Time is on their side
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.’’