This is great news for Charlie Pickering. A chance to do what he wants with few restrictions (until his first child arrives!). Along with Carrie Bickmore and Dave Hughes he established The Project as a solid News alternative, even after it got shunted around through just about every timeslot available. While it continues to rate below its commercial rivals it bats well above its weight in content, style and substance. Congratulations on all counts to Charlie and his partner. From the press release:

After nearly five years behind the desk at Network Ten’s The Project, Charlie Pickering has decided to leave the show.

Charlie made the tough decision late last year, after much deliberation. His last show will be on Monday, April 7 – three months shy of the fifth anniversary of the launch of The 7pm Project with Charlie, Carrie Bickmore and Dave Hughes.

Charlie said: “The Project has been an incredible ride. I have been able to interview everyone from Prime Ministers and astrophysicists to my comedy heroes like Will Ferrell, John Cleese, Clive James and Billy Connolly. As a stand-up comedian I have never planned to do one thing for five years, let alone five days a week. At the end of last year it was clear to me that I needed to find new challenges.”

“I’m very thankful to Ten for all they have done for me. From casting me as a team captain on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation to believing that I could anchor a show like The Project, their support has been invaluable. I hope it is a relationship that will continue into the future,” he said.

“I will miss working with Carrie, Pete Helliar and all of our regulars. I will miss having my hair maintained by a team of professionals. Our show has been able to provide a voice to many in our community who go unnoticed. And of that I am immensely proud.”

“Sarah and I are also thrilled to be expecting our first child later this year, and will use this opportunity to take a trip overseas while we still can,” Charlie said.

Network Ten Executive Director of News and Current Affairs, Peter Meakin, said: “As a network, we owe Charlie a big debt of gratitude. He has been an essential part of The Project for five years. We have already discussed another concept which would showcase his considerable talents but it’s very early days yet.”

Craig Campbell, Executive Producer, Roving Enterprises, said: “Since Charlie joined The Project we have watched him grow from a stand-up comedian to an accomplished broadcaster. His talent and skills have enabled us to develop a formidable format that we are incredibly proud of.
“I look forward to his return from the States and hope we will see him back on The Project sometime soon.”