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HomeNewsLisa Wilkinson quits The Project: Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly pay tribute

Lisa Wilkinson quits The Project: Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly pay tribute

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Carrie Bickmore led tributes to Lisa Wilkinson on The Project on Monday night after the star revealed she was leaving the show after five years.

Wilkinson announced her departure on Sunday evening, saying it was “time to reprioritise a few things in my life” after a difficult six months marked by “relentless, targeted toxicity”.

Waleed Aly took a moment on Monday’s program to speak of Wilkinson’s “enormous contribution”.

And fellow co-host Carrie Bickmore – who will also soon leave The Project – spoke of Wilkinson’s “incredible stories and interviews”.

“She’ll be sorely missed,” Bickmore said. “She’s such a pro, such a gorgeous person to sit with – to watch the master in action.”

Steve Price then said: “I’ve known her 22 years, I worked out the other day. Done a lot of TV. She’s always very giving in her spirit towards you.”

Peter Helliar added: “I was a fan before I met Lisa, and to work alongside her and see her up close do her thing has been amazing.

“But the fact that I can call her now a friend and a mate is just as important to that. So, we love you.”

Wilkinson’s sudden exit has raised questions about the nature of her departure from the show.

Media commentator and entertainment journalist Peter Ford hinted that “the real story behind Lisa Wilkinson’s shock decision and who is going next” would soon be revealed, as well as “the last ditch attempt to rebrand the show”.

“There will be more ‘shock resignations’ in the next two weeks. How coincidental so many people all decide at same time they ‘need a change’,” he claimed.

He also appeared to hit out at Wilkinson herself, tweeting on Sunday: “Only Lisa could manage to announce ‘her decision’ and make herself a victim at the same time. All the hard work she’s put in etc etc for four nights a week and 20 grand a week. That poor lady!”

Ford’s comments came amid widespread speculation there might be more to Wilkinson’s decision to quit than meets the eye – however, that rumour was shut down by a Network 10 spokesperson, who told “To be perfectly clear, this was Lisa’s decision. Any inference to the contrary is completely false.”

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