Tom Gleeson made a cheeky dig at The Project panel when he appeared on the show last night by pointing at the show’s plummeting ratings.

Gleeson appeared on the talk show to promote his new show Taskmasters Australia and joked that he was going to be nice to the panelists so that the program would be well received.

“I’m loving the new Project. It’s great. I love it. What’s not to like about this show?” He began.

“We’ve got Liz, a legend of Australian sports. Sarah Harris, who’s a natural on camera. I’ve always loved you. We’ve got Waleed, an intellectual with political opinions that are hard to pin down. We’ve got Sam who’s the best comedian of his generation. I’ve seen his act. It’s amazing.”

“To be honest, I only said it because I’ve seen your ratings, and I thought you needed a morale boost,” he finished.

Fortunately, The Project hosts took the jibe well and laughed it off.

In February, it was reported that The Project’s viewership was down by 29 percent compared to the same time last year, going off metro and regional Australia ratings data.

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Gleeson’s backhanded compliment came just days after former panelist Tommy Little made a joke about recent changes on the show.

“The self-described d**khead of Aussie comedy is back. Please welcome a friend of the show, Tommy Little!” Waleed Aly said when introducing him on the show.

Tommy replied: “Oh god guys, it’s good to be back. What’s happened since I’ve been gone, nothing controversial I hope?”

Tommy was referring to the recent mass exodus of Project hosts, which saw Lisa Wilkinson, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Heliar quit the news show late last year.

Carrie who filmed her last show on November 30, after 13 years with The Project, broke down in tears as she told viewers of her decision to leave.

“After 13 years at The Project, I have made the tough decision to finish up hosting the show at the end of the year. It‘s been the hardest decision of my professional life to make this call, but it’s time for a new challenge and my next chapter,” she said at the time.

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