SBS is bringing the parade exclusively from the streets of Sydney to lounge rooms across the country in a special event broadcast. SBS ONE 8.30pm, 8th March.

10 Feb 2015 - 11:59 AM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2015 - 3:15 PM

The 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is ready to make its entrance on SBS ONE at 8.30pm, Sunday 8th March. This special event broadcast is hosted for the first time by comedian and actress Magda Szubanski, along with comedian Tom Ballard and journalist and reporter from SBS 2’s The Feed Patrick Abboud.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the world’s largest, most high profile and most loved LGBTQI celebrations, providing an opportunity to commemorate a universal message of diversity, equal rights, pride and inclusion.

Host Magda Szubanski 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. I’m thrilled to be a part of the sparkle and magic of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on SBS.”

Tom Ballard said, “I couldn't be happier to be returning to the SBS family for this year's Mardi Gras coverage. I've got my sequins sorted, I've got my Grindr subscription updated, I've got the journalistic nous of Patrick Abboud and I'm co-hosting with one of the funniest people ever, Magda Szubanski. Con-drag-ulations to us all!”

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said, “Last year we were incredibly proud to return Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to free-to-air television for the first time in twelve years, and are thrilled to build on the success of the broadcast to bring this iconic event to all Australians on SBS ONE in 2015. 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. SBS’s Mardi Gras coverage is the perfect opportunity to give a voice to unique Australian stories and experiences.”

SBS’s exclusive television broadcast will be streamed online at the same time and will include the best of the spectacular floats and costumes in the parade with commentary from Magda Szubanski, Tom Ballard and Patrick Abboud live on the streets, as well as interviews with celebrity guests. The coverage will also include stories from the parade participants exploring the messages behind the floats, covering issues of sexuality, equality and discrimination that affect the LGBTQI community.

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

The theme for the 37th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is passion - an unstoppable force which drives action, unites people and above all, inspires. SBS is embracing the passion with its very own colourful float set to shimmy its way into this year’s parade route.

The street parade is the spectacular sequinned centrepiece bringing to a close the three-week long calendar of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festivities and events. Hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the world bring Sydney to a standstill as they party alongside the street parade of 10,000 people. Decorated floats, pumping tunes, glitter, banners, elaborate costumes and dancers wind their way through Oxford and Flinders streets in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, creating an outrageous river of colour.