Carrie Bickmore leaves Project, Lisa Wilkinson and Tommy Little Pay tribute

Carrie Bickmore‘s colleagues and friends have paid emotional tributes after she announced she would be leaving The Project after 13 years.

Lisa Wilkinson took to Instagram to express all her “love and admiration” for the Gold Logie winner.

“I feel so lucky to have now also shared the last five years at the Project desk with you, Carrie,” desk buddy Lisa Wilkinson said in an Instagram post.

“Thanks too for your guidance and support right from day one…and for always knowing just the right moment to reach out with a kind word.”

Wilkinson said she would “forever be in awe” of Bickmore‘s life-juggling skills, balancing being an ”awesome mum, journalist, charity patron and chief wrangler of [Tommy Little]”.

“We mere mortals will never know how you did it all with so much grace, good humour and all that glamour. (Let’s face it, you’ve always been the best-dressed one at the desk),” she said.

Wilkinson was not the only one of Bickmore‘s colleagues to pay tribute to the star, with Tommy Little describing her as “the best in the business”.

“She lifts up everyone around her and makes them all look good, something which has served me well for years,” he said.

“She’s the heart and soul of this show and unless there’s anymore surprise announcements this week I’m stoked to be able to ride these coat tails a little longer with our radio show.”

Bickmore announced her departure from The Project on Tuesday night’s show, and said the decision was the “hardest of my professional life”.

“After 13 years at The Project, I have made the tough decision to finish up hosting the show at the end of the year. It‘s been the hardest decision of my professional life to make this call, but it’s time for a new challenge and my next chapter,” she said.

“There’s so much I’m gonna miss, I’m gonna miss my best mates on the desk, the job itself, which is so incredibly fulfilling. The wonderful viewers over the last 13 years.

“It’s no secret that this show has become a second home to me, and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone that has been involved on and off screen.”

Australian radio star Fifi Box has also paid tribute to her “BFF‘s” time on The Project, saying that she had ”sacrificed so much over the past 13 years to beam into our lounge rooms every night”.

“She is incredible, an absolute star, the best in the biz and every night I sat next to her on the desk I just watched on in awe,” she said on Instagram.

“This is such a brave and courageous decision to step away but I know there will be so many more exciting adventures to come and lots of family time that you will never regret.”

Comedy legend Rove McManus also paid tribute to Ms Bickmore, describing her departure as “sad”.

“There is no one who has done more for @theprojecttv than @BickmoreCarrie and while sad to see her go, we know this isn’t the last chapter by a long shot,“ he said on Twitter.

“Also, I can’t wait for her to have more time for my family dinners and piano lessons now too.”

Other producers and staff from the show have expressed how sad they are to see Ms Bickmore leave.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford also weighed in on her departure, saying The Project had “lost their biggest asset”.

“Nobody is indispensable but there are some people easier to lose than others,” he said.

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