The Project's long-standing host Carrie Bickmore surprised viewers on Tuesday evening when she announced that she would be leaving the program in April to travel to the UK with her family.
"Well I just wanted to share a little personal news from me tonight before we go on," the mum began.
"In April I’m going to be taking a few months off The Project desk.
“[Husband] Chris and I and the kids are heading off on a family adventure together.
“We’ve been wanting to do it for a while but lots of reasons, timing hasn’t been right, but we figure it’s never going to be the perfect time to go and it’s something we really want to do before my son starts his final years at school so we’re doing term two in the UK."
But she assured viewers that she would only be "off for a couple of months".
Co-host Kate Langbroek shared her excitement for Carrie, saying "I love this for you so much."
Of course Kate and her family also travelled overseas to live in Italy pre-pandemic, though returned to Melbourne at the beginning of 2021.
The 41-year-old explained the decision came after a comment her son Ollie had made.
"One of the things that my son Ollie said was how much he was going to miss the family time when we were coming out of lockdown, which kind of surprised us because we had a lot of family time!" she said.
"But we thought, gosh, he still wants to spend time with us and while he does he only has a few years left and then he will fly away so we thought we would seize the moment and do it."
Over on The Project Twitter account the team wrote "we couldn't be happier or prouder."
"This year, Carrie and her family are heading overseas to discover what the world has to offer, so she's taking some well deserved time off to create some more amazing memories."
Viewers took to Twitter to share their shock after the announcement.
"The show won't be the same," one person wrote.
"You will be sadly missed," another wrote.
But plenty also shared their support and well wishes, with one person writing: "Wonderful news Carrie. Enjoy the world with your family."
"Yes will have challenges but will be one of best things you will do, have a great time," another said.
Carrie Bickmore reveals reason she’s leaving Australia
Taking to her Instagram after sharing the news, Carrie shared a bit more of the reason behind her major decision to leave Australia with her family, revealing it's something she and husband Chris "have dreamed of for a while now".
"One of the unexpected silver linings to come out of living through Melbourne’s lockdowns was the extended family time and we feel like this is our last chance to do something like this together before Ollie hits the pointy end of his schooling and no longer wants to hang out with us," she wrote.
"So…we are heading to the UK for a school term. After 13 years on the The Project desk it feels a little like long-service leave️ .I’ll miss you all."
But the host did confirm she'd still be featuring on the Hit Network's Carrie & Tommy show.
"You’ll still hear me across the airwaves every afternoon," she said.
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