Lisa Wilkinson will leave The Project after Carrie Bickmore’s shock departure, a TV insider claims.
Bickmore, 41, shocked viewers on Tuesday night when she tearfully announced she was leaving the Channel 10 show after 13 years.
Hours later, veteran entertainment reporter Peter Ford tweeted that Bickmore’s departure would not be the last major upheaval in The Project’s hosting panel.
“It’s a weird show,” Ford tweeted, adding, “I’m tipping Lisa [Wilkinson] won’t be there next year so it’s quite a seismic shift.
In another tweet, Ford insisted that The Project’s producers “lost their greatest asset” at Bickmore, adding, “No one is essential, but there are some people who are easier to lose than others.”
It comes after Wilkinson, 62, was taken out of the air behind her Acceptance speech at the Logie Awards last month, in which she spoke of an upcoming court case.
Wilkinson joined The Project in late 2017 after decades co-hosting Nine’s Today Show with Karl Stefanovic.
Wilkinson reportedly secured a million-dollar salary to host The Sunday Project and direct Ten Daily for Channel 10.
At the time, The Daily Telegraph claimed Wilkinson pocketed a whopping $1.7 million a year, while Bickmore was estimated at $1.5 million.
The disparity between the two pay packages has been rumored to have created friction, especially as Wilkinson has far less screen time than Bickmore.
‘[She is] upset that Wilkinson was brought in to sit next to her,” insiders reportedly told the publication at the time.
The Daily Telegraph noted that the center of Carrie’s frustration is probably that she’s making less than Lisa for her role on The Project.
Both women have largely denied any feud and their salary packages have not been confirmed by Channel Ten.
Wilkinson shared a moving tribute to Bickmore after the Gold Logie winner’s tearful retirement.
The beloved TV presenter fought back tears as she told viewers it was the hardest decision she’s had to make of her professional life on Tuesday.
In a sweet Instagram post, Wilkinson shared a photo of the couple riding bikes with a sweet caption describing their long friendship.
“Long before Carrie Bickmore and I were The Project collaborators, we were buddies working at different networks,” she explained.
“And I feel so fortunate to have shared the last five years at the project desk with you too, Carrie,” she continued.
She went on to explain that Bickmore’s friendship and generosity “meant the world.”
“Thank you too for your guidance and support from day one… and for always knowing just the right moment to reach out with a kind word,” she continued.
Wilkinson added that she was “impressed” by the way Bickmore has managed to juggle a 13-year career as a “great mom,” “journalist,” and “charity patron.”
“We mere mortals will never know how you pulled it all off with so much grace, good humor and all that glamour,” she added.
“I know what a big decision this was for you and we will all miss you terribly at the end of the year. I can’t wait to see what’s next in your extraordinary life, or share that next glass of wine – or five – with you!
“All my love and admiration, always,” she added.