Andrew Denton

Last updated

Andrew Denton
Andrew Denton (cropped).jpg
Denton in 2004
Born (1960-05-04) 4 May 1960 (age 61)
Sydney, Australia
NationalityAustralian
OccupationTelevision presenter, producer, writer, radio personality, comedian
Spouse(s) Jennifer Byrne

Andrew Christopher Denton (born 4 May 1960) [1] is an Australian television producer, comedian, Gold Logie-nominated television presenter and former radio host, and was the host of the ABC's weekly television interview program Enough Rope and the ABC game show Randling . He is known for his comedy and interviewing technique. [2] He is also responsible for introducing the troupe of The Chaser to Australian audiences.

Contents

Early life

Denton is the son of Kit Denton, writer and the author of the novel The Breaker, about Australian soldier Breaker Morant. [3] He went to Roseville Primary School in Sydney, before attending Blue Mountains Grammar School in Wentworth Falls. In 1977 he attended Guildford Grammar School in Perth. He then studied at Mitchell College of Advanced Education (MCAE) (now Charles Sturt University) in Bathurst, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 1982. [4] He was involved in the campus radio station, 2MCE.

Career

Radio

Denton worked on Australian radio stations early in his media career, beginning as a writer for radio presenter Doug Mulray on Triple M. [2] He had an early involvement in the Sydney Theatresports movement. [5]

Denton worked as a morning radio host for the Triple M in Sydney. His time on Triple M included the House From Hell reality TV program, in which various contestants were placed in a house together and involved in various stunts, tricks and tortures. Denton has said in radio interviews that he regrets being involved in the program due to the unacceptable level of human manipulation. [6]

Television

Denton made his first television appearance as an extra on the ABC television series The Investigators , and progressed to being a member of the team that was runner-up on the Australian improvised comedy show Theatresports in 1987. [7]

From the late 1980s into the 1990s, he hosted a number of TV shows, including Blah Blah Blah (1988), The Money or the Gun (1989–1990), Live and Sweaty (1991–1995), and a comedy talk show, Denton (1994–1995), that aired on Seven Network. These shows were talk-based. Live and Sweaty focused on sports and was a panel-based television show. [3]

Each week on The Money or the Gun, Andrew had a musical guest play a cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" in a different musical style, usually the genre of the guest's own musical style. [8]

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, musicians from Led Zeppelin, later appeared on Denton to perform a Rolf Harris song. (Harris performed a notable version of "Stairway to Heaven", with wobble board solo.) [9] Denton saw the beginning of the Musical Challenge segment, and challenged musical guests to perform a song from a barrel full of well-known songs. This segment evolved during his time on Triple M, resulting in three albums with tracks including Tina Arena singing "Cheap Wine", The Wiggles singing "Long way to the Top", Neil Finn performing "Sexual Healing", James Reyne performing Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights", Barenaked Ladies performing Prince's "When Doves Cry" and Paul Kelly performing Prince's "Little Red Corvette". Two volumes were released on CD titled Andrew Denton's Musical Challenge . In the early 1990s Denton was the first guest programmer on Rage. [10]

Denton appeared as a contestant on the Nine Network's Sale of the Century . [11]

While presenting his talk show Denton, he launched a public subscription scheme to hire a bounty hunter to capture fugitive businessman Christopher Skase, who was attempting to avoid extradition to Australia at the time. [12] [3] He had a cameo appearance in the Australian film Let's Get Skase .

In 2003, Denton began hosting Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. [13] He was executive producer and script editor for ABC's The Election Chaser and CNNNN . In an audience development survey in 2004, respondents named Denton as one of the "most liked and recognisable" personalities on Australian television. Enough Rope ended in late 2008.

Asked about the best skill an interviewer can bring to the job, Denton said: "Research, clearly. Listening, obviously. And leaving myself open to the possibility it won't go the way I expect." [14]

In 2009, Denton hosted the second season of Elders , a series of interviews with ageing notable Australians. After this series finished, Denton took a few years off being in front of the camera and spent more time behind the scenes. In 2012, he returned to hosting duties, to ABC's game show, Randling .

In 2014, Denton appeared on the SBS TV program Who Do You Think You Are? , tracing his Jewish family line to Poland. [15] He visited the Treblinka extermination camp and contemplated what his fate might have been had his grandfather not moved to England. [16]

In 2018, Denton hosted Interview , produced by Legacy Media for the Seven Network. [17]

Film

Denton's first feature-length documentary, God on My Side , documents his visit to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. It was first shown at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2006 with plans to show it as a TV special on ABC's Enough Rope . It was screened in Australian cinemas from 2 November 2006. Denton insists he is not anti-Christian. [18]

In 2011, Denton served as executive producer on the crowd-funded horror film The Tunnel . The film was directed by Carlo Ledesma, co-written, co-produced and co-edited by Julian Harvey and Enzo Tedeschi, and produced with Denton's production company Zapruder's Other Films.

Stage

Denton appeared as Malcolm Turnbull in the Belvoir St Theatre production of A Royal Commission into the Australian Economy, [19] written by John Clarke and Ross Stevenson, and participated in the early years of the ABC's World Series Debating. [20]

Production

Zapruder's Other Films is a production company founded in 1989 by Denton, Anita Jacoby, and Peter Thompson. [21] The company was named for Abraham Zapruder, the man who famously filmed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Works produced by the company include:

In early 2012, Zapruder merged with Cordell Jigsaw to form CJZ and, in June 2013, Denton sold his share of the company at the same time he announced that he was quitting television. [22]

Literature

Denton accompanied Tony Horwitz on portions of his research for the book Spying on the South, and is a character in the narrative. [23]

Logie Awards

Denton has been involved with the Logie Awards since the 1990s. He was the host of the awards ceremony in 1999 and 2000. Denton was nominated for several Logie awards:

Personal life

Denton lives in Sydney. He and his wife, TV presenter Jennifer Byrne, have a son. Byrne and Denton separated for six months in 1997. [2] He is a supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. [25] Denton is also an atheist. [26] In 2017 Denton was diagnosed with advanced heart disease, and underwent a successful triple bypass surgery. [27]

Related Research Articles

Roy and HG Australian comedy duo

Roy and HG are an Australian comedy duo, comprising Greig Pickhaver in the role of "H. G. Nelson" and John Doyle as "'Rampaging' Roy Slaven". Their act is an affectionate but irreverent parody of Australia's obsession with sport. Their characters are based on stereotypes in sports journalism: Nelson the excitable announcer, Slaven the retired sportsman turned expert commentator. In his 1996 book Petrol, Bait, Ammo & Ice, Pickhaver summarised the duo's comedic style as "making the serious trivial and the trivial serious".

Rove McManus Australian comedian and television host

John Henry Michael McManus, better known by the stage name Rove McManus, is an Australian triple Gold Logie award-winning comedian, television and radio presenter, producer and media personality. He was the host of the eponymous variety show Rove and was also the host of the comedy talk show Rove LA. He is the co-owner of the production company Roving Enterprises with partner Craig Campbell. He hosts Whovians on the ABC.

Dave Hughes Australian stand-up comedian and a radio and television presenter

David William Hughes is an Australian stand-up comedian, television and radio presenter living in Sydney.

Chris Taylor (comedian) Australian comedian, writer and radio host

Christopher Thornton Taylor is an Australian comedy writer, performer and broadcaster from Sydney. As a member of The Chaser, he is best known for co-writing and appearing on satirical ABC Television shows CNNNN (2002–2003) and The Chaser's War on Everything. He formerly co-hosted the drive radio show Today Today (2004–05) on Triple J with fellow Chaser member Craig Reucassel, and in 2007, he wrote the musical comedy Dead Caesar. Taylor also hosted the mini documentary series 'Australia's Heritage: National Treasures'. In 2010, with his Chaser colleague Andrew Hansen, Taylor made a musical comedy series for Triple J titled The Blow Parade, which became the number one podcast in the country, and won the 2010 ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release. In 2019, Taylor was the creator and co-writer of the drama Upright starring Tim Minchin. The series screened to critical acclaim in both Australia and the UK.

John Safran Australian filmmaker and radio personality

John Michael Safran is an Australian radio personality, satirist, documentary maker and author, known for combining humour with religious, political and ethnic issues. First gaining fame appearing in Race Around the World in 1997, Safran went on to produce a series of documentaries, television shows and host radio programs.

Enough Rope with Andrew Denton is a television interview show originally broadcast on ABC1 in Australia. The title of the show came from the phrase "give someone enough rope and they'll hang themselves".

Craig Dougall McLachlan is an Australian actor, musician, singer and composer. He has been involved in film, television, the music industry and music theatre for over 30 years. He is best known for appearing in the soap operas Neighbours and Home and Away and the BBC One spy drama Bugs. He has portrayed the title character in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, for which he was nominated for the Logie Award for Most Popular Actor; he has previously won the award in this category three times.

Kyle Sandilands Australian radio and television personality

Kyle Dalton Sandilands is an Australian radio host. He is currently the co-host, with Jackie O, of the weekday morning radio program The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Sydney's radio station KIIS 106.5.

Ray Martin (television presenter)

Raymond George "Ray" Martin AM is an Australian television journalist and entertainment personality. Having won the Gold Logie five times he is the most awarded star of Australian television, along with Graham Kennedy.

Garry George McDonald AO is an Australian actor, satirist and comedian. In a career spanning five decades he has had many theatre, television and film roles, and has been listed as a National Living Treasure. He is best known as the seemingly naive celebrity interviewer Norman Gunston, through whom he pioneered the "ambush interviewer" technique since followed by many others. He received a Gold Logie award for the television Norman Gunston Show in which he developed the character. He is also famed for his role of the hapless Arthur Beare in the television sitcom Mother and Son. Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2003 for service to the community in the mental health field and to the arts as an entertainer, he has also been a board member of the Australian mental health organisation beyondblue.

Libbi Gorr Australian broadcaster

Lisbeth Joanne "Libbi" Gorr is an Australian broadcaster working in both TV and radio. Gorr is also an author, voice artist, writer and performer. She first came to prominence with the satirical television character that she created called "Elle McFeast".

Allan Hogan is a veteran Australian investigative journalist.

Jennifer Victoria Byrne is an Australian journalist, television presenter and former book publisher. She currently hosts the monthly ABC television program First Tuesday Book Club, later renamed The Book Club.

Live and Sweaty was an Australian sports television program, broadcast on the ABC from 1991 until 1994. Hosted by Andrew Denton, the show was part panel-based, part talk show and part comedy, and predated The Footy Show which has a similar format.

Marc Fennell

Marc Fennell is an Australian film critic, technology journalist, radio personality, author and television presenter. Fennell is the co-anchor on The Feed.

Toby Schmitz Australian actor and playwright

Toby Schmitz is an Australian actor and playwright.

Hungry Beast was an Australian television comedy and current affairs program that was broadcast on ABC Television.

Elders with Andrew Denton is a television interview show broadcast on ABC1 in Australia.

Michael Robert Willesee, was an Australian television journalist, interviewer and presenter.

Anita Jacoby, AM is an Australian award-winning television producer, broadcast executive, journalist and non-executive director. She has held senior production roles with the Nine Network, Seven Network, Ten Network, ABC, SBS and Foxtel. Jacoby has worked in the independent production sector as managing director of ITV Studios Australia, head of development and production at Zapruder's Other Films and co-owner of G & J Productions.

References

  1. "Today's Birthday 4/5", Seven News , 4 May 2020
  2. 1 2 3 Mose, Alexa (26 February 2005). "No more Mr Funny Guy". The Age . Melbourne. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 Leser, David (16 September 2014). "Dark side of the loon". The Sydney Morning Herald . Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  4. "Graduate Success". School of Communication, Charles Sturt University. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  5. "Andrew Denton". ABC. Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  6. Bodey, Michael (18 October 2014). "Andrew Denton: Triple M game was my greatest shame". The Australian . Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  7. Dino Scatena (March 1994). "Do Not Adjust Your Set". Rolling Stone Australia . Sydney. pp. 40–45.
  8. Tatz, Simon (12 April 2016). "Stairway to Heaven: Rock riff or rip-off?". ABC News. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  9. Brown, Warren (4 July 2014). "The day I ambushed Rolf Harris". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  10. "'We thought maybe six weeks': Rage was never meant to last 30 years". ABC News. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  11. "About Andrew". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 12 December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  12. Greg Hassall (26 June 2013). "Andrew Denton: his final farewell?". The Guardian . Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  13. "The man is all talk". The Age . 20 March 2003. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  14. Dow, Steve (2 October 2005). "Interviewers: Andrew Denton". Archived from the original on 16 February 2011.
  15. "Andrew Denton | Who Do You Think You Are on SBS". Sbs.com.au. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  16. Andrew Denton (5 July 2014). "The Last witness". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  17. David Knox (10 April 2018). "Airdate: Interview". TV Tonight. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  18. "Andrew Denton's very Christian anti-Christian film". Eureka Street. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  19. "Features. Still full of fire and in demand". The Canberra Times . 10 November 1991. p. 18. Retrieved 17 August 2018 via Trove.
  20. "Relief from TV doldrums". The Canberra Times. 8 April 1993. p. 10. Retrieved 17 August 2018 via Trove.
  21. "Programs". Zapruders other films. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  22. "Andrew Denton sells out of Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder and quits television". The Australian . 26 June 2013.
  23. Tony Horwitz. Spying on the South. pp. 154–215.
  24. 1 2 "ABC's Denton, Lilley and Hills nominated for Gold Logie". Herald Sun . 7 April 2008. Archived from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  25. "A few drinks with Andrew Denton". Inside Sport. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  26. Andrew Denton Interviews Three Priests'Enough Rope Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine ', 25 July 2005.
  27. Marshall, Konrad (21 June 2019). "After a near-death experience, Andrew Denton has a new intensity". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 23 October 2020.