MAGDA Szubanski has been announced as the new co-host of SBS’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade highlights show, joining comedian Tom Ballard and The Feed and Dateline journalist Patrick Abboud.

To be broadcast on SBS One and simultaneously streamed online at from 8.30pm on Sunday, March 8, it’s the second time the TV channel will have a Mardi Gras Parade show, after it brought it back to free-to-air TV in 2014 for the first time in 12 years.

It’s also the second time Ballard and Abboud will co-host the program, and both welcomed Szubanski — herself an actress and comedian — to the team.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the sparkle and magic of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on SBS,” Szubanksi said.

“Mardi Gras is a wonderful way for all kinds of people to come together in a friendly, accessible celebration of diversity.

“It’s the party to end all parties and everyone is welcome to join in. So get your bedazzlers ready, pop on your sequined onesies — Australia, it’s time to get your gay on…  I know I will.”

SBS’ broadcast, which goes to air the day after the Parade, will include the best of the Parade floats and costumes with commentary from the three hosts live on the streets, as well as interviews with celebrity guests.

The coverage will also include stories from parade participants exploring the messages behind the floats, covering issues of sexuality, equality and discrimination that affect the LGBTI community.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said the Parade broadcast fits well with the TV channel’s charter.

“Mardi Gras is a celebration of the LGBTQI community, which goes straight to the core of SBS’s purpose — to explore, appreciate and celebrate diversity and by doing so, contribute to a more cohesive society,” he said.

Viewer tweets will be displayed on screen throughout the television and online broadcasts, using the official event hashtag #sydneymardigras.

SBS Radio will also broadcast live from the parade in conjunction with Melbourne-based LGBTI radio station Joy 94.9.

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