They say anything can happen on live TV and that’s exactly what happened on Sunday evening when an autocue prank left the hosts of The Project in fits of laughter. The likes of Hamish Macdonald, Tommy Little and Lisa Wilkinson couldn’t contain themselves when reading a news story about a UK Independence Party member called Richard Braine.
“And Britain’s hard-right UKIP party has just elected a new leader,” Wilkinson began. “Richard Braine. That’s right. A bloke called Dick Braine will lead the UK Independence Party into the post-Brexit era.
“You truly can’t make this stuff up.”
Richard is often shortened to Dick, which sounds very inappropriate alongside the surname Braine. It amused both the audience and Macdonald — who burst into laughter on camera.
It was then his time to read the autocue and he noticed something wasn’t quite right.
“Really?” he said, as the audience kept laughing. “This was not here before”.
Little prompted his co-star to continue reading and while laughing, Macdonald read: “It’s not every day that a politician with the name Dick Braine. That’s right …”
The 38-year-old continued to laugh when he realised Little had messed with his script.
“I don’t understand what’s going on because he doesn’t know how to type or use a keyboard,” Macdonald continued, while Little added: “I’ll finish the news. First name, Dick. Second name, Braine.
“They could have called him Big Braine. They could have called him Mega Braine. No, they went with Dick Braine. Back to you Dick Braine.”
By this time the entire panel was in stitches, with Wilkinson saying: “I’m not sure which Dick Braine he’s talking to.”
Little claimed that Dick Braine was now his favourite name and had taken over from Fanny Chmelar – who is a German former alpine skier.
“She was not,” Wilkinson said through laughter. “You’re making that up. You’re totally making that up.”
Macdonald had completely lost it by this point, hiding behind some paper on his desk to mask his purple face.
Fans watching at home couldn’t get enough of the hilarious segment and flocked to Facebook to praise the hosts for showing off their softer sides. One person wrote: “Love these two. Thank goodness we can have serious news interspersed with light heartedness.”
Another comment read: “This gave me a good laugh. Hamish and Tommy – best bromance ever!” while a third added: “Pretty sure Hamish was almost ready to wet himself by the end of this.”
Of course, Fanny Chmelar is a real person and was the subject of a viral clip from The Chase a few years ago. Host Bradley Walsh couldn’t contain himself when he had to ask a contestant on the show which sport Fanny Chmelar from Germany competed in.