CELEBRITY

“I was feeling burned out” Nelson Aspen on why he quit Sunrise

What comes next for the Hollywood reporter?
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For almost two decades, Sunrise viewers have watched Nelson Aspen dish up the latest Hollywood goss.

So it came as a bombshell revelation when the veteran showbiz reporter unexpectedly announced he was resigning from the role in July.

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“I had worked over 100 consecutive weeks without a break [because] COVID circumstances had basically turned all my work into remote/at-home broadcasting through my phone and  Zoom,” Nelson exclusively explains to New Idea. 

“It was relentless, and for the first time in my life I was feeling burned out, because there was never a break.”  

What’s more, Nelson’s elderly mother had been moved into assisted living. The changes all made him realise one thing had become truer than ever. 

Nelson resigned from Sunrise in July
Nelson resigned from Sunrise in July (Credit: Instagram)

“There were a lot of other parts of my life that deserved some attention,” he admits.

The charismatic broadcaster never set out to become a beloved name Down Under. 

It was nearly 20 years ago when the US-based reporter received a call out of the blue asking if he wanted to be on Australian morning television. 

Nelson had spent years as an entertainment correspondent for a British network when he was unexpectedly scouted by former Sunrise Executive Producer, Adam Boland.

“He was looking at other international shows and invited me to come in for a one-off report,” Nelson recalls.

During that appearance, Nelson established “instant rapport” with hosts David ‘Kochie’ Koch and Mel Doyle. Before he knew it, the “appearances quickly became daily”.

When reflecting on some of his favourite on-air moments, the vivacious reporter admits there are “too many to mention”, but does confess Tony Bennett, Dame Julie Andrews, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Camila Cabello are among his top celebrity interviewees. 

He’s interviewed many stars
He’s interviewed many many stars (Credit: Instagram)

“There’s also an adrenaline rush that goes along with reporting on breaking news, which is like nothing else in broadcast journalism,” Nelson says.

Meanwhile, even from the opposite side of the globe, Nelson says he was always made to feel part of “the Sunrise family”.

“It’s a very familial, friendly connection to be a part of this show,” Nelson says. “Mel Doyle was, is and will always be my ‘Satellite Sister’. 

“And it’s impossible not to feel close to Nat [Barr], Kochie and Beretts [Mark Beretta], who I’ve been interacting with on- and off-air for two decades.

“Edwina [Bartholomew] was my segment producer back when she was interning with Sunrise. Talk about full circle!”

While Nelson will no longer be a daily feature on our screens, he hasn’t completely hung up his entertainment reporting hat.

“I will still be in the thick of the entertainment industry, so I can always be called upon for commentary or analysis. You can take the guy out of Tinseltown but you can’t take the Tinseltown out of the guy!” he says.

Now he’s focusing on his next book
Now he’s focusing on his next book (Credit: Instagram)

However, the multi-talented performer also admits he’s looking forward to exploring his other creative pursuits, including debuting his new cabaret show, Welcome Home, and launching his book, Your Home is Your Castle: Live Like An A-Lister in a Post Pandemic World.  

And don’t be surprised if Nelson suddenly shows up on another Aussie TV show either, after admitting he’s open tall possibilities!

“I’d love to do a wacky reality show or surprise the folks in Summer Bay,” Nelson hints.

WATCH BELOW: Edwina Bartholomew “quits” Sunrise over motherhood story

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