Peter Helliar has become a staple on our screens in recent years, but where did it all begin?
In 1997, Helliar became a regular stand-up comic on RMITV’s weekly variety show Under Melbourne Tonight, broadcast on C31 Melbourne. The following year saw him become a regular on weekly variety show The Loft Live, also broadcast on C31. The series was hosted by Rove McManus.
His big break came in 1999 when he was a cast member of Rove, Rove McManus’ ill-fated first series on the Nine Network. When the show went to Network TEN in 2000, Pete went with it, becoming an integral part of the Logie Award winning variety show until the show wound up at the end of 2009, after ten years.
During this time, Pete hosted the AFL series, After The Game, which was a half-hour broadcast following the Saturday night AFL match, offering a light-hearted discussion and analysis of the Australian Football League (AFL) news and views. Due to its popularity, the series was changed to Before The Game.
In 2005, Pete created Bryan Strachan, Collinwood rookie and instant superstar. ‘Strauchanie’ was an AFL sensation, picking up the code’s Personality Of The Year Award, getting his own car in the AFL Grand Final Parade, and even being immortalised on his own official AFL Footy Card. He also won Best On Ground at the 2009 EJ Whitten match.
During all this, he has had many radio shows and regularly tours as a stand-up comic.
After Rove wrapped up in 2009, Pete created and starred in his feature film I Love You Too, which stared Brendan Cowell, Peter Dinklage, Yvonne Strahovski and Megan Gale, and was released in 2010. Later that same year he hosted sport quiz show The Trophy Room on the ABC.
Pete also created It’s A Date, a comedy series which aired on the ABC in the second half of 2013. The series was nominated for an AACTA Awards and warmly received by the ABC audience. A second season of It’s A Date brought all-new awkward, beautiful, funny, and sad dating scenarios into our lounge rooms in October 2014. As well as writing and co-producing, Peter also acted in and directed a number of episodes across both series.
Pete joined the desk on The Project as a full-time co-host in 2014, replacing one of his best mates Dave Hughes. Since then, he’s helped bring out the lighter side of the nightly news.
Sunday could see Pete make it three Gold Logies in a row for The Project hosts, but can he do it?