After months of speculation, the new host of Channel Ten’s The Project has finally been announced.
The newcomer will join current hosts Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar after the Christmas break.
And who is it?
Channel 10 have confirmed that former ABC broadcaster Waleed Aly will be taking the chair next to Carrie early in 2015.
The 36-year-old will take the place of Executive Producer Rove McManus who came on board just six months ago to fill the gap left by the departure of Charlie Pickering.
A Walkey-award winning broadcaster, author and academic, Waleed will also be the first Muslim to co-host a major prime time television show on an Australian commercial network.
When asked what he thought of The Project, Waleed said he was excited to work somewhere that covered such a diverse range of topics.
“I love the range of The Project. I’m curious about everything. I know that The Project is very respected among newsmakers,” he said.
“I love Carrie and Pete as broadcasters and people, so I can’t wait to take the reins from Rove.”
Rove, who is also the shows executive producer, was only ever a temporary replacement until someone more permanent was found to fill Charlie Pickering’s shoes.
Waleed, who left the Drive show on Radio National to take up the position, brings with him a passion for politics, international affairs and Islam. However, as he told Fairfax media, he isn’t coming to the show “with an agenda or set of stories I want to push.”
“That’s not the way I do broadcasting,” he told Fairfax media.
“At the centre of the world when you’re broadcasting is the audience and figuring out what they will be interested in and what concerns them and it’s from there you bring whatever journalistic skills you might have to try to enliven it or to get to the heart or find the central controversy or whatever it might be”.
Ten’s executive director of news and current affairs, Peter Meakin, said that he was very happy to be appointing Waleed in this new position.
“I have long been a fan of Waleed’s intellect and versatility. As a full-time member of The Project team, he will help to expand our horizons,” he said.
We look forward to seeing Waleed on our screens from January 26 next year.