Time is on their side

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DAVID POUGHER

CHAR­LIE Pick­er­ing has time on his hands and he couldn’t be more pleased about it.

The move to take The 7pm Project to an hour from 6.30pm and so, in­evitably, change its name to The Project has given Pick­er­ing and co- hosts Dave Hughes and Car­rie Bick­more ( all pic­tured) the chance to reimag­ine their in­no­va­tive news/ com­ment/ com­edy pro­gram.

While ad­mit­ting he was a lit­tle sur­prised by the change, Pick­er­ing says the team sees it as a chal­lenge and an op­por­tu­nity and prom­ises that Project ’ s cen­tral val­ues won’t change.

‘‘ Our main goal is to still feel the same and the most im­por­tant part of that is the at­ti­tude that we have, our ap­proach to do­ing the news, which we think is dif­fer­ent to any­thing else that’s out there,’’ Pick­er­ing says.

‘‘ The one thing we’re not go­ing to do is just make ev­ery in­ter­view twice as long or talk for twice as long just for the sake of do­ing it.

‘‘ What it gives us is the op­por­tu­nity to fin­ish some of the con­ver­sa­tions we only got to start in a 30- minute show. And it also gives us a chance to get to the sto­ries that we can’t get to be­cause of time. With The 7pm Project, gen­uinely the hard­est part with get­ting it to­gether was time. Time has been our en­emy since we be­gan.

‘‘ Now we’ve got a lit­tle more room for the show we want to make.

‘‘ On any given day there were three or four funny clips which we didn’t get to play and make jokes with, there were al­ways at least two or three sto­ries that we thought were re­ally in­ter­est­ing and worth talk­ing about but we didn’t have time to get them.’’

Of course the ex­tra half hour could mean po­ten­tially twice as much time to stuff up but Pick­er­ing isn’t ly­ing awake at night wor­ry­ing about it.

‘‘ Thank­fully I sleep very well,’’ he says laugh­ing. ‘‘ I’m not a mid­dle- of- the- night list- maker. When my head hits the pil­low I know that work will be there for me in the morn­ing and I’m not go­ing to worry about it.

‘‘ We’ve never been a show that has felt like the job has been done. We are not a show that pats it­self on the back and says ‘ look at us, haven’t we done well’.

‘‘ We’ve al­ways looked at it and thought for every­thing we get right, there’s al­ways some­thing we would do bet­ter if we had our chance again.’’

One of the cor­ner­stones of the show’s suc­cess has been the team’s abil­ity to look at what’s un­fold­ing around the world from a fresh an­gle and Pick­er­ing, a self­con­fessed news junkie, rel­ishes it.

‘‘ I like the op­por­tu­ni­ties we have to go to any­where in the world and talk pretty much to any­one and cover what­ever story that pops up and have the tech­nol­ogy to do that,’’ he says.

‘‘ I just feel lucky to have that at my dis­posal. It gives me pause to re­flect and think that this is a pretty ex­tra­or­di­nary place I find my­self in.’’

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