Sunday Night producers end up in ‘punch up’

Mark Llewellyn from the current affairs series Sunday Night. Mark Llewellyn from the current affairs series Sunday Night.

Mark Llewellyn from the current affairs series Sunday Night.

An internal investigation is under way into an alleged fight at the head office of Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program earlier this week.

Sources have claimed that a disagreement between executive producer Mark Llewellyn and producer Paul Waterhouse turned physical, with Llewellyn allegedly “throwing” Waterhouse against a wall and tearing his shirt. Earlier reports that an ambulance had been called were not correct, according to sources.

It is understood that veteran reporter Ross Coulthart and producer Nick Farrow were forced to step in and break up the argument, described as a “punch up” by a Channel Seven source in Sydney.

One source has claimed that after Llewellyn allegedly pushed Waterhouse, Waterhouse ‘objected’ but did not push back, and never threw any punches himself.

Llewellyn and Waterhouse did not respond to phone calls. Fairfax Media understands the network is now investigating the incident. It is understood that Waterhouse’s conduct is not under investigation.

It is believed it follows a long period of tension within the Sunday Night office, with some sources claiming there has been a “high” level of staff turnover. One staffer said it was “ironic” the fight had occurred so soon after employees were compelled to attend a workshop on bullying and conflict resolution.

Llewellyn is understood to have sent an email to staff yesterday, telling them that he is on leave.

Some sources have now expressed “concern” for the welfare of Sunday Night’s staff, describing a workplace blighted by conflict and tension.

Sunday Night is Seven’s flagship current affairs program – and an arch-rival to Nine’s 60 Minutes.

Llewellyn spent most of his career at Nine, joining in 1988 and working his way up to run the network’s news and current affairs division. He became executive producer of news and public affairs at Seven in 2006.

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