Reports The Project 'rift' could see host leave program for good

Days after Peter van Onselen criticised Grace Tame's viral photo with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, leading to three of his The Project co-hosts slamming him publicly, it seems his future on the show could be up in the air.

Former TV executive Rob McKnight has questioned whether Ten's political editor will return to the show after being involved in such an explosive clash with his co-hosts.

Peter van Onselen and Carrie Bickmore
An on-air clash between hosts of The Project could see Peter van Onselen leave the show for good after being 'thrown under the bus' by producers. Photo: Ten

"I can't see how he can continue on the program," Rob told The Daily Mail.

The reported rift seemingly kicked off when Peter labelled Grace "ungracious, rude and childish" in a column for The Australian on Tuesday.

Video and photos of Grace refusing to look at ScoMo and appearing visibly uncomfortable at the 2022 Australian of the Year Finalists Morning Tea at The Lodge in Canberra on Tuesday morning quickly went viral, with Peter questioning why she felt the need to be so rude to the PM.


While he praised her advocacy for sexual abuse survivors, he was left unimpressed by her refusal to smile for photos.

This then led to him being slammed on air by co-host Carrie Bickmore and guest Amy Remeikis.

Lisa Wilkinson, who is rumoured to dislike Peter according to the publication, later shared an Instagram post applauding Grace for 'making noise' while Australian of the Year.

Grace Tame and Prime Minister Scott Morrison
The photo in question of Grace Tame and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the 2022 Australian of the Year Finalists Morning Tea at The Lodge in Canberra. Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Tommy Little later slammed Peter during his radio show on Thursday, calling his op-ed 'stupid'.

Mr McKight suggested the barrage of criticism could mean Peter leaves the show entirely.

"I can't see how he can continue on the show when Lisa and Carrie have turned on him publicly. Will he want to work with them? Will they want to work with him? I can't imagine it's a comfortable place for him to be when he's sitting at that desk," he said, also suggesting the producers of the show threw Peter 'under the bus'.

Rob added that while hosts disagreeing can make for good TV, this 'seemed personal'.

In Peter's opinion piece he took aim at Grace, writing, "If your disdain for the man is so great (understandable perhaps) that you can’t even muster basic and common courtesy, then just don't go."

When he later appeared on The Project, it became clear it hadn't gone down well with Carrie Bickmore and Amy Remeikis.

Lisa Wilkinson later shared her support for Grace on her Instagram with a lengthy tribute. Photo: Ten
Lisa Wilkinson later shared her support for Grace on her Instagram with a lengthy tribute. Photo: Ten

"Your column today [was] devastating to so many people," Amy, who is a sexual assault survivor, told him. "Women constantly have to come out to talk about their trauma... talk about not being taken seriously, scream the roof down, get to the point where I'm almost crying on national television to talk about this.

Carrie then questioned why he felt the need to tell Grace to act a certain way and smile during a "catastrophe".

"I didn't think she should smile and pretend it's okay; I just thought she shouldn't go. If you can't be polite in some form, I think just don't go," Peter responded.

When Carrie pressed him further, he added, "If you can't show basic courtesy, I think it's immature."

"You spoke about how she acted as a child. You know when she should have been able to act as a child? When she was a child. But she was preyed upon by a man and lost part of herself in that," Carrie hit back.

"I'm unsure how that article today helps when I'm assuming, like the entire nation, you want violence against women and children to end?"

Tommy Little on The Project
Tommy Little later slammed Peter during his radio show, calling his op-ed 'stupid'. Photo: Ten

Peter shared he had been the victim of attempted sexual assault and understood the importance of the conversation, but continued, "But I just think if you can't be polite to the Prime Minister of the country - I get it, I said in the article, I get it - if she can't be polite to him, then just don't go."

Lisa Wilkinson later shared a lengthy Instagram post thanking Grace for all her work, writing, "Thank you Grace. Thank you for always speaking your truth. Thank you for never wavering from your passionate fight for justice for survivors of sexual assault."

"Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure over the last 12 months that those in charge were listening, and acting on much-needed change."

She thanked Grace for her tireless campaigning, adding, "Grace, the imprint you leave as Australian Of The Year will be felt for generations to come."

"Finally, and most importantly Grace, thank you for making noise… just like you promised you would."

Tommy Little was speaking with Amy two days later on his radio show when he asked, "Is this exactly what the bigger problem is all the time in that there are real issues at play here, and then you've got guys chiming in and diverting attention away to stupid things by saying something’s immature?"

Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Channel Ten for comment.

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