Dave Hughes to depart The Project desk

By David Knox on December 8, 2013 / Filed Under News 47

2013-12-08_0410Comedian Dave Hughes will depart The Project fulltime to focus on his stand-up act.

He will be replaced by Peter Helliar.

‘Hughesy,’ who also quit his breakfast radio commitments, will still appear on the show regularly but is no longer part of the Charlie Pickering / Carrie Bickmore trio.

All three were Project originals, along with Ruby Rose and James Mathison, when the show first started on TEN five years ago. But the latter two did not survive.

“I’ve had the pleasure of filling in for Hughesy in 2013 and now, after getting over the disappointment of missing out on the So You Think You Can Dance Australia hosting gig, I’m incredibly proud to be joining Carrie and Charlie on The Project in 2014. I look forward to covering everything from Royal Commissions to Justin Bieber’s latest stripper/graffiti/pet-monkey adventures, often in the same show, sometimes in the same story,” he said.

“It’s been a tough decision to give up my regular seat on the desk next to Carrie, Charlie and every other brilliant person who works on the show. It was a unique way to do news when it started almost five years ago and it still is.

“I’m proud to have been involved from its birth. I’ve been banging on about doing a proper national stand-up tour for years and if I don’t do it now before my kids start school, I never will. I will still pop up on the show from the road on a weekly basis whether they like it or not. Good luck to Pete, even though he won’t need it, he has always been fantastic on the show.”


  1. David Knox December 12, 2013 at 12:17 am -

    Here’s an idea. Just change the channel?

  2. jeremiah December 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm -

    thank god! one down, 2 to go. Charlie and Carrie can now move on to TT or ACA. What were you thinking Rove?

  3. Chris N. December 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm -

    I don’t think he’s funny at all, but I am still sad to see him go cos he has such a great rapport with the rest of the team. He’s been there from the beginning and I have to admit, I’ve grown fond of him over the years.

    Replacing him with Helliar is a massive mistake, though. This was their chance to replace Hughesy with someone funny! Tom Gleeson or Wil Anderson would’ve been awesome.

  4. Greg7 December 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm -

    I agree Hughes is a very mediocre comedian, but then so is Helliar.

  5. tricks December 9, 2013 at 9:45 am -

    Replace Pickering with Rove and you’ve got.. Rove Live again.

  6. maxxdude December 9, 2013 at 9:29 am -

    @ryan The Project is the only current affairs show where there is a majority of males. Every other current affairs show in Australia now has a female host.
    I think Lemo would have been better then Peter Helliar. He doesn’t laugh at his own jokes like Hughesy or Helliar. Just another inhouse Rove appointment.

  7. Justsaying.. December 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm -

    I honestly don’t find Peter Heliar funny at all he’s always laughing at his own stuff or so called jokes… I used to like him on rove ages ago I dunno his style is not appealing anymore, I didn’t mind hughesy he was different. Charlie Pickering needs to stop being so serious also maybe it’s a about time the project gets a makeover.

  8. Sydney2K December 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm -

    Hmmm, a wide range of opinions…

  9. BrookeP December 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm -

    I’d rather TT and ACA over The Project any day.

  10. ryan December 8, 2013 at 8:48 pm -

    For god sake why Peter! Why not an intelligent female for the panel like Gretel Killeen or someone, I feel sorry for Carrie who has to sit between 3 guys sometimes.

  11. oztvheritage December 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm -

    Ahhh Brooke. The worst shows on tv are actually The project’s competition. ACA and TT.

  12. deedeedragons December 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm -

    Thank God! & what stand up act? He has never said a funny thing in his life.

  13. GuanoLad December 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm -

    I hope Dave doesn’t read this site. Many of us haven’t been very nice to him, including myself. #Ashamed

  14. Kylie December 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm -

    @trev – it’s lasted because there are a hell of a lot of us who like it!!

    Gee, the world would be boring if every single one of liked the same things!

    Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it a turkey!!

  15. Josh777 December 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm -

    Sad to see him go but glad to see he is only leaving so he can pursue what he started off doing and what he loves – stand up. His bits on Rove were brilliant at times so I can only imagine what a full 1 hour stand up performance would be like. I love The Project and am sure that swapping out Hughesy with Peter should be seamless. Will be interesting to see what is to come.

  16. J Bar December 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm -

    You obviously don’t know much about the ratings of The Project. If anything, it has been doing better since it moved to 6.30pm.

  17. steviem December 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm -

    this was the perfect time for Ch10 to freshen this show up but they go with an old rove personality. very bad call.

  18. trev December 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm -

    With the nation’s unfunniest comedian gone, all that’s left are the nation’s worst anchorman and Australia’s worst newsreader.
    Cannot conceive how this turkey has lasted 5 years. It should have been axed over three years ago.

  19. glennc December 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm -

    You’d imagine Hughesy would still on BTG. Maybe it will depend on Carlton’s fixture. I’d happily see Fitzy take over from Hughesy if needed. Or maybe adding Ang Pippos to the dynamic?

  20. The Moops December 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm -

    I can take or leave Dave Hughes, so no great loss as far as I’m concerned. I quite like Peter Helliar, but I think Lehmo would have been a better choice.

  21. chivasssimo December 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm -

    Jonno: Nine have their hr news at 6, then ACA at 7.

  22. oztvheritage December 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm -

    I hope Dave’s got something else for his sake…..Cause he is going to be a bit bored if he hasn’t. I can’t see anybody picking him up because he is just not that funny and very over exposed.

    Stand up combines with another radio network is his best option.

  23. randwick December 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm -

    Hughesy is getting out at the right time ….. when the ratings are dropping ….. and his replacement is a (ten) comedian who has been in a few of the other programs which sank like a stone ….. not a good move ……

  24. BrookeP December 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm -

    The worst show on tv.

  25. jimbo k December 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm -

    it says that he is leaving his fulltime position. Which means he’s not leaving! Will he remain on as part-time or just casual is the main question.

  26. gregaus December 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm -

    This is sad (but understandable) news. Very glad Pete Hellier is his replacement. He’s proven to be very good whenever he’s back-filled in that chair! :)

  27. jonno December 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm -

    @ Mr.J – You could be on to something. Or maybe since he is no longer doing breakfast Radio he could be going to Wake Up. I agree that something does not seem right with this. One would think TEN would give him time off to do a stand up tour. My tip is that he will go to Nine. Nine News at 6pm, ACA at 6.30pm and a half hour Dave Hughes news/comedy at 7pm. Remember that The 7pm Project was at times doing over 1 million viewers.

  28. Mr. J December 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm -

    Something seems not quite right about his reasoning. His kids would all be in school now, most people at that stage would be taking on more, he’s scaling right back.

    Anyone remember when mike Munro had a highly publicised retirement party with his ch9 colleagues just a few weeks before being announced as host of SN? Perhaps dave has signed on to another network?

  29. Shoudy Chen December 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm -

    So sad to see Dave Hughes go. Dave Hughes has been an outstanding presenter on The Project over the past four years. Good luck to 2014 and beyond.

  30. chivasssimo December 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm -

    I always thought Pete was funnier than Dave. That being said, congrats to Dave and good luck with the future .

  31. Nick December 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm -

    They should take the opportunity to refresh the show. Carrie is the star. Apart from her everything else is expendable.

  32. jonno December 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm -

    Gee I will miss Hughesy. The Project will no longer be essential viewing for me. Not a huge fan of Pete. Would of much preferred Tom Gleeson. He was always great on The Project. They should of taken more time to come up with a replacement but good luck to both Hughesy and to Pete.

  33. Ms. K December 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm -

    What’s with Pete’s constant on air “red eyes”. Hard to watch and I wonder why?

  34. Karlos December 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm -

    Shame it wasn’t Charlie…..

  35. Kirk December 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm -

    I can handle Hughesy in these small doses, when he’s actually funny sometimes. I couldn’t handle a one-hour stand-up comedy routine.

  36. The Other Adam December 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm -

    Peter Helliar has been great on the desk in the past so this will be a great change!

  37. catherine December 8, 2013 at 11:58 am -

    Is he still going to do Before the Game?

    Pete Helliar is a great replacement.

  38. ratingsgame December 8, 2013 at 11:39 am -

    So, let me get this right channel 10….. You are going to replace someone who is funny and entertaining, with someone who isn’t….that makes complete sense. Looks like you enjoy being beaten by the ABC.

  39. oztvheritage December 8, 2013 at 10:58 am -

    IMHO…this is the best announcement The Project has ever made. Dave has always looked uncomfortable on The Project. He was not a great performer and embarrassing at times. Peter H and Lemo are much better talent and I feel the show will rate better with this switch.

  40. Jennome December 8, 2013 at 10:36 am -

    I’m quite happy to see him go, he was the most overexposed person on TV, and not all that funny, IMHO. Peter Helliar (or Limo) are much better propositions. and Dave Gleeson better than them all.

  41. Mark W December 8, 2013 at 10:12 am -

    He’s crazy..Alot of people go to his live show because he’s on the Project and his name is current.Without being on TV and radio, he has less opprtunity for people to want to see him.I wonder if he has another TV show in the pipeline he doesn’t want to talk about?

  42. Bazza December 8, 2013 at 9:39 am -

    and nothing of value was lost

  43. GuanoLad December 8, 2013 at 9:22 am -

    No great loss. His temporary replacements have always been quicker witted and funnier.

  44. tomothyd December 8, 2013 at 9:09 am -

    Peter Helliar is the worst choice for hs replacement, he has never said a funny thing in his life. This will actually put me off watching the show. Why do they need to bring in all the same Roving cast?

  45. Qubec December 8, 2013 at 9:06 am -

    I was actually thinking the other day when he left radio if he’d do the same with The Project. Got to say, I’m rather happy about this. His voice is too grating, he’s far too awkward and rather unfunny. I always prefer when Hellier is on the desk. Looking forward to this change.
    I wonder how the show would fair if they lost Pickering or Bickmore. I guess Georgi Coghlan and Waleed Aly respectively would replace them. But would the show still have the same dynamic?

  46. Daniel December 8, 2013 at 8:09 am -

    I would’ve preferred Lehmo as a replacement as I think he works a lot better on the panel than Pete.

    Good to see Hughesy go back to his real love – stand up comedy.

  47. carolemorrissey December 8, 2013 at 7:32 am -

    What a shame, I love Hughesy. I thought when he left radio it must have been because it was too much with his TV commitments. I like Peter Helliar too, so he will be good.

Leave A Response »

You must be logged in to post a comment.