Ten’s faith in new Project

Sin­gle mum Car­rie Bick­more wel­comes the chal­lenge of bal­anc­ing a hec­tic home life with a busy TV role, writes Dar­ren Dev­lyn

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

THE Project team has made a habit of si­lenc­ing the doom­say­ers. When the show for­merly known as the 7PM Project pre­miered in 2009, it was widely sug­gested Car­rie Bick­more and co were tak­ing a mas­sive punt by sign­ing on for a dicey ven­ture in a times­lot that had, over a long pe­riod, de­liv­ered Chan­nel 10 a re­volv­ing door of fail­ures.

Ini­tially, the doubts about the show were hard to ig­nore. The 7PM Project was go­ing to of­fer a po­ten­tially awk­ward mix of news, chat and com­edy. Ten seemed overly op­ti­mistic the show would ap­peal to a de­mo­graphic — young — that sim­ply wasn’t into ear­lyevening TV news shows.

The 7PM Project made a promis­ing de­but, reach­ing nearly 1.3 mil­lion view­ers.

But by Fe­bru­ary 2010, some me­dia com­men­ta­tors were adamant the time had come for a mercy killing.

Grad­u­ally, The 7PM Project found its feet. Bick­more, Char­lie Pick­er­ing and Dave Hughes dis­cov­ered a chem­istry that was lack­ing in the early days and ro­tat­ing pan­el­lists in­clud­ing Ge­orge Ne­gus, Steve Price, Kitty Flana­gan and Bondi Vet’s Chris Brown came to terms with the show’s ob­jec­tive — to be a news show with a twist rather than a com­edy show that does a lit­tle bit of news.

The show, how­ever, has been thrown some­thing of a curve ball fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion to axe 6.30pm with Ge­orge Ne­gus.

There is no doubt The Project faces a chal­lenge to rate well across its new one- hour slot, but Bick­more says she was only mo­men­tar­ily thrown by the idea of ex­tend­ing the show.

‘‘ It was mixed feel­ings,’’ she says of her ini­tial re­ac­tion to The 7PM Project be­com­ing The Project.

‘‘ There’s a lot of ex­cite­ment about it be­cause there are so many times we’d like to ask one more ques­tion, so many times we’d love to have a guest on for that ex­tra minute or love to get one more of Dave’s (Hughes) fun­nies away. It’s great that it can now hap­pen ev­ery night on the show.

‘‘ A Cur­rent Af­fair and To­day Tonight are power- houses. They’ve been do­ing it for years. They do their thing. It’s very dif­fer­ent to what we do. We are of­fer­ing an al­ter­na­tive to that.

‘‘ Go­ing to an hour gives us that chance to just breathe that lit­tle bit more.’’

Bick­more is a sin­gle mum to Ol­lie, 4, fol­low­ing the death of hus­band Greg Lange last year. Lange had been di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour in 2001.

Bick­more con­fesses she pon­dered what im­pact the show’s changes would have on her work/life bal­ance.

In the early stages of moth­er­hood Bick­more had en­joyed hav­ing a ‘‘ mas­sively sup­port­ive hus­band who loved be­ing at home’’.

‘‘ Ob­vi­ously there’s also that feel­ing of be­ing a sin­gle mum with a lit­tle four-year-old boy.

‘‘ Any mum will tell you that get­ting the bal­ance right be­tween work and home is al­ways hard and I had just man­aged to get that hap­pen­ing. When I heard (about the ex­panded for­mat) I just went, ‘ Noooooo’,’’ Bick­more adds with a laugh.

‘‘ I think back to this morn­ing. I did three loads of wash­ing, emp­tied the dish­washer, got Ol­lie ready for a sleep­over, made his lunch, made my lunch, got him off to kinder, all within an hour.

‘‘ Ev­ery sin­gle morn­ing, no mat­ter how tired I am, I see these eyes (Ol­lie) beam­ing down on me from be­side my bed. He’s just so happy. I do love that time with him. He jumps into bed and we have a snug­gle.

‘‘ His favourite part of the day is when we sit in bed at night and read sto­ries.

‘‘ This year I’ve def­i­nitely re­alised he is the most im­por­tant thing to me. The great thing about Ten is their sup­port. They know I have a lit­tle boy and how im­por­tant it is I spend time with him.’’ The Project Chan­nel 10, 6.30pm, week­nights

Co-host Car­rie Bick­more says the new one-hour for­mat gives the show a chance to breathe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.