Pro­ject clev­erly work­ing a treat

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

AS it cel­e­brates its fourth birth­day, Ten’s pop­u­lar news and cur­rent af­fairs pro­gram The Pro­ject is also cel­e­brat­ing the fact that it re­mains very much a work in progress.

‘‘The show’s name is a good ex­am­ple of our think­ing that we’re not done yet,’’ says co-host Char­lie Pickering. ‘‘And we try not to get set in our ways. We don’t want to shake it up so much that it’s un­recog­nis­able from night to night, but we’re al­ways look­ing for new ways to do things.’’

And this com­mit­ment to keep­ing things fresh has won The Pro­ject a loyal au­di­ence.

The Pro­ject: Week­nights, 6.30pm, Ten, Ten SC. Con­grat­u­la­tions on The Pro­ject’s fourth birth­day, Char­lie. That kind of mile­stone makes the pro­gram a bit of a vet­eran.

It prob­a­bly does qual­ify as longevity, doesn’t it? [Laughs] We’re quite proud of what we achieved, es­pe­cially with a for­mat that hadn’t been tried be­fore. And what about your per­sonal vi­sion of what you want The Pro­ject to say or be?

One of the strengths of the show, I think, is it’s no sin­gle per­son’s vi­sion. It’s a com­bi­na­tion of a num­ber of peo­ple’s ideas of what it should be. And, as a re­sult, be­cause there’s that di­ver­sity of in­put and opin­ion. Char­lie Pickering Have you given any thought as to how Ten views the show?

The in­di­ca­tion we get is that we are a good ex­am­ple of what Ten wants to rep­re­sent in some ways – we’re ir­rev­er­ent, we do things a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ently and we ap­peal to a very broad au­di­ence. So it’s more like dia­logue than a pre­sen­ta­tion.

Our show is a con­ver­sa­tion with the viewer. It’s as if you’ve been in­vited for din­ner and you’re chat­ting about what’s been hap­pen­ing in the world that day. I think there’s a level of cliche in how news is pre­sented in Aus­tralia and it is di­vorced from what the viewer re­ally wants. I have dif­fi­culty watch­ing many reg­u­lar news broad­casts be­cause it feels like a bunch of peo­ple try­ing to be very grown-up about ev­ery­thing. I think our show tries to deal with the news the way many peo­ple deal with it. If you were dis­cussing the news with your co-work­ers, you wouldn’t broad­cast your opin­ion to them. You’d laugh about some things, feel emo­tional about other things and gen­er­ally have a con­ver­sa­tion.

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