Why Charlie Pickering would return to The Project: 'Miss those days'

When beloved host of The Project, Charlie Pickering departed the popular panel show in 2014 he let viewers in on a long-running — and rather X-rated — inside joke he had with his fellow hosts.

Unbeknownst to fans at home, the comedian-turned-TV-star had signed off his show notes at the end of each episode not with his signature, as one might expect, but by drawing a titillating piece of the male anatomy.

Charlie Pickering arrives at the GQ Men of the Year awards at the Ivy Ballroom on November 19, 2013 in Sydney, Australia
Has former host of The Project, Charlie Pickering hinted at a possible return to the show? Photo: Getty Images.

Former Project star hints at return

The cheeky habit seemed to perfectly reflect former lawyer Charlie's whimsical brand of humour which he brought with him to his next show, ABC's The Weekly With Charlie Pickering.

But, as he explains in an exclusive chat with Yahoo Lifestyle, he wasn't able to continue his 'traditional' sign-off at his new gig — and it's not for the reason you might think.

"I don't have any [paper] notes for The Weekly," he says. "To be really honest, I was very sad when I realised I wasn't going to have notes so I won't have a pen and I won't be able to sign off."

In fact, Charlie was feeling so nostalgic about his time on the Channel 10 program that he hinted at a potential return.

"I do miss those days so who knows, maybe I'll go back to The Project one day just so I can sign off again," he muses.


screenshot of a tweet by Charlie Pickering
"For 1244 eps I've signed this" he revealed on his final night on The Project. Photo: Twitter/charliepick.

Charlie's 'fun' podcast

Reflecting on the past has been top of mind for Charlie, who has just released a comedy/history podcast series with Audible called The Time Traveller's Guide To Not Dying.

Set in the year 2041 when 'time travel tourism' is a thing, the mockumentary series sees Charlie, along with fellow professional funny people Clare Hooper and Frank Woodley, journey back to key moments in history such as the Salem witch trials to experience the chaos first-hand.

It's one of his favourite projects to date simply because it's so different.

"It was just so much fun. It was so far away from what I've done for the last almost 15 years, which is all about the news and all about the present.

"To be able to step out of that and deal with history but also a made-up future at the same time, and just work with some great writers and voice artists to make something really silly and fun, that's a really nice change."

Key art for The Time Traveller’s Guide To Not Dying
The Time Traveller’s Guide To Not Dying is set in the not too distant future when time travel is not only possible, but affordable. Photo: supplied.

The podcast was Charlie's pandemic 'baby' that he nursed through Melbourne's 155-day lockdown.

"The experience of sitting on Zoom with comedy writers, reading these scripts at the end of the day and laughing out loud and making jokes with each other... It kept all of us sane," he says.

He's keen for Covid-weary Aussies to pop on some headphones and enjoy travelling through time and space without leaving their homes (which many currently aren't allowed to).

"If they're stuck at home, they can listen to something ridiculous that takes them right out of the reality that they're in," he says.

As for which point in time Charlie would travel back to if he had the chance, the answer is easy: early on in his radio career. His mission? To prevent crimes against fashion.

"When I first got a job on Triple J and - I shouldn't even say this because you'll find photos of it somewhere - I had short hair and I'd dyed it black and red and it was spiky and I had a goatee. It was not okay.

"I would definitely go back and stop myself. Having a goatee on television is gross, what was I thinking."

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