Leigh Sales makes her return to television with new anchor role

Nov 25, 2022
Source: ABC Media Centre.

After stepping down as host of ABC’s 7.30 program earlier this year, Leigh Sales has delighted fans after announcing that she will be returning to the network in 2023 as the new host of Australian Story.

Sales took to social media to share the news with her loyal fans, stating that she feels “lucky” to take on hosting duties for the “brilliant program” and that it was “very humbling” to be chosen as anchor given the show has only previously had one other permanent host, the first being the late Caroline Jones.

“I’ve got some news to share,” she told her fans in a video posted to Instagram.

“I am going to be, next year, anchoring the Australian Story program for the ABC.

“I’m so thrilled and excited about that because as you know it’s one of the most popular shows on the network.

“It’s such a brilliant program with such a history of making the most beautiful shows and telling the most moving stories.”

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Leigh Sales (@leigh_sales)

Speaking to Mediaweek, ABC acting director of entertainment and specialist Jennifer Collins said Sales is “a perfect fit for Australian Story”.

“It’s really exciting, we love Leigh. She’s got such a great intelligence, creativity, and a great heart,” Collins said.

“It’s such a great series that is able to tell those personal stories in such illuminating ways. Year on year, Australian Story continues to deliver, and I think having Leigh at the helm of that is only going to strengthen that for us.”

Sales’ return to ABC comes shortly after stepping down as presenter of the nightly current affairs program 7.30 earlier this year after more than a decade in the role.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Leigh Sales (@leigh_sales)

Sales made the announcement at the end of 7.30‘s February 10 program, telling viewers she would step away from the 7.30 desk in June 2022 following the Federal Election.

“I’ve asked my bosses at the ABC to allow me to step down from anchoring 7.30 later this year, once the federal election is over,” she said.

“I was appointed to the job on the 3rd of December 2010, so this my 12th year in the seat. That was five Prime Ministers ago! It was so long ago that Donald Trump was still just a guy with a bad orange hairdo hosting The Apprentice.

“I feel a strong sense of it being time to pass the baton to the next runner in the race and to take a break. The end of an election cycle feels like a good time to move onto something new at the ABC.

“I’ve always approached this job with one goal and that is to ask frank questions of people in power, without fear or favour, that a fair-minded, reasonable person with some common sense watching at home might like to ask if they were sitting in my position.

“The team at 7.30 is unparalleled in the media and I could not have more admiration or more gratitude for what they all do. It is an incredibly important program, there is no other show that does what 7.30 does night after night. I know the program is going to keep going from strength to strength, as it always has.”

Sales has a long history with the network, having jumped on board with the ABC in Brisbane in 1995 as a junior reporter before securing a number of senior roles within the news organisation, such as NSW State Political Reporter and National Security Correspondent.

She covered the Iraq War, the 2004 US Presidential election, Guantanamo Bay and Hurricane Katrina and served as ABC’s Washington correspondent from 2001-2005.

The Walkley Award-winning journalist was appointed as presenter of 7.30 in December 2010, during her time with the program Sales covered the terms of five Prime Ministers, nine federal budgets and two federal elections. She also reported on several major news events, including Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory and the death of Nelson Mandela in 2013.

Share via emailShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Pinterest

Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up