‘Nothing off limits’: The Weekly with Charlie Pickering returns for 10th anniversary season

The Yearly with Charlie Pickering: An honest review of Aussie TV in 2023

Source: ABC

It was hard to forget the headlines that topped the domestic and international 24-hour news cycle throughout 2023.

There was the Titan submersible tragedy, the Leongatha mushroom poisoning, the Matildas, the Gaza conflict and the King’s coronation, all hot topics addressed by the ABC’s popular satirical TV news program, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.

Pickering, 46, brought in Monty Python alum John Cleese, British-Irish comedian Jimmy Carr and RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under judge and stand-up comedian Rhys Nicholson to help unpack, cancel and generally slay the news in just 30 minutes.

Before the program’s 10th anniversary year, Pickering, who has been a comedian for 25 years, tells The New Daily he’s looking forward to covering everything from the antics of Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton, Donald Trump, the US presidential election and the Paris Olympics.

“Local politics is always front and centre … the No.1 source of material,” he says.

“We can expect politicians twisting themselves into pretzels, trying to land cheap points on any given day. That’s not going to change any time soon … nothing is off the table as far as silly things to argue about.

“We plan ahead, but the news always throws up something unexpected and the biggest story always ends up not what you think it’s going to be.

“In 2020, we thought it was all going to be about bushfires and there was a pandemic, and then there was only one big news story in the world the whole time … so we’re always surprised.”

‘Nothing off limits’

The Weekly, which premiered on the ABC in 2015, was back in the studio on Tuesday to record its first show for the season.

This year we’ll see return panellists including Nicholson, Roy and HG and Triple J breakfast host Concetta Caristo, as well as the “funniest new comedic talent” going around for his “instant expert” segment.

To align with covering the US election in November, Pickering reveals he will also cross to a new US correspondent for updates.

“What I love about big elections is there are people who are desperate to be in front of a camera. They need to get their name out there, they need to be constantly in the media and in the story of the election. It means there is so much material to work with.”

As a result, he’s introducing a new segment: “We’re auditioning new allies for Australia because I am pretty convinced the US are not necessarily the best ally to have. Our best ally, he only ever seems to have nice things to say about Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un”.

Aside from a sketch on Gaza – in last year’s end-of-year wrap, The Yearly, which “a lot of people didn’t like”) – Pickering is “a believer that there’s nothing off limits. You can talk about anything and you can possibly find ways of making jokes about them”.

The show has been compared to Last Week With John Oliver, which picked up Primetime Emmy and Critics Choice Awards last month.

He’s “flattered’ the show has picked up two nominations for this weekend’s AACTA awards, but he wants to make it clear there’s no ‘I’ in team.

“I’m obsessed with American football and with a lot of sports. A team can’t win just because it’s got one player that gets all the attention.

“You need everyone doing their job. I really do see that my job hosting this show is like a quarterback in the NFL … I am there to execute and deliver on the hard work that everyone else has done to get there.”

The Weekly with Charlie Pickering premieres on ABC and iview on Wednesday, February 7 at 8.30pm

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