The comedian, who has sat on the panel as a co-host since 2014, shared the surprising news during Tuesday night’s broadcast.
“These things come in threes and it’s time for me to say I will be leaving The Project soon,” he said.
“It’s been something on my mind for a while. People will read into the situation however they want to read into it, but I feel like I need to create some space for some projects I want to work on.
“I've been able to juggle over the years, you guys have seen me do How to Stay Married and stand-up and books over the years, but I feel like there are some new areas that I'm going into hopefully next year that I need to be present for.”
He went on to say that he’s “excited” about his next steps and shared a quote from his co-star Carrie Bickmore, who announced last month that she will also be leaving the show.
“You said that you are glad you're leaving The Project while you still love it, and I still love this show. I really do,” he said as he began to tear up.
“It means a lot to me. It's done amazing things for me. I interviewed Luke Skywalker once and that meant a lot, and I look forward to seeing what the show is like in the future.
“I'm pretty sure there are no more announcements and I can't wait to see what you and Kyle and Jackie O do with the show next year,” he said to Waleed Aly with a laugh.
After nearly 8 years at the desk, Peter Helliar will be leaving The Project. Here is the moment he made the announcement. pic.twitter.com/k1i19lWcM5
— The Project (@theprojecttv) November 22, 2022
Carrie’s heartfelt tribute
Carrie also got emotional as she spoke about her co-star’s departure and the fact that she and Peter have worked together for quite some time.
“It's going be a very sad next few weeks because yeah, we've been doing it together for a while now,” she remarked. “I mean, I’ve worked with you for I think 17 years now.
“I’m blessed to call you one of my great mates and this is not goodbye because we see each other outside of work, but the desk will miss you, our viewers will miss you. Not just your humour, but your amazing interviews over the years.
“We do these weird gear changes on this show, you’re often the one having to do those gear changes, but your ability to have to go from having an opinion and having heart and empathy to throwing to a funny clip is just extraordinary, and there are so many sides to you I think that we got to see on the show that you hadn't seen before.”
Peter added that he has two more weeks on the show before leaving, while Carrie jokingly wished Waleed luck being one of the few remaining presenters.
Lisa and Carrie leave The Project
Peter’s exit comes after Lisa Wilkinson told viewers on Sunday night that she’s “decided it's time to reprioritise a few things” in her life.
“After almost 15 years of the early alarm of breakfast TV, and now another five years here at The Project desk, I'm looking at how I want the coming years to play out both professionally and personally,” she said. “So, from tonight, I am stepping back from hosting the show.”
The host revealed that she wouldn't be leaving Channel Ten, and will be looking at some other opportunities within the network.
Meanwhile, Carrie made the surprise announcement last month that she would be leaving The Project after 13 years and will wrap up her hosting duties at the end of the year.
“It’s been the hardest decision of my professional life to make this call, but it’s time for a new challenge and my next chapter,” she shared.
“There’s so much I’m going to miss, I’m going to miss my best mates on the desk, the job itself, which is so incredibly fulfilling, the wonderful viewers over the last 13 years. It’s no secret that this show has become a second home to me, and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone that has been involved on and off screen.”
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