Tis the season: Mark Beretta basks in festive glow of carols

Mark Beretta co-hosts Channel 7's Carols in the Domain.
Mark Beretta co-hosts Channel 7's Carols in the Domain. Adam Flipp

CAROLS in the Domain is a time for celebration and reflection for Mark Beretta.

The Sunrise sports presenter will co-host this year's festivities with his Sunrise co-stars David Koch, Sam Armytage and Natalie Barr.

It's the third year the breakfast team has helmed the event, which raises funds for The Salvation Army.

"I've been to quite a few as a person watching in the crowd as well, and it's still surreal to be up there. It's the most fun night of the year," he tells APN's The Guide.

"It's a yardstick in the year. Everyone knows they're at the finishing line.

"The kids are on holidays and for our family it's the start of their Christmas. There's an incredible sense of occasion."

Sunrise's Mark Beretta, Samantha Armytage, David Koch and Natalie Barr will host Channel 7's Carols in the Domain on December 18.
Sunrise's Mark Beretta, Samantha Armytage, David Koch and Natalie Barr will host Channel 7's Carols in the Domain on December 18. Contributed

This year's performers include Dami Im, Shannon Noll, The McClymonts, John Paul Young, Leo Sayer, Todd McKenney, The Wiggles and Ky Baldwin, the 15-year-old star of Seven's hit Peter Allen biopic.

"The array of talent is amazing and they each put their own personal touch on their song," Beretta says.

"I still like The Wiggles; when they come out the whole place lifts another notch. Santa's arrival is great as well, and then at the end there's a big medley and we all belt out what we think is singing. Luckily they pretty much turn our microphones off."

Beretta will then spend the holidays at home with his wife Rachel and children Ava, 12, and Dan, 9.

"My kids are getting older but you don't really grow up at Christmas time," he says. "They'll still wake up way too early, run around the house and rush to the Christmas tree to see if Santa's been."

The holidays are also a time to reflect on the past year, which has been a busy one for Beretta. He turned 50 in June and was part of Seven's marathon coverage of the Rio Olympics.

"Rio was my fifth summer Olympic games, and every one you get to go to is more special than the last one," he says.

"To be at the pool the night Kyle Chalmers won the 100m freestyle and to watch the women's rugby sevens team win the gold medal was great.

"This show (Sunrise) has given all of us not only incredible friendships but experiences we would never have had."

He promises even bigger and better things on the breakfast show next year.

"This year was as pretty amazing, but 2017 looks incredible," he says.

"We're building up to something big, potentially bigger than our around the world in five days trip."

The magic of live television has yet to wear off for the veteran broadcaster, who is also a 10-times Australian water-ski champion.

"We're live for nearly four hours every day and stuff just happens," he says. "That's part of the magic of what we do. You can't predict what's going to happen. You just push on."

Carols in the Domain airs on Sunday at 8.30pm on Channel 7.

Topics:  channel 7 david koch natalie barr samantha armytage sunrise television

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