Charlie Pickering just announced he’s leaving The Project after five years as the show’s original smart funny-man. He’ll be a father later in the year and he’s chasing some other professional adventures.
Network Ten execs are left reeling after the news, having just lost Dave Hughes from the panel too. Carrie Bickmore and Pete Hellier are the ones left standing – or more accurately, sitting – at the news desk.
Charlie‘s last show will be on 7th April. Which gives us just enough time to find someone new for the job.
Time to play: Who Wants To Be A Charlie Pickering Replacement?
Look, some people have their fantasy football games, others like to mentally compile all their favourite politicians into a fantasy cabinet. We in the media like to speculate wildly, but wisely, about who will pop up in a vacant hosting seat next.
They’re big shoes to fill – Charlie’s got that inimitable mix of cleverness and silliness that anchors the team.
Here are our top seven contenders to fill the massive shoes:
1. Waleed Aly.
Waleed already regularly fills in for Charlie Pickerz, so he knows the panel’s dynamic and fits in neatly. As a brilliant columnist, whip-smart journalist, and man of great integrity, he’d be the easiest and most obvious choice. If he could bring his amazing wife, Susan Carland, on set as often as possible, he gets bonus points from us.
2. James Matheson.
James is hanging out at Manly beach in the rudely early hours of the morning to host Wake Up, so he’s already on the right channel. He’s a smart guy with a keen social conscience, a cheeky manner. If this was an AstroBoy Lookalike Competition, he’d already win.