“It’s been the hardest decision of my professional life to make this call but it’s time for a new challenge,” a tearful Carrie Bickmore told The Project last night as she announced her departure from the show after 13 years. Naturally, her co-stars and watchers around Australian felt her emotion, too.
Bickmore joined The Project from its very inception, adding to audiences on Tuesday night: “I’m gonna miss my best mates on the desk, the job itself which is just so incredibly fulfilling, our wonderful viewers who’ve been on the journey over the last 13 years.”
“It’s no secret that this show has become a second home for me, and I can’t be more thankful to everyone that has been involved on and off screen.
“I’m leaving at a time that I’m so happy to be here, which feels so confusing, but I just know it’s time, I know it’s right,” she said.
Bickmore also took to Instagram to share some more thoughts on her resignation, adding that when she first started on the show her eldest son Ollie was a one-year-old. He’s now 15, and she’s since welcomed two more children, Evie and Adelaide, just to put that timing in perspective.
She called the length of her 13-year reign “crazy”, and added that she is looking forward to “more family dinners and watching the show with my pj’s on and a wine in hand”.
The announcement sparked floods of comments from Bickmore’s famous friends and fans.
Model Megan Gale wrote to the anchor: “Congratulations on a job well done honey. You’ve navigated this role beautifully for 13 years and no doubt you’ll do the same for the next chapter too. Lots of love.”
Stylist Lana Wilkinson added: “Congratulations Carrie, we will miss you on our TV each night but excited for your next chapter x”
Go-To founder Zoe Foster-Blake also chimed in: “Bravo. For all that work, and all those years, and for taking The Next Step.”
Bickmore’s longtime co-star and comedian, Tommy Little, took to his own Instagram to share a tribute for the famous anchor.
“The best in the business. The halo effect around @bickmorecarrie is unparalleled,” he began.
“She lifts up everyone around her and makes them all look good, something which has served me well for years. She’s the heart and soul of this show and unless there’s anymore surprise announcements this week I’m stoked to be able to ride these coat tails a little longer with our radio show.”
Who will replace Carrie Bickmore on The Project?
Bickmore’s co-stars only learned of her departure a few days ago, so there’s no word just yet on who will replace the iconic host.
Following her announcement, The Project co-star Peter Hellier said they “don’t know what the future looks like,” but he reiterated to Bickmore that she was “the soul of this show”.
Prior to The Project, Bickmore starred on the now defunct talkshow, Rove.
She also hosts a radio show on the Hit Network with Little. Going by his Instagram tribute, it looks like Bickmore intends to continue working on the show beyond The Project.
That’s a releif—it’s difficult to imagine Australian airwaves without the stalwart legend of Carrie Bickmore.