Are these the new faces of The Project? Two Bachelor stars are among rumoured new line-up joining Waleed Aly and Sarah Harris as Channel 10 attempts ‘youthful’ rebrand of show
Channel 10 are reportedly attempting a ‘youthful rebrand’ of The Project after Carrie Bickmore, Lisa Wilkinson and Peter Helliar’s shock mass exodus from the show.
The likes of Bachelor stars Abbie Chatfield and Laura Byrne, and the ABC’s Tony Armstrong are rumoured to be tipped to star on the current affairs program in a bid to attract younger audiences.
Ten is said to be on the hunt for ‘fresh faces’ to join Waleed Aly and Bickmore’s replacement, Sarah Harris, to get the program back to its heyday ratings, according to Now To Love.
All three have previously starred on The Project, with Byrne in the hot seat just last Sunday when Lisa Wilkinson made the shock announcement she was quitting the show.
Some viewers were convinced Byrne was being primed for a permanent role amid Wilkinson’s shock resignation.
The former Bachelor star, 36, shared a photo on Instagram of herself and Wilkinson on set of the current affairs show just minutes after the bombshell announcement.
Byrne, who hosts the Life Uncut podcast, wrote in the caption: ‘Lisa, you’re all class and it has been a career highlight. The biggest privilege to sit at your desk.’
‘As a viewer and lover of the show, you will be so very missed,’ she added.
This gushing tribute caught the attention of Wilkinson, whose response hinted Byrne may be getting a promotion in the near future.
‘I absolutely loved doing the show with you. I am so thrilled you are now a part of The Project family,’ Wilkinson wrote.
The post, and Wilkinson’s response, sent Byrne’s 338,000 Instagram followers into a frenzy, with many speculating she could be stepping up to a full-time role.
One fan said she was a ‘natural’ for the role, while another declared it was Byrne’s time to shine after being a guest host for several episodes.
Meanwhile Abbie Chatfield starred on the show back in August where she slammed TikTok’s most ‘dangerous’ influencer, Andrew Tate, and called for him to be banned from the platform for promoting ‘misogyny’.
Tony Armstrong has also been a regular panellist on The Project, most recently appearing on the program in late October where he blasted Australians for not caring enough about Indigenous schoolboy Cassius Turvey, 15, who was allegedly bashed to death with a metal bar.
While Wilkinson and Helliar’s replacements are yet to be announced, Sarah Harris was confirmed to take over from Bickmore last week.
The television presenter, 41, told Stellar magazine of the appointment: ‘I did not see this coming. And I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.’
She added: ‘It’s such an incredible opportunity to step into some pretty huge shoes and be part of The Project’s next chapter.
‘I can’t wait to learn more, and have some fun with Waleed and the team. This is one of the biggest jobs in TV, and feels like a once-in-a-lifetime gig.’
Bickmore’s final appearance on The Project will be November 30.
Meanwhile Helliar, who quit the show this month, told Bickmore on her hit radio show last week he was happy with his ‘amazing’ choice to leave the program.
‘You make the decision, you second-guess yourself for a little while and you know you have to announce it,’ he said. ‘[But] doing it last night just felt really lovely.’
However, Helliar said he made one crucial mistake on the night: ‘Once I got the first words out, I did have one thought, “Why didn’t I put this in autocue? Why did I think I could riff this?”‘
Helliar announced he was leaving the program last Tuesday night just days after Wilkinson resigned.
Source: Daily Mail