Peter Helliar farewelled The Project last night, following in the footsteps of Carrie Bickmore and Lisa Wilkinson.
Wilkinson left sans a leaving party; instead, she announced her shock departure and never returned. Meanwhile, Bickmore’s farewell was an emotional affair, where Bickmore wore feathers and talked about her time on the show.
While Helliar’s send-off was filled with more jokes than tears, during his final show Waleed Aly sledged his co-host.
Aly was discussing footballer Cristiano Ronaldo when he said: “Barely worked and still got paid … They call that the Helliar Method, don’t they?” Burn!
Meanwhile, Rove McManus’s tribute to the comedian was another gag at Helliar’s expense, and he said: “Sorry I can‘t be there with you tonight. It’s just that you planned this the same night as the AACTA Awards. You idiot! What were you thinking?”
It wasn’t all jokes, Dylan Alcott shared that Peter Helliar gave him the opportunity to co-host The Project, and when it came time for Helliar to share how he felt about leaving after almost a decade, he got choked up and thanked his wife for being his “best mate!”
He also said, “Thank you for backing me time and time again. This place has always felt like home.”
— The Project (@theprojecttv) December 7, 2022
Helliar’s departure marks an end of an era, he is the third and final co-host to head for the exits this year, and next year Sarah Harris will be at the helm with new faces that are yet to be announced.