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‘Horrendous mistake’: Basil Zempilas still not happy with Games closing ceremony

Channel Seven commentator Basil Zempilas has this morning described last night’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony as a “horrendous mistake”.

Zempilas and, even more so, his co-host Jo Griggs didn’t hold back as they signed off from their coverage of the event last night.

I’m sorry, you’re (Zempilas) being way too polite. People are thinking Channel 7 has chosen not to show pictures of athletes or not to show the flagbearer, Kurt Fearnley or other flagbearers. We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters. They made a decision not to have athletes enter the Stadium. They made the decision not to show the flagbearers. I’m furious. Actually wrecking a tradition that is so important. You want to see the athletes come in. You want to see them jumping in front of camera. We missed out on all of that. I tell you they’ve been replayed. There’s no athletes in here. I’ve never seen the stadium so empty.
– Griggs

Those thoughts echoed the sentiment of the audience, which lit up social media with criticism over the lack of vision of athletes.

Viewers were even denied the chance to watch inspirational athlete Kurt Fearnley carry the Australian flag into the venue.

This morning, Basil wasn’t feeling much better when talking to Justin and Kate on 3AW Breakfast.

“There is no Games without the athletes, and for some reason they almost totally ignored them,” he said.

“They just did not include the nations of the Commonwealth in their opening ceremony, and that was a horrendous mistake.

“I hope not, but in some ways it looks like the Games are going to be remembered for that closing ceremony bungle.”

Click PLAY to hear more of Basil’s reaction, and some of Jo’s response

Fearnley today tweeted in response to the furore, pleading with fans to not let his snubbing distract from a successful event.

“Please remember that has been the most inclusive event that our nation has ever hosted,” he said.

“We can’t let anything distract from that. We did something special on the Gold Coast & it was one of the best weeks of my life. The team, crowds, staff & volunteers nailed it.