"Shut up. Shut up." The four most awkward interviews in The Project's 10 years on air.


This week, The Project turned 10.

What a great achievement, we’re very happy for the current affairs panel, etc., etc.

But let’s get down to our favourite kind of reflection.

Reflection of the awkward interview variety.

Yes, this probably makes us sound like terrible people, and if it was us we’d want the interview footage destroyed with fire and never brought up again, but you’d be lying if you didn’t agree that watching a live interview derail is extremely entertaining.

(Well, other than a really, really good interview, which of course The Project has had plenty of).

But in the interest of reliving sweaty palms of segments past, here are five of the most cringe-worthy interviews from The Project that we will never, ever forget.

1. Johnny Rotten, 2013.

Ahh, ageing rock stars. You never know what they’re going to do in a live interview. Get drunk? Fall asleep? Inadvertently say something deeply problematic?

One thing you hope they won’t do is yell at you in a completely misogynistic manner, attempting to belittle you in front of millions of viewers.

Enter former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and his bizarre 2013 outburst at Carrie Bickmore.

The interview started with a series of routine questions about his tour, performing on stage and writing music, but when Carrie turned the conversation to the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Lydon… threw a giant tantrum.


“Hey, hey, hey Mrs,” he barked at her. “Shut up. Whoever you are, shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Now listen, when a man is talking do not interrupt.”

Carrie laughed: “There was a break, I thought you had finished, please go on.”

“Stop it, you sound like one of them [sic] dreadful loud birds I don’t like. You be polite,” Lydon continued.

“That’s really offensive,” replied Carrie, still appearing to laugh it off.

“So are you. You’ve got to learn more respect and manners,” he shot back.

Lydon continued to express his agitation at Carrie and the other panellists, shouting at them that they were speaking too loudly into his earpiece. The irony.

In case it couldn’t get any worse, he then said “I’m Johnny f*cking Rotten and you have to respect me,” with a Nazi salute, closing the book on a train wreck few minutes of television which you can watch below if you dare.

We… loved it.

2. Maggie Rogers, 2019.

When Maggie Rogers took up a seat on The Project panel, viewers might have expected to hear about the Alaska singer’s latest album.

Maybe a bit about her upcoming tour.

Or maybe something completely random like what her last meal on earth would be if she was on death row ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

You probably wouldn’t have expected she’d want to discuss the scent of a completely different musician.

But for some reason, that’s the line of question Tommy Little went for.


The musician, who worked with Pharrell Williams in a masterclass in which footage of him first hearing her breakout hit Alaska went viral, looked visibly uncomfortable as Little continued to ask her about the Happy singer.

“I have spoken to Pharrell a total of three times after that,” Rogers said after he fired off questions about whether she had dined with the singer.

By this stage, might we add, she’d already repeatedly mentioned that she had “no relationship whatsoever” with the singer.

But the questions kept coming.

“Did he smell good? ‘Cause I reckon he looks like he’d smell good,” Little posed for some ungodly reason (I mean, he does look like he’d smell good, but come on).

“So, in that video, that’s about as close as we’ve ever gotten,” Rogers replied, seemingly repeating, in different words, that she’d had very little to do with him since then.

“But he did have perfect skin,” she added.

Later, the musician tweeted about the interview, confirming what we as viewers could have probably guessed; that it was awkward as all hell in the studio that evening.


3. ScoMo and Waleed Aly, 2019.

Ever wanted to watch two grown men yell over the top of each other on national television?

If the answer to that question was yes, then you probably enjoyed Scott Morrison and Waleed Aly’s interview from March this year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared in a 30-minute, commercial-free chat with The Project host after the Christchurch terror attack to set the record straight on the PM’s rumoured anti-Muslim comments, as first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2011.

ScoMo had threatened to sue the program after Waleed had mentioned them a few nights prior, so tensions were running high when he hopped on a chair opposite the Gold Logie winner.

The result was 30 minutes of deep discomfort for viewers as both men looked as though they’d quite like to slap the other across the face.

From Morrison simply refusing to answer Waleed’s questions, to Morrison attempting to read Waleed’s interview notes in frustration, not to mention plenty of talk-shouting over each other, it was all very painful.


And answered precisely none of our questions.

We want our 30 minutes back, ScoMo.

4. Sophie Monk and Stu Laundy, 2017.

Ahh, who could forget the post-Bachelorette interview that remains the living embodiment of nails on a chalkboard?

Sophie and Stu’s appearance ran immediately after an interview with the still heartbroken runner-up, Jarrod Woodgate, who was infamously nicknamed a “stage-five clinger” for most of the series. So… it was always going to be pretty awkward.

But let’s be honest, this was next level.

Relive the whole experience below. Post continues after video.

Sophie, who looked rather uncomfortable from the get-go (due to the fact that the couple had probably already broken up by the time it aired) started by shutting down pregnancy rumours and confirming that she and Stu were still together.

It pretty much went downhill from there.

Host Gorgi Coghlan started by telling Stu she didn’t like him.


“Now I’ve been honest on the show,” she said, before Stu interrupted with: “I know, I heard, team Jarrod,”

Gorgi replied: “I know, but hey, I’m just being honest”.

“All right,” the Bachelorette winner responded bluntly.

Looking taken aback, she kicked on: “I want to ask, someone like you who’s got lots of money, thankfully four really healthy kids. What was your reason for going on the show? Like what was …”

“One hundred percent this girl. One hundred percent,” Stu responded, butting in again.


But oh, the best was yet to come.

Meshel Laurie then said to Sophie: “I think you’ve done the classic woman thing where you say that you want one thing but what you actually go for is something else.

“Because as you said you know Jarrod intellectually, you think that’s ticking all your boxes. You said in the beginning. I just want a down-to-earth, normal guy who wants to get married and have kids.

“What you’ve chosen is a millionaire, who’s already married and had a vasectomy”.

Sweet Jesus.

Stu, looking rightly offended jumped in (again) to joke: “Sorry, sorry. I’m on team Jarred now”.

“I like to think I earn as much money as him actually,” Sophie then said.

We wanted to crawl into a hole and die (but then come back to life and watch it all again).