The Ten Network has come under fire for sending the wife of Australia’s most vocal republican to spearhead its coverage of the Queen’s funeral.
Industry insiders questioned the ability of Lisa Wilkinson to cover the historic event impartially when her husband, Peter FitzSimons, was chair of the Australian Republican Movement.
FitzSimons has long agitated for the removal of the royal family from Australia’s governance and has been a strong critic of King Charles.
He was quoted in The Australian in 2017 insisting that: “Every step towards the coronation of Prince Charles will spark increased republican support as Australians say in unison ‘we can do better’.”
He added: “When King Charles inherits his mum’s job, it’s on.”
Sources at Channel 10 have responded to critics of Wilkinson’s role saying they had no reservations since she was something of an expert on the royal family thanks to her years as a magazine editor.
She had previously covered the weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton for Channel Nine’s Today show in 2011 and of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for The Project in 2018.
There had never been any suggestion of bias.
The Project’s executive producer, Chris Bendall, told media he had no idea whether Wilkinson shared her husband’s anti-monarchist views.