Leigh Sales to host ABC’s Australian Story after wrapping up ‘exhausting’ 12-year tenure on 7.30


Leigh Sales reveals what her big return to TV will be after finishing her ‘exhausting’ 12-year stint on ABC’s 7.30

  • Leigh Sales will return as host of ABC’s Australian Story in 2023 after a work hiatus
  • The 49-year-old said she was ‘excited and humbled’ to be the show’s new host
  • The sales return comes six months after she left a 12-year tenure as the 7:30 host

Leigh Sales will be returning to our TV screens sooner than expected after the respected journalist announced she would be the next Australian Story presenter five months after her shock dismissal from the flagship 7.30am current affairs programme.

The sale concluded her 12-year tenure as host of ABC’s 7.30 on June 30, revealing that she would use her six-month long service leave to “get some rest” and spend quality time with her two young boys.

On Thursday, the 49-year-old revealed she would be back on TV in January as the host of ABC’s Australian Story.

The revelation came on ABC’s “upfronts,” where the company announced all of their new programs for 2023.

Caroline Jones was the original presenter of Australian Story but sadly passed away in May at the age of 84 after a fall at her Sydney home.

The program has been without a presenter since 2016 after Jones left and used talent from each week’s show to introduce the story.

Sales said it was an honor to follow Jones as host of the program.

Leigh Sales (pictured) revealed she will return to TV in 2023 as host of ABC's Australian Story

Leigh Sales (pictured) revealed she will return to TV in 2023 as host of ABC’s Australian Story

“Australian Story is one of the most loved programs in the country and I am so excited and humbled to have been invited to be on it,” said Sales.

‘I can’t wait to be involved in the production process of such a talented team.’

ABC news director Justin Stevens said the network couldn’t wait to see Sales in the role.

“Leigh has a strong connection with the Australian public and a deep interest in people’s stories,” said Mr Stevens.

“We can’t wait to see what she brings to this role. Once Leigh returns to work, we also look forward to exploring ideas for other projects she will be involved in, both on-air and behind the scenes.”

Hosting Australian Story is one job less of the political spotlight, with Sales admitting she was “exhausted” when she left at 7:30am in June.

“I’ve got six months off to try and rest as I’m exhausted after almost 12 years of 7.30am,” Sales told The Guardian.

“I feel like until I actually get some headroom and slow my life down a bit, I just can’t figure out what I want.”

The 49-year-old took a six-month sabbatical from her 12-year tenure as host of ABC's 7.30 program to

The 49-year-old took a six-month sabbatical from her 12-year tenure as host of ABC’s 7.30 program to “get some rest” from the “tiring” role and spend more time with her two sons

Sales also told 2GB host Ben Fordham that she would spend the six-month sabbatical time with her two sons.

“My boys really want me to be home more at night,” Sales said.

“When they were little — because I had two babies in my time there — it was fine, because I could hang out with them in the morning.

‘But now that they’re at school I don’t have much time with them in the mornings and when I get home I’m often very tired.

“But maybe since they haven’t seen me, they want to talk. And I feel bad… when I’m exhausted and I want them to go to bed, because I don’t think that’s fair.”

The ABC’s slate for 2023 promises an array of new and returning comedies, dramas, and factual shows.

Q&A also returns in 2023, despite a tumultuous year of ratings after hitting a new low with 165,000 viewers in major centers on September 1.