The Project's Carrie Bickmore reveals brutal swipe from panellist

The Project star Carrie Bickmore has revealed the hilarious way panellist Peter Helliar reacted to the news she was leaving the show.

Peter announced his shock exit from the Channel Ten show on Tuesday, just two days after Lisa Wilkinson told viewers she was leaving.

Carrie Bickmore on The Project
Peter Helliar took a brutal swipe at Carrie Bickmore when she revealed she was leaving The Project. Photo: Ten

Carrie and Peter discussed their departures on Carrie’s Hit Network radio show Carrie & Tommy on Thursday and gave listeners a little more insight into what happened behind the scenes.

Peter will sit at the desk for the last time on December 7, and he told the hosts that he feels “amazing” about his choice to leave.

“You make the decision, you second-guess yourself for a little while and you know you have to announce it…[but] doing it last night just felt really lovely,” he explained. However, he made one crucial mistake on the night.

“Once I got the first words out, I did have one thought, ‘Why didn’t I put this in autocue? Why did I think I could riff this?’.”


Carrie is set to have her final show as a Project panellist on November 30, and she was in stitches while telling listeners how Peter reacted to her news.

“It did make me laugh, because the way that we talked about your departure was very different to the way we talked about my departure,” she recalled, before adding she ‘pushed’ Peter and Waleed Aly ‘into a wardrobe’.

Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar on The Project
Carrie Bickmore shared a sweet tribute to Peter Helliar after his announcement. Photo: Instagram/bickmorecarrie

Carrie said she remembers exactly what Peter said when she told the pair she was leaving the show, saying ‘it still makes her laugh’.

“You said something so quickly — ‘The show will be fine!’,” she said, before bursting into laughter. “And then later you texted me and you were like, ‘I think I just went into a bit of a shock’.”

The pair’s youngest children are similar in age, and Carrie has previously said a big factor in her decision was being able to spend more time with her children.

While Peter agrees that did impact his decision, he said family wasn’t the ‘primary reason’. Instead, he has an array of exciting new ventures next year that he wants to focus on.

“There’s some areas I want to go next year creatively that are completely new. I’ve done a lot of scripted stuff about marriage and dating and romance, and there’s some stuff that’s just a new venture, new frontier for me. I have to learn a lot and I have to be present,” he told the hosts.


Sarah Harris revealed as The Project's new host

This comes after Channel 10 announced that Sarah Harris is stepping in to replace Carrie Bickmore on the show.

Speculation has been rife over who will replace Carrie, with Sarah set to join the panel five nights a week, from Sunday to Thursday next year.

"I’m beyond excited to be joining one of Australia’s most iconic and agenda-driving shows," Sarah said in a statement. "The Project does news like no other program in Australia and it’s exactly the kind of fun and fearless TV I love to make."

Waleed Aly and Sarah Harris on a grey background
The Project has announced Sarah Harris is set to replace Carrie Bickmore in 2023. Photo: Ten

Sarah, who has hosted Studio 10 since 2013, will join Waleed Aly, who will host from Monday to Thursday.

Alongside Waleed and Sarah, Hamish Macdonald will continue to report from around the country and appear on the show every Friday and Sunday night. Georgie Tunny will also appear on the show on Friday nights.

"I can’t wait to share the desk with Waleed, Hamish, Georgie and the rest of the team," Sarah added. "I’m excited to shake it up in the new year!"

Waleed added of Sarah, "She’s smart. She’s warm. She’s great fun. That’s the trifecta for The Project. Everyone who’s worked with Sarah raves about her, and I can’t wait to become one of them."

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