Project hosts clash: ‘You w***er’
A FIERY debate has erupted on The Project desk, with co-hosts Peter Helliar and Steve Price clashing over plans to allow horse racing advertising to be projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Weighing into the debate which has already dominated the public forum this week, outspoken radio host Steve Price insisted that he didn't see what "the big deal" was.
"It's a few lights flashed up on the sails briefly, there's no graffiti, it's not advertising, it's promotion of a NSW sporting event," he told the panel, pointing out that the iconic building had shown its support for the Wallabies in the past.
When Helliar argued with him, Price hit back: "You're so obsessed with this story. You don't even live in Sydney. You didn't even pay for the Opera House - I did!"
Helliar laughed in disbelief as he responded: "You've made me angry. You paid for the Opera House? There's your headline. You're a w***er."
Later during Monday night's show, the comedian also slammed shock jock Alan Jones over his "bullying" interview with Opera House chief Louise Herron, during which he threatened to have her sacked unless she changed her mind about opposing the Everest horse racing advertisement.
"This isn't about gambling, it's the fact that the Sydney Opera House have a charter, and they've been forced to change that charter and that interview with Alan Jones - and it's almost a side issue - but that was disgusting," Helliar said angrily.
"That was so disgusting. To hear a woman bullied … and (NSW Premier) Gladys Berejiklian - even if she had nothing to do with it - shouldn't have gone ahead with (approval of the Everest projection). She should have changed her mind to send a message."
But Price refused to be drawn into criticism of his Macquarie Radio colleague.
"You've put me in a difficult position because that's a colleague of mine and I don't intend to sit here and pass judgment on Alan Jones, that's not what I'm going to do," he said flatly.
"I don't do it about any of you guys when I'm on the radio and I won't do it about the people I work with."
"So you're comfortable with it, yeah?" Helliar pressed him, prompting a blank stare and awkward silence from Price, which was only broken when Waleed Aly chimed in: "Oooh, the ice from Pete!"
It comes as death threats and protest plans have reportedly forced police to upgrade security around tonight's planned light show on the iconic Sydney venue.
"Some people have issued death threats and violence - we can have differences of opinion but I don't think it's necessary to resort to that type of thing," Racing NSW CEO Peter V'landys said on Monday night.
"Everyone's entitled to protest but make sure you protest without violence. This is not a permanent display - it's six minutes."