledge and experience as a high-performance coach and community sport advisor is evident in her insightful commentary, showcased at Olympic and Commonwealth Games. She will lead Seven’s gymnastics commentary at Birmingham 2022.


A former Australian netball international and leading netball commentator, Catherine Cox will bring the same energy and excitement to the Birmingham Games as she did to her playing career. As a 16-year veteran of the Australian Diamonds, she won gold medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2007 and 2011 World Netball Championships and captained her country on seven occasions, leading the team to victory at the 2011 Constellation Cup.

Twitter: @Cathcoxy


Sue Gaudion is a popular and entertaining media personality with vast experience in radio and television. With a wicked sense of humour and a quick wit, Sue is as smooth and engaging as they come and has the ability to hold an audience in the palm of her hand.

Never short of a story, Sue is a genuine entertainer. Sue will call the netball during Seven’s coverage of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Twitter: @Suegaudion


The voice of rugby in Australia, Greg’s stellar calling career has spanned more than 20 years, over 200 Test matches and countless Super Rugby classics. Greg will bring his trademark accuracy and entertaining commentary style to the Rugby 7s.

Twitter: @Greg_clarkie Instagram: @Greg_Clarkie


One of Australia’s most decorated divers, Matt Mitcham will call the sport that made him a household name at Birmingham 2022. Originally a trampoline gymnast, Matt rewrote the history books when he became the first Australian male diver to win an Olympic gold medal in 84 years, and only the second ever, when he won the 10 metre platform at Beijing in 2008 with an astonishing last-gasp performance under extreme pressure.

Twitter: @Matthew_Mitcham Instagram: @Matthewmitcham88


Tiana captained Australia to the gold medal in Rugby Sevens at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, having a year earlier become the youngest player ever to represent Australia at a Rugby World Cup in the 7s tournament in Russia. In 2019, Tiana switched to rugby league and currently plays for the St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL Women’s Premiership. She will commentate on all the Rugby Sevens action in Birmingham.

Instagram: @Tianapenitani


Aaron Royle joins Seven’s Birmingham 2022 commentary team to call Triathlon events, after a successful career in the sport whereby he made his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Aaron and fellow team member Ryan Bailie gave Australia its first dual top ten finish in men’s triathlon history at Fort Copacabana, where he was the first out of the water.

Twitter: @ARoyle90 Instagram: @AaronRoyle

Broadcast hosting schedule:

7.00pm –11.00pm AEST live on Channel 7 Hamish McLachlan and Abbey Gelmi will entertain viewers through Seven’s nightly prime time coverage of the Games including our Aussie’s best swimming, athletics and cycling moments, along with live athlete and family interviews direct from Birmingham.

11.00pm – 12.30am AEST live on Channel 7 Mel McLaughlin and Jason Richardson will join us live from the host city immediately after the primetime session each night to share all the highlights of the day and take us to more live events as they happen.

12.30am – 3.30am AEST live on Channel 7 Abbey Holmes and Ryan Daniels will present the best of the overnight action in Birmingham, including our Aussie’s taking on basketball 3 x 3, beach volleyball, cricket, hockey, netball and rugby 7’s.

3.30am – 5.30am AEST live on Channel 7, 5.30am – 7.30am AEST live on 7mate Emma Freedman and Matt Shirvington will bring us the best gold medal moments each morning, covering finals across multiple sports.

3.00pm – 5.00pm AEST, live on Channel 7
Johanna Griggs brings viewers the best from Birmingham each day of the Games.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games 28 July to 8 August. Live and free on Seven and 7plus. The only place to see it all!

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Kevin Perry
Kevin Perry
Co-Creator and Editor of the TV Blackbox website, Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting. Media enquiries please Call or Text 0428-275-111



  1. The general Channel 7 free- to- air coverage of the Commonweath Games leaves a lot to be desired. Lots of commercials, hype and emotive material and not enough actual sporting action. Overall, very disapppointing !

  2. Keep seeing the same sports over and over and over again. Any chance of seeing all the other sports? Keen squash player but havnt seen any at all.


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