Original host of The Project, Charlie Pickering, makes surprise return to the show

After leaving in 2014, the comedian has returned to the desk... but this time in a new capacity.
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When The Project hit TV screens in 2009, Charlie Pickering was apart of the original hosting line-up that also included Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes and Carrie Bickmore.

Of the three, Hughesy was the first to fall, leaving at the end of 2013. Charlie followed suit in March 2014, whilst Carrie Bickmore held on… until November 2022.

So when Charlie Pickering made a surprise return to the show on Monday evening, he found none of the familiar faces at the current-affairs show.

This time Charlie was behind the desk in a different capacity – as a guest. The comedian was promoting his role as a team captain on Ten’s comedy series Would I Lie to You? Australia.

Charlie Pickering found that none of his original co-hosts were left when he returned as a guest.

(Image: Channel 10)

Ever the comedian, the funny man wasted no time making a dig about The Project’s mass-exodus when he made his return to the show, as he told the current line-up, that included Waleed Aly and Sarah Harris, that it was good to be back in the studio, but not to farewell his ex co-workers.

“A lot of memories. A lot of memories coming back here,” the 45-year-old said.

“Mainly [of] former colleagues’ farewell episodes that I tend to come back for,” he added cheekily.

After Dave Hughes left, Pete Hellier stepped in to co-host the show with Carrie and Charlie.

(Image: Channel 10)

Carrie Bickmore was visibily upset when Charlie left the Channel Ten show in 2014.

‘After five years and over 1200 episodes, I have decided to leave the project,’ Charlie announced.

‘I’ve loved every minute of this show and every minute of working with the people I work with but it has entirely consumed my life,’ he went on.

‘I had a life before I did this and I’m looking forward to something after this as well,’ the comedian explained.

‘And the other thing is that I’m going to be a dad.’

Pickering went on to work for ABC, hosting satirical news show The Weekly.

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