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Hamish Macdonald says he felt ‘isolated’ and ‘overwhelmed’ at the ABC before quitting Q+A

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Hamish Macdonald says he felt 'isolated' and 'overwhelmed' at the ABC before quitting Q+A

Hamish Macdonald has revealed that he struggled with some aspects on his job on ABC’s Q+A before his departure last month. 

The 40-year-old admitted that he felt ‘alone’ in dealing with the trolling he experienced online as a result of the role, an experience he calls, ‘pretty isolating’.

‘I didn’t go into it naively. I knew there would be added scrutiny,’ he told The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday. 

Hard: Hamish Macdonald (pictured) has revealed he struggled with some aspects on his job on ABC's Q+A before his departure last month. The 40-year-old admitted that he felt 'alone' in dealing with the trolling he experienced online as a result of the role

Hard: Hamish Macdonald (pictured) has revealed he struggled with some aspects on his job on ABC's Q+A before his departure last month. The 40-year-old admitted that he felt 'alone' in dealing with the trolling he experienced online as a result of the role

Hard: Hamish Macdonald (pictured) has revealed he struggled with some aspects on his job on ABC’s Q+A before his departure last month. The 40-year-old admitted that he felt ‘alone’ in dealing with the trolling he experienced online as a result of the role

‘But I do think people would be surprised by the degree to which people who work in roles like that are left alone to navigate the trolling and the abuse that comes with it. It was a surprise to me. It was overwhelming at times. 

‘It became something I could not manage on my own, and I could not get away from it,’ he added. 

Hamish quit social media in the middle of 2020, explaining that his role as mediator on the ABC program saw him cop plenty of abuse online over his interviews.

‘I’ve never had more abuse for the interviews I’ve conducted than I had last year,’ he told Stellar at the time. 

‘And the abuse has come from left-wing people who don’t like you asking difficult questions of Dan Andrews, and it’s come from people on the right who don’t like you asking difficult questions of the federal government,’ he added. 

The journalist is set to return to The Project on Friday and Sunday nights – and says his comeback to the Channel Ten program is a ‘genuine privilege’. 

Abuse: Hamish quit social media in the middle of 2020, explaining that his role as mediator on the ABC program saw him cop plenty of abuse online over his interviews

Abuse: Hamish quit social media in the middle of 2020, explaining that his role as mediator on the ABC program saw him cop plenty of abuse online over his interviews

Abuse: Hamish quit social media in the middle of 2020, explaining that his role as mediator on the ABC program saw him cop plenty of abuse online over his interviews

‘The Project is part of my DNA… it’s something I really believe in, it’s a show that I love, it’s an ecosystem of people that I love and get along with,’ he told The Sydney Morning Herald. 

‘Tommy [Little], Carrie [Bickmore], Lisa [Wilkinson], Waleed [Aly], Pete [Helliar], they are genuinely my friends. They’re people I talk to all the time’. 

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Hamish quit the ABC less than 18 months after taking over as Q&A host – and almost a month since he last fronted the show with flagging ratings.

Back: The journalist is set to return to The Project on Friday and Sunday nights - and says his comeback to the Channel Ten program is a 'genuine privilege'. 'The Project is part of my DNA... it's something I really believe in, it's a show that I love, it's an ecosystem of people that I love and get along with,' he said. Pictured with Waleed Aly and Lisa Wilkinson

Back: The journalist is set to return to The Project on Friday and Sunday nights - and says his comeback to the Channel Ten program is a 'genuine privilege'. 'The Project is part of my DNA... it's something I really believe in, it's a show that I love, it's an ecosystem of people that I love and get along with,' he said. Pictured with Waleed Aly and Lisa Wilkinson

Back: The journalist is set to return to The Project on Friday and Sunday nights – and says his comeback to the Channel Ten program is a ‘genuine privilege’. ‘The Project is part of my DNA… it’s something I really believe in, it’s a show that I love, it’s an ecosystem of people that I love and get along with,’ he said. Pictured with Waleed Aly and Lisa Wilkinson

The broadcaster represented generational change when he replaced baby boomer Tony Jones, who had hosted the current affairs panel program since its debut in 2008.

Hamish took over hosting duties in February 2020, just before the onset of the pandemic, but Covid social distancing rules meant the show for much of last year lacked a studio audience.

Ratings fell in 2021 as the program was shifted from Monday nights to 9.35pm on Thursdays, with viewer numbers in April dropping to just 224,000, less than half the 600,000 level of 2012.

The ABC announced his departure with a statement praising his ‘outstanding 18 months with the national broadcaster’.

Hamish said he was ‘enormously grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given’. 

‘I’m really excited to be moving on to a new opportunity, and working more with the ABC in the future,’ he said. 

Moved on: Hamish quit the ABC less than 18 months after taking over as Q&A host - and almost a month since he last fronted the show with flagging ratings

Moved on: Hamish quit the ABC less than 18 months after taking over as Q&A host - and almost a month since he last fronted the show with flagging ratings

Moved on: Hamish quit the ABC less than 18 months after taking over as Q&A host – and almost a month since he last fronted the show with flagging ratings 

‘I am enormously grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to host Q&A and to work alongside wonderful, talented and passionate people,’ he said in a statement.

‘I am really proud of what we’ve achieved together during these extraordinary times. I’d also like to thank the incredible Q+A audience for all they contribute to this program each week. 

‘It is, after all, their show. Their questions and stories from all corners of Australia are inspiring, revealing and clever – and it has been a privilege to receive and read them.’

Grateful: 'I am enormously grateful for the opportunity I've been given to host Q&A and to work alongside wonderful, talented and passionate people,' he said in a statement

Grateful: 'I am enormously grateful for the opportunity I've been given to host Q&A and to work alongside wonderful, talented and passionate people,' he said in a statement

Grateful: ‘I am enormously grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to host Q&A and to work alongside wonderful, talented and passionate people,’ he said in a statement

Hamish Macdonald says he felt 'isolated' and 'overwhelmed' at the ABC before quitting Q+A

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