A few months shy of the show’s 5th anniversary, Charlie Pickering has announced he’s walking away from Channel 10’s alternative news show The Project.
Commencing in 2009 as The 7PM Project, and fronted by Pickering, Carrie Bickmore, Dave Hughes, Ruby Rose and James Mathison, the show has gone through a number of changes including timeslots, names, and most significantly, the loss of Dave Hughes last year.
Pickering’s last show will be April 7, and so far no replacement has been announced.
The Project has been an incredible ride.
I have been able to interview everyone from prime ministers and astrophysicists to my comedy heroes like Will Ferrell, John Cleese, Clive James and Billy Connolly.
As a stand-up comedian, I have never planned to do one thing for five years, let alone five days a week. At the end of last year it was clear to me that I needed to find new challenges.
I’m very thankful to Ten for all they have done for me. From casting me as a team captain on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation to believing that I could anchor a show like The Project, their support has been invaluable. I hope it is a relationship that will continue into the future.
I will miss working with Carrie Bickmore, Pete Helliar and all of our regulars. I will miss having my hair maintained by a team of professionals.
Our show has been able to provide a voice to many in our community who go unnoticed. And of that I am immensely proud.
Sarah (Pickering’s wife) and I are also thrilled to be expecting our first child later this year, and will use this opportunity to take a trip overseas while we still can.
– a statement from Charlie Pickering
Rumours circulated following the announcement that Pickering wanted to leave late last year, but was convinced by Ten management to stay while Peter Helliar settled in as Dave Hughes’ replacement.
As a network, we owe Charlie a big debt of gratitude. He has been an essential part of The Project for five years. We have already discussed another concept which would showcase his considerable talents but it’s very early days yet.
– Ten’s Director Of news And Current Affairs Peter Meakin