Guy Sebastian, centre, representing Australia waits for the voting to start with his wife Jules during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Austria's capital Vienna.
Guy Sebastian, centre, representing Australia waits for the voting to start with his wife Jules during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Austria's capital Vienna. Kerstin Joensson

Australia invited back to Eurovision Song Contest

AFTER our impressive Eurovision debut, Australia will return to compete in next year's song contest.

SBS today confirmed it will broadcast the 61st annual event live from Stockholm and that Australia has secured a return invite after our first competitive entry, in the form of Guy Sebastian, earlier this year.

Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang will return as hosts of Australia's Eurovision coverage.

SBS will announce in the new year the lucky singer who will follow in Sebastian's footsteps.

The announcement is part of the broadcaster's 2016 Upfronts presentation, detailing its major programming for next year.

Ray Martin's controversial documentary series First Contact returns for a second season, as will Who Do You Think You Are?

Cross-platform documentary Deep Water will present the full account of the gay hate crime epidemic that bloodied Sydney's coastline during the 1980s and 1990s.

Controversial politician Pauline Hanson will also come under the microscope in the documentary Hanson: The Years that Shook the Nation.

Comedy drama The Family Law, based on the childhood memoir of Benjamin Law, is another new addition.

A scene from SBS's upcoming comedy drama The Family Law.
A scene from SBS's upcoming comedy drama The Family Law. SBS

It joins returning international dramas Vikings, Masters of Sex, The Bridge and Bosch.

"Our distinctiveness is why audiences trust us, value us and it's why they are passionate about our programs and services," SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said.

"In the year ahead SBS will be available on a record number of platforms and devices as we bring Australians brave and unique programs that help all of us to understand what it means to be Australian today."

Today's announcement coincides with the launch of SBS's new dedicated food channel Food Network (Channel 33).

A raft of food shows to feed the new channel and SBS's main channel include Inside Heston's World, Poh & Co, Food Safari Fire, Destination Flavour Scandinavia and Gourmet Farmer: Fat Pig Kitchen.

In sport, SBS retains the rights to the Tour de France and Australia's 2018 World Cup qualifying matches.

NITV favourite The Marngrook Footy Show also returns in 2016 and is joined by a new weekly entertainment sport series League Nation Live.


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