After months of anticipation, Lisa Wilkinson is about to make her debut behind The Project desk – and she’s starting to feel the pressure!
Causing a national sensation when she left her hosting role on the Today show late last year amid failed contract negotiations, the much-loved media star is throwing everything she has at her new role at Channel Ten.
‘It was a privilege to be part of the Today show team for more than a decade,’ says Lisa of her career change.
‘I leave behind wonderful experiences and cherished friendships. But it was time to set myself some new challenges.’
But with new challenges come high expectations, with sources revealing that even a seasoned professional such as Lisa, 58, isn’t immune to feeling some new-job jitters.
‘Lisa is incredibly nervous about her new role on The Project,’ says a source. ‘She of course is really confident within herself and has a lot of faith in her abilities, but it’s been a long time since her performance and work has been under such a spotlight and it’s understandable that she’s a little anxious.
‘She knows all of Australia will be watching her, waiting for any slip-up – as well as TV bosses overseas who’ve taken a keen interest in her career since her defection to Ten.’
Spotted spending some quality time with husband Peter FitzSimons, 56, in New York ahead of her big debut, insiders say the trip was one last hoorah before Lisa got back in front of the cameras.
‘Lisa really wants this new gig to go well and is really feeling the pressure. It’s one of the reasons her hubby Peter whisked her off to New York for a trip before her start on TV–to try and get her mind off things, get her to relax a little before she hits the TV screens again.’
Having spent her time on gardening leave bragging about all her sleep-ins, staying up late on school nights, spending quality time with her family and... gardening, the former magazine editor is now faced with the reality that she has swapped 3.30am wake-up calls with interstate commutes.
‘I’ve always put my family first,’ says Lisa. ‘Whenever I have made a move – either re-signing with a network or making the move to another – they are the ones who I consult first and last.’
But with a weekly commute to Melbourne to host the show three nights a week, Lisa’s new schedule is going to take some getting used to.
‘Lisa has loved having the past few months off to really reconnect with Pete and their kids,’ says a source. ‘They aren’t really sure how it’s going to work with Lisa working in Melbourne. They are just going to take it week by week.’
At this pinnacle time in her life, Lisa may be feeling the strain, but her biggest critic will most definitely be herself.
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