Carrie Bickmore has announced she is leaving The Project after an incredible 13 years as the face of the show.

An emotional Carrie shared the huge news on Tuesday night’s episode saying that she wanted to have more family time and to know who she was outside of the program.

The Gold Logie winner has been on the show since the first episode aired in 2009, alongside Charlie Pickering.

Holding back tears, Carrie said it was the “hardest decision of my professional life but it’s time for a new challenge and my next chapter”.

“I have some news that I wanted to share… s*** I’m already crying,” she began.

“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 for my next chapter.

“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.

“It has been a long journey. I started the show when Ollie, my son, was one, and he’s now 15, which is crazy. And I want to spend more time at home.

“I want to have more family dinners. I’ll watch the show at home with a glass of wine in hand. I just wanted to say an enormous thank you.

“It has been an incredible privilege.”

Following her announcement, Carrie shared a throwback photo of her son Ollie when he was just one, sitting at The Project desk, and a more current one.

Co-host Lisa Wilkinson took to Instagram and thanked Carrie for her friendship well before they started working for the same network.

“Long before @bickmorecarrie and I were @theprojecttv colleagues, we were mates off air working at different networks. And I feel so lucky to have now also shared the last five years at the Project desk with you, Carrie,” her caption read.

“Your friendship and generosity have meant the world to me. 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.

“I will forever be in awe of the way you have managed to juggle it all so superbly for the last 13 incredible years: awesome mum, journalist, charity patron, and chief wrangler of @mrstommylittle.

“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 – sorry Waleed, @pjhelliar & Hamish, but you know it’s true!)

“I know what a huge decision this has been for you, and we are all going to miss you terribly come year’s end. Can’t wait to see what comes next in your extraordinary life, or to share that next glass of wine – or five – with you!

“All my love and admiration, always, L.xxxx”

It is believed that Carrie already knew that she would be leaving The Project after announcing earlier this year that she will be going overseas to spend more time with the family.

“We’ve been wanting to do it for a while but lots of reasons, timing hasn’t been right, but 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,“ she said at the time.

“ … One of the things that my son Ollie said was how much he was going to miss the family time when we were coming out of lockdown, which kind of surprised us because we had a lot of family time!”

“But we thought, gosh, he still wants to spend time with us and while he does he only has a few years left and then he will fly away so we thought we would seize the moment and do it.”

Carrie shared several photos while on holiday with her family explaining that she missed being able to just spend time with her husband and children.

After returning to Australia, Carrie revealed that her daughter Evie’s favourite thing about the entire trip was having her mum there for everything.

“I asked Evie what her favourite thing about the trip was, and it was the same as mine: Picking her up from school every day. It wasn’t being at the Eiffel Tower, it was such a simple thing,” Carrie said.

Her teenage son also had similar thoughts about the trip.

“As a family, we’re often (like) ships in the night, and he said ‘I feel like I know my sisters so much better now.’ It’s because we were in this tiny little place, all together, a lot, with no time apart – which comes with tension, but then you break through that.”

Carrie will leave The Project at the end of the year.

Images: Instagram

This article first appeared on OverSixty.