Sunday Night


Oh no. Matt Doran’s reputation is going to go down the drain if it goes ahead.


Have Seven learned nothing from the outrage generated when their Melbourne news service did an interview with this guy back in January?

It would be the report which completely destroys Sunday Night’s reputation for good, I think.


Did they not learn anything from the total drubbing that Sky received (which still surprises me considering the overall standards of Sky After Dark) after interviewing this clown?


It’s a desperate cry for attention. They don’t care how negative the backlash is, they just want to remind people that their show exists after a pretty dramatic fall in rating this year.


Maybe Matt would actually challenge Blair’s extreme views unlike Adam Giles.



Sunday 7 October at 8.00pm


This Sunday Night , the cruellest of conditions. For many who live with Tourette Syndrome, the uncontrollable tics and outbursts all too often mean a life of public ridicule. Home is one of the few places they can find understanding and sanctuary. But there’s another little-known symptom of this condition that makes even family life hell – violent mood swings, uncontrollable rages that turn loving homes into battle ground. As Alex Cullen reports, these rage attacks often leave parents fearing for their lives, desperate for help.


Meet the woman who beat impossible odds in the most inhospitable of places. Claire Nelson’s ordeal began after she set out on what was supposed to be a half-day hike in remote desert country. But a wrong turn, then a wrong step, and Claire plunged into a stony canyon. Terribly injured, all she had was a little water, a mobile phone and a fierce will to survive.


They were irreverent, outrageous, and just plain silly. Five poms and an American who revolutionised comedy with a riotous mix of satire, slapstick and the surreal. It’s now 50 years since Monty Python unleashed themselves on the world, becoming to comedy what the Beatles were to music. Long before the phrase was coined they were politically incorrect. They still are. Which, in recent times, has put them in the crosshairs of the PC brigade. Not that they’re letting themselves get too down about it. As reporter Steve Pennells discovers when he meets Python Eric Idle, who’d rather look on the bright side of life.



Sunday 14 October at 8.00pm


It seems the unlikeliest of places to find romance. A strife-torn country at the very end of the earth. But the former Soviet state of Ukraine has another, more exotic, reputation – as the go-to destination for single, western men seeking Eastern European brides. The package tours boast they will meet women who are not only beautiful, but also dutiful. Good old-fashioned women, with old-fashioned values. So, for two unlucky-in-love Aussie blokes, it sounded like just the place to find their perfect match. And Sunday Night’s Matt Doran went along as chaperone.


The first thing that strikes you about Freddie Highmore is his accent. It’s British, very much so. But nailing the American accent – and quirky personality – of autistic surgeon Shaun Murphy was a pushover for Freddie. Not only has he been acting since he was 10, he’s also an accomplished linguist. Always something of a nerd, Freddie took time out from acting to study Arabic and Spanish at the UK’s prestigious Cambridge University. As Alex Cullen reports, Freddie’s now back at work as The Good Doctor – a role that has special meaning for him.

The Good Doctor

Former SN reporter Rahni Sadler gave birth to a girl named Anna on Wednesday.



Sunday 21 October at 8.15pm


Adalia and Meghan are two beautiful and courageous young girls who are growing up way too fast. Both have a rare and fatal genetic condition called Progeria, a disease that causes rapid ageing – 10-times faster than normal. Their life expectancy is very short, usually only into the mid-teens. But, as Sunday Night’s Steve Pennells reports, they are making every second of their short lives count. And the good news is, there’s now hope for a cure.


He was the world’s highest paid actor. Hollywood royalty with a raft of impressive movie credits to his name. But then Charlie Sheen quite literally lost the plot. It was one of the most bizarre and public meltdowns ever – a total train wreck – and we couldn’t stop watching. But now the new and improved Charlie is back – older, wiser and keen to explain what drove him off the rails. Reporter Matt Doran went fishing for answers.


They not only look the part, they’re the real deal. Muscle-bound gangsters covered head to toe in tattoos. The more intimidating the better. They’re known as Insta-gangsters. And they’re turning infamy into cold hard cash – becoming everything from fashion models to music stars. But are they really the role models we want for our kids?


It’s to my understanding that Alex Cullen joined Sunday Night in Early 2010. He was the main Sports Presenter on Seven News Sydney for a little while, with Tony Squires taking over that role.



Sunday 28 October at 8.15pm


Sunday Night’s Melissa Doyle journeys into the remote jungles of South America, following the footsteps of the most dangerous cult leader of all time. His name was Jim Jones – a charismatic preacher responsible for what is now known as the ‘Jonestown Massacre’. It’s been 40 years since more than 900 men, women and children died after the deranged preacher ordered them to consume a deadly cyanide-laced drink. In what Mel describes as the most fascinating story she has ever told, she returns to Jonestown with two survivors who share a surprising story of courage and resilience.


He’s one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, but lately Jamie Oliver has been making news for all the wrong reasons. Jamie’s business empire has hit troubled times with the collapse of his global chain of Italian restaurants. After losing more than $35 million, some of Jamie’s restaurants have been shut down – putting hundreds of employees out of work. Jamie speaks from the heart about the impact of the devastating business failure. But, as reporter Matt Doran discovers, Jamie has found comfort in doing what he loves, and does, best.



Sunday 4 November at 8.15pm


How does a dead man make a phone call?

It’s just one of the many disturbing questions surrounding the mysterious death of Jeffrey Brooks.

The newly-married, young scientist was found with a gunshot wound to his chest on a crayfish farming property he was investigating.

Early on, police concluded he shot himself by accident.

But his family has no doubt it was murder and they’ve been lobbying for the case to be reopened for years. So far, with no success.

Now, in this major Sunday Night investigation , reporter Denham Hitchcock uncovers compelling new evidence that Jeffrey’s death was no accident.

With the help of a team of world-renowned forensic experts, Sunday Night conducts the ballistic tests police never bothered to carry out.

The explosive results paint a very different picture of how Jeffrey Brooks died.


Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has ordered a new inquest into the death of Jeffrey Brooks following The Courier-Mail’s Dead Wrong podcast and Denham Hitchcock’s investigation for Sunday Night.



State Coroner ordered to reopen inquest into mysterious death of Jeffrey Brooks ahead of major Sunday Night investigation

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has directed the State Coroner to reopen the inquest into the death of 24-year-old Jeffrey Brooks in March 1996 based on “new credible and independent evidence”.

The breakthrough announcement comes on the eve of a major investigation by Sunday Night which uncovers compelling new evidence that Brooks’ death was no accident.

The newly-married marine biologist was found with a gunshot wound to his chest on a crayfish farming property he was investigating.

Early on, police concluded Brooks’ shot himself by accident. And in 1998, an inquest handed down an “open finding”.

But Brooks’ family has no doubt it was murder and they’ve been lobbying for years for the case to be reopened.

Commenting, senior reporter Denham Hitchcock said: “For 22 years, Wendy and Lawrie Brooks have been telling people their son was murdered. We listened. Sunday Night’s investigation will not just retell a story, it will provide answers. We’re beyond pleased at the announcement the coronial inquest will reopen and our thoughts are with the Brooks family.”

With the help of a team of forensic experts and the latest world-class technology, Sunday Night conducts new ballistic tests and the explosive results paint a very different picture of how Jeffrey Brooks died.

Sunday Night’s major investigation airs on Sunday at 8.15pm



Sunday 11 November at 8.15pm


In a major investigation, Sunday Night infiltrates Mexico’s ruthless Sinaloa drug cartel run by the notorious killer, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. It’s one of the most dangerous assignments ever undertaken at Sunday Night – an investigation into the largest and most powerful drug cartel in the world; responsible for much of the heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine smuggled into Australia. The Sinaloa Cartel is led by feared drug lord El Chapo – a cold-blooded killer who’s ordered thousands of murders and has repeatedly escaped from prison. He’s now back in custody and on trial in New York City. Senior investigative reporter Steve Pennells infiltrates El Chapo’s empire and discovers that despite the much-hyped trial, it’s business as usual.


They were the archetypal rock band. Their crazy alcohol and drug-fuelled benders on and off stage set the bar for all those who followed. Behaviour so appalling that when The Who toured Down Under back in 1968, then Prime Minister John Gorton banned them from Australia forever. Now lead singer Roger Daltrey is spilling the beans on the madness, the mayhem and all that great music. Angela Cox has the inside story on the wildest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world.

This edition of SUNDAY NIGHT hosted by Melissa Doyle airs on Sunday at 8.15pm


The ban didn’t last forever, The Who came back to Australia in 2009 for a national tour.


New promo for the next episode.



Sunday 18 November at 8.15pm


In a Sunday Night major investigation, the exclusive interview with Lisa Cunningham – the first Australian woman in US history to be facing the death penalty. The Adelaide mother-of-six could be executed by lethal injection over the first-degree murder of her stepdaughter. It’s a case that has divided America. And this epic legal battle, underway in Arizona, is anything but clear cut. Cunningham was charged after seven-year-old Sanaa died in hospital, she claims because of poor medical treatment. But prosecutors are accusing Cunningham and her husband of systematic child abuse and neglect. You be the judge as reporter Matt Doran presents all the evidence and speaks to Cunningham for the first time.


From magazine cover girl to movie star and fiancé of billionaire businessman James Packer, Kate Fischer – or Tziporah Malkah as she’s now known – has always attracted notoriety. But the high-flying days are long gone. Broke and even homeless for a time, it’s Tziporah’s wildly eccentric behaviour that’s been getting all the attention of late. Having hit rock bottom, Tziporah is making a comeback. Denham Hitchcock reports

This edition of SUNDAY NIGHT hosted by Melissa Doyle airs on Sunday at 8.15pm



Sunday Night’s Steve Pennells recognised as the youngest living Australian Media Hall of Fame inductee

Sunday Night senior investigative journalist Steve Pennells has become the youngest living journalist to be inducted into The Australian Media Hall of Fame.

Pennells accepted the award at the Melbourne Press Club’s gala dinner at the weekend.

On receiving the honour, Pennells said: “From my first big newspaper job with The West Australian to today at Sunday Night , much of my 25-year career has been with Seven West Media. And along the way, I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with the best people who have inspired, helped and mentored me.

“This incredible honour is as much a reflection of them as me. At times it has been dangerous and difficult but always worth it. Here’s to all those powerful stories we’ve been able to tell and also to the ones yet to be told.”

The Hall of Fame Selection Committee described Pennells as one of Australia’s most influential journalists of the past two decades across print, television, photo and video journalism. A “one-man news-gathering machine” with an “unerring sense of what makes a big story and is undeterred by any personal danger in pursuing it”.

Pennells’ impressive body of work at Sunday Night includes investigations into the Simon Gittany and Oscar Pistorius cases, the Syrian refugee crisis, uncovering Ivan Milat’s unknown first victim, the Claremont serial killings, and a global investigation into international tax evasion. Most recently, Pennells infiltrated the largest and most powerful drug cartel in the world, El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel, in one of Sunday Night’s most dangerous assignments ever undertaken.

The highly-celebrated journalist has been honoured with five Walkley Awards, including the Gold Walkley. Along with the Clarion Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and the United Nations Media Peace Prize a record six times. Pennells has also received WA’s the Arthur Lovekin Prize for Journalist of the Year four times. And in 2011, was named by Media Week magazine as one of the top 25 people working in the Australian media.

Sunday Night Executive Producer, Hamish Thomson, said: “We’re thrilled for Steve. It’s a much deserved honour and I know it means a lot to him. Steve is an exceptional journalist and we’re proud to have him as part of our programme”.

The Australian Hall of Fame seeks to demonstrate the importance and public benefit of journalism in the face of threats from digital disruption and political interference.