Grant Denyer Q&A
How are you feeling in your new role hosting Family Feud?
Totally loving it! It's funny, unpredictable and just classic family viewing. It's incredibly easy to make because it's so much fun. It's nice to be able to 'play' in an environment like that. It's turned out to be a really great decision to bring back the iconic format and to accept the role as its host.
How is working at Network Ten different from Channel 7?
They're both in the business of making entertainment so it's not much different. Obviously I've gone from hosting a lot of big shiny floor show formats on a network that is number one, to a network that's really in a stage of reinventing itself, which is exciting to be a part of. Ten is making a lot of changes and digging deep through its business to turn around its fortunes which promises a lot of growth and good times to come. Family Feud is a big part of that turn around so far, so it's nice to play at Ten and help them kick their first few goals.
Have you managed to get your work-life balance right now? If so, how has it changed and how did you make that happen?
Family Feud has helped me establish my work-life balance because its shoot schedule is condensed and we can shoot 5 episodes in one day, which allows me to have decent downtime.
How is your health now? How did you overcome your stomach bug and chronic fatigue?
I’m still physically overcoming the chronic fatigue but I’m 1000% better than where I was about this time last year. I have to be disciplined in terms of ensuring that I rest well, eat well and exercise. The doctors said it would be a long process getting back to full health, but I’m most of the way through that now.
Have you set yourself any limits in TV to prevent the over-work you suffered at Channel 7?
At Seven I was my own worst enemy in always saying yes to everything that came my way. I love working in TV and I’ve always been well aware that it could end tomorrow so I’ve always been thankful and appreciative of every opportunity I’ve been given.
However, in always taking on so much you run the risk of knocking yourself around, so now I’m just a bit more selective about the things I chose to do in order to be sure that I do them well, and I squeeze the most fun out of them rather than squeeze too much out of myself.
How do you feel looking back over your time at Channel 7? Any highlights and regrets?
I had the most incredibly enjoyable ten years of my life there. I’m very proud of having hosted a number of No. 1, big format shows, and that, along with an exciting career travelling the country, meeting people and doing crazy things - I wouldn’t change it for the world.
You have been credited with being an important part of the reason Sunrise overtook Today in breakfast TV ratings – what qualities do you think you have that viewers like?
I just try and be myself and to have a laugh. I don’t take things too seriously and it’s important to remember that at the end of the day it’s just television.
I think that me being a kid from the country and also racing V8 supercars has meant that different kinds of people could relate to me, whether it’s blokey blokes or grandmas.
Why did you decide not to pursue legal action over the allegations of drug abuse published earlier this year?
Chezzi and I haven’t decided not pursue legal action and have never said that. We are still considering moving it forward and it is with our lawyers. The cost both financially and otherwise of entering into a long and expensive lawsuit is something that needs to be balanced with the potential upside. Defamation suits are difficult for everyone and we have a young daughter that we need to consider before ourselves.
What was your relationship to Askin Karahan at The Cabin and was he a credible witness? What do you think was his motivation to make allegations about you?
We don’t know Askin at all and have no relationship with him. All I know is apparently he was at The Cabin for about two days while we were there but he was not in our group and we had no interaction with him. But he approached Woman’s Day trying to make some cash by selling his story and they paid him $30k, so I guess money was his motivation. However we have no ill feeling towards him and don’t want to judge. Desperate people do desperate things and we don’t know his personal situation or what led him to do it.
Why did you and Cheryl seek treatment at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic if your health problems were not related to substance abuse?
The Cabin was recommended to us as being world renowned for helping with many issues. There were people in our group being treated for executive burnout, chronic fatigue and other forms of addiction not related to drugs or alcohol. The Cabin themselves made a statement of this nature as well.
What are your future hopes for your V8 motor racing career? What about TV and family?
Racing is a massive part of my life and who I am. I stepped out of the sport over the last 2 years because I couldn’t fit it in nor was I strong enough to compete. But I missed it greatly and I’m moving back into the sport again, which comes down to work-life balance and ensuring I have things in my life other than television. That and family are what keeps my head level.
If your daughter wanted to go into TV when she was older, would you encourage her to go in that direction? Why/why not?
I’m incredibly proud of her now so I’d have no problems with her following her dreams, whatever they may be. At 3 years old she’s a very funny, charismatic and charming little girl.
TEN Q&A. *From a Network Ten spokesperson.*
Why did Network Ten choose Grant Denyer to host Family Feud?
We considered several people for the role of Family Feud host. Grant was selected because he is warm, funny, popular, accessible and the consummate professional. As the many, many Australians who are now enjoying Family Feud every weeknight can attest, Grant is the perfect host for the show.
How is the show doing? Are ratings better or lower than expected?
Family Feud has been a great success and has generated strong growth for Network Ten in the 6pm to 6.30pm weeknights timeslot. We are very pleased with how it is performing.
Were you concerned by allegations of drug abuse by Grant? And how this might potentially impact the reputation of a family TV show?
Grant has repeatedly and comprehensively denied those allegations since they were made in February this year. The claims made in the magazine article were false.
Given he has been unwell over the past year [this is not strictly correct; he was unwell last year and the early part of this year], what consideration did you put into his appointment?
We spoke at length with Grant and his management before he was hired to host Family Feud. We were very conscious of his health problems, which is why they were discussed in detail.
How in your opinion will working at Network Ten be different from his former roles at Channel 7?
That is more a question for Grant than us.
What's the long-term plan for Family Feud?
To keep entertaining Australians and keep growing its audience in a highly competitive timeslot.