Who should replace Charlie Pickering?

2014-03-13_0042The question of who should replace Charlie Pickering will now kick off casting debates amongst The Project fans and TEN executives.

Pickering announced his resignation last night, after nearly 5 years on the TEN show, following the recent exit of Dave Hughes.

Carrie Bickmore will become the longest-standing presenter on the Roving Enterprises show, which began with a team of 5 including Ruby Rose and James Mathison. It soon settled to the trio of Pickering, Hughes and Bickmore with a family of regular guest hosts and panelists.

Executive Producer Craig Campbell told TV Tonight, “The show will step up it’s regular contributors and the format will continue to deliver its daily take on the news in the unique Project way.”

Replacing the versatile Pickering will not be easy. He has learned to deftly balance news, comedy, snark and live presenting -despite no background in journalism.

Pickering only has two regular ‘deputys’ in Waleed Aly and Dr. Andrew Rochford (Hamish Macdonald has since departed TEN). The latter is Sydney based and becoming a permanent host will be difficult.

Executive Director of News and Current Affairs, Peter Meakin, will likely want to take the opportunity to bolster the show and apply his talents as knowing what works with audiences. Pickering’s exit is actually a window of opportunity to refresh the show as it battles extended News bulletins.

So what names should he put on the shortlist?

At the top of the list should be Shaun Micallef: a perfect mix of intellect, humour and presenting experience, who is popular with the TEN audience. Micallef even recently said he wanted a nightly¬†Daily Show-style programme – but he also likes to drive his own content, understandably. Asking him to fit into someone else’s ‘baby’ could be too much like pushing a square peg in a round hole.

Wil Anderson would be ideal, but is Sydney based. The commitment required also severely restricts their own work.

One option would be to go an poach from elsewhere. The show may not be a ratings blockbuster, but there would be plenty of people working in news and journalism who would relish the opportunity to juggle the show’s topics: politics, the economy, entertainment, social causes, international news, etc.

Steve Cannane and Sabour Bradley would be worth considering too.

I would even give Eddie Perfect a guest stint in the chair. He is smart, funny, likeable, young and with a bit of edge. All the things Pickering has going for him.

Other names such as Matt Doran and Paul McDermott are also Sydney-based, making them a long shot to take the chair.

I guess Derryn is always free…

UPDATED: TEN advises Charlie will not be replaced.


  1. Industry insider who calls himself Supergrass this morning said on radio that Rove is rumoured to take over from Charlie…Apparantly he didnt become the success in the US as he hoped so is now looking for a job at home.

  2. If they cancelled it what would they replace it with.Let us not forget with the exception of Echo Point and Taken Out 10 relied a lot prior to what was then the 7pm Project on old recycled US Sitcoms.Seinfeld belongs to 7 Two now so that’s not an option,Raymond is on 11 as are a lot of the old sitcoms.Short of Maybe putting some New Girl or Till Death I wouldn’t know what 10 can do that isn’t outdated to the point it is not funny.

  3. I say use an intelligent woman to fill his spot. Ten could get someone like Gretel Killeen or Sarah Harris, Sandra Sully there are so many options, I don’t see why we need 3 men on the panel and only 1 woman it’s time there were 2.

  4. harrypotter1994

    They are making the same mistake they did with the Circle. They never replaced Chrissie and Denise and that is when the school started to suffer.

    I know finding someone to fill Charlies shoes is going to be hard but it needs to be done even if they take a month to decide

  5. Wow wouldn’t that be awesome to have Waleed Aly in the seat. A Muslim hosting a 5 night a week show on a free to air channel.
    Won’t Tony Abbott & Julie Bishop be ‘over the moon’ about that.
    Waleed has the wit & the personality to succeed & if he doesn’t want to go to The Project full time then Peter Meakin can poach him for James Mathison’s spot on Wake Up where he would be perfect too.

  6. Poor Carrie Bickmore, she hosts two of the lowest rating shows on prime time TV (SYTYCD and The Project), and now all her colleagues are leaving The Project and the future of both shows are hanging in the balance.

  7. For me he is by far the weakest link and I really didn’t/don’t like his smug lefty views anyway. Waleed Aly has the same effect on me, really smug but less lefty. Bring in Andrew Rochford full time, he’s personable and has some gravity that sits nicely. I reckon the two weakest links have now gone, not that I didn’t like Hughsey just that he gets annoying in large doses.

  8. Having just had few weeks in hospital, I was able to flick around the TV a bit more without my wife going off so saw a bit more of this. Have to agree with several posts regarding the left-wing bent. Sometimes Charlie was just plain rude about a guest with a different opinion. I know Steve Price is the token right winger voice but you can almost hear the collective gnashing of teeth when he asks a question they don’t like. Unfortunately, like the ABC, a balanced panel will probably never happen with ridicule and ganging up.

  9. I think it’s a big mistake to rotate the other co-host and not have a permanent replacement. It makes me wonder if the axe is about to fall?

  10. I personally dont mind Charlie but I do think he has driven with his producers a left wing show that has alientated many of the middle people who just want to see the news differently but not lectured about everything that is wrong with the world. I watch the project but turn over when they do their left wing story of the night as sometimes we just want a little humor and light entertainment not made depressed. I think the balance of the Project started with good intentions but has become a massive problem. I also believe Dave and now Charlie ejected before the plane crashed which will be in the next 6 months.

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