Carrie Bickmore shocked viewers by announcing some major life news last night – and she later opened up about the reason behind the big move.
The Project host Carrie Bickmore has opened up about her decision to move her family to the UK for several months, explaining that it felt like the “last chance” to embark on a family adventure with her eldest son in tow.
Bickmore, 41, made the announcement on Tuesday’s episode of The Project, telling viewers she wanted to share “a little personal news.”
“In April I’m going to be taking a few months off The Project desk,” she began.
“[Partner] Chris and I and the kids are heading off on a family adventure together.
“We figure it’s never going to be the perfect time to go and it’s something we really want to do before my son starts his final years at school, so we’re doing term two in the UK. So I will be off for a couple of months.”
Bickmore opened up further about her decision to temporarily move the family to the UK in a post to her Instagram account last night, revealing it was a move she and partner Chris Walker had “dreamed of for a while now.”
“One of the unexpected silver linings to come out of living through Melbourne’s lockdowns was the extended family time and we feel like this is our last chance to do something like this together before Ollie hits the pointy end of his schooling and no longer wants to hang out with us so … we are heading to the UK for a school term,” she explained.
Bickmore had Ollie, 14, with her late husband Greg Lange, who died in 2010 after a decade-long battle with brain cancer. She’s since had two daughters, Evie and Adelaide, with partner Chris.
Bickmore said that after 13 years as a co-host of The Project, the break felt “a little like long service leave,” and explained that while she’d be absent from TV screens for several months, she’d still co-host the Hit network’s Carrie and Tommy Show each afternoon with Project colleague Tommy Little.
Bickmore’s temporary departure comes as The Project struggles in the ratings, with TV writer Colin Vickery noting last week that the flagship program’s ratings had slid to worrying new lows – including an audience of just 39,000 viewers in Sydney:
It’s unclear how the show will fare in the ratings without Gold Logie-winner Bickmore at the helm.
The news has come as a shock to fans given just weeks ago, Bickmore said she was “ready for another big year of work” after some holiday downtime with her family.
But the Perth-born presenter has also made no secret of her desire for more family time in recent years, speaking emotionally about the effect border closures have had on her. In January she confessed on-air that there were times she was unsure if she’d ever see the WA-based members of her family again.
Bickmore also revealed another big inspiration behind her decision to take the family to the UK: Fellow Project panellist Kate Langbreok, who has joined the show as a regular guest following a year-long family sabbatical to Italy.
“You are a big inspiration for heading overseas with a family and we had some big conversations after living through the world’s longest lockdown,“ Bickmore told her colleague.