It seems that 2022 will be best remembered for holding a giant re-set of some of our biggest TV names and shows, as some of our highest-profile presenters have decided to call it a day — either temporarily or perhaps longer term. It is hard to recall a year where so many key personalities have stepped away from their long-running roles, whether it be for new ventures, a less public profile or just to take some extended time away.
In June, Leigh Sales signed off as host of ABC‘s 7.30 after 11 years at the helm. She is taking an extended break but will be returning to air next year as host of documentary series Australian Story.
YouTube: ABC News In-depth
In September, A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw announced that she was stepping down from the show at the end of the year. After a 17-year run, she was ACA‘s longest-serving host. Like Sales, she is taking an extended break but is set to return in a new role at Nine, where she has been employed since 1981. Replacing Grimshaw at the ACA desk is former Today co-host Ally Langdon, who in turn is being replaced at Today by Sarah Abo.
YouTube: A Current Affair
But the biggest shake-up is on the hosting panel for Network Ten‘s The Project — losing three key on-air personnel within a month. Carrie Bickmore, who was part of the show’s founding line-up in 2009 and won a Gold Logie in 2015, announced in October that she was leaving the show, ending a 17-year association with the network.
YouTube: The Project
In November, fellow The Project host Lisa Wilkinson made a sudden decision to also leave the show. She joined The Project in 2018 after ten years as co-host on Nine‘s Today. Her departure from The Project came after she attracted controversy and public scrutiny from comments she made when accepting a Logie award for The Project in June in recognition for her interview with former political staffer Brittany Higgins. Wilkinson’s comments were said to be a factor in the high-profile trial of Higgins’ former colleague Bruce Lehrmann being postponed. The trial has since been abandoned.
Wilkinson is set to stay with Ten in a new role to be announced. Former Studio 10 co-host Sarah Harris is moving to Melbourne to join the panel on The Project in 2023.
YouTube: The Project
Just days after Wilkinson’s announcement, another The Project co-host, Peter Helliar, also announced his imminent departure from the show. Helliar had been on the panel of The Project for eight years and associated with Network Ten for 22 years, with other credits including Rove Live, Skithouse, Before The Game, CRAM and How To Stay Married. Helliar will be replaced on the show by comedian Sam Taunton, while comedian and Triple J host Michael Hing joins the panel on Friday and Sunday nights.
YouTube: The Project
At a local level, there were also some major departures. Seven News Adelaide newsreader Jane Doyle signed off earlier this month after 33 years with the network. She will be replaced in the new year by former weekend newsreaders Rosanna Mangiarelli and Will Goodings.
YouTube: 7NEWS Australia
In October, Shauna Willis, a long-time presenter at Seven (formerly GWN7) in regional WA, left the network after more than 30 years.
Queensland newsreader Bruce Paige resigned from Nine News Gold Coast after 12 years. A veteran of more than 50 years in television news in Queensland, and a former newsreader at Nine News in Brisbane, he is now set to return to the Brisbane newsroom as a seniors reporter.
YouTube: Australian TV Fan
Looking back at 2022, Television.AU covered:
- The short-lived early ’70s pop music show Fly Wrinklys Fly,
- the 40th anniversary of Sons And Daughters,
- 60 years of TV in regional NSW and Queensland,
- the 50th anniversary of Number 96,
- the 20th anniversary of Kath And Kim,
- the 90th anniversary of ABC, and a look back at ABC’s 50th anniversary in 1982,
- the 40th anniversary of Today,
- the 30th anniversary of The Late Show,
- the big finale of Neighbours… only to see the show returning in 2023,
- the TV magazine battle of 2002,
- the 40th anniversary of Nine News in Darwin,
- the ill-fated 1970 cop show pilot 26 Hill Street,
- Young Talent Time‘s Caravan Holiday,
- the TV Week Logie Awards of 1972, 1997 and 2012.
During the year we also added 61 listings to the Classic TV Guides archive.
Best wishes for a Happy New Year!