EXCLUSIVE: Grant Denyer gets candid about fatherhood, wanting more kids and dark family secrets

''I’d have a thousand if we could.''

By Helen Vnuk
Grant Denyer starts the interview with an apology.
"I've been crook, so please excuse my squeaky voice," he says.
Illness may have put him out of action for a few days, but it's done nothing to bring down his mood. Grant is blissfully happy.
He's in a "beautiful baby bubble", and has been since he and wife Chezzi welcomed their third daughter, Sunday, in February.
"The glow hasn't worn off," he says. "It's just glowing brighter. It's unreal.
"Our favourite thing is just making her giggle because it's just the sweetest sound you've ever heard. Oh my God, it's like warm honey."
"It's just glowing brighter," Grant says of his newborn. (Instagram)
For almost two decades, Grant Denyer's face was on TV nearly every day of the week, first as Sunrise weather reporter and then as Family Feud host. Now, a quiet patch in his presenting career has coincided with Sunday's arrival, and he couldn't be happier.
"If you're going to have a break from work just for a little bit, it's the perfect time to do it," Grant, 43, says. "I'm really thankful that I don't have much on at the moment and I can just savour it."
Chezzi, who was "so crook" with hyperemesis gravidarum throughout her pregnancy, is feeling much better now.
"She's loving this so much, I'm afraid that she's going to go, 'Oh, wow, if having a third is this easy, let's just have a fourth and a fifth!'"
As for Grant, he'd happily have more kids.
"I'd have a thousand if we could. I love it. If she wanted to go again, I would, for sure. But it's not for me to decide. I'm not the one who has hyperemesis."
Grant would happily have more kids! (Instagram)
The break from work means Grant has also been able to spend more time with his two older daughters Sailor, 10, and Scout, five.
"Just being there more than I have ever, making lunches, doing school drop-offs, and taking them to sport… all the things that were very hard for me to do in the past because I wasn't here. The effect it has on the girls is quite profound. They're happier, they feel safer, they just feel like they've got a whole family unit looking after them."
As much as he's loving the time with his kids, Grant recently jumped at the chance to explore his family history in Who Do You Think You Are?.
"It was an instant 'Hell yeah,'" he says. "I blindly went in like a dumb boy, just going, 'How cool would it be to be related to a bushranger?'"
Grant was shocked by what he learnt on the show. (SBS)
Instead, Grant was shocked by the "harrowing and dark" secrets that were dug up. He found out that his ancestors in Scotland were forced from their homes "in the most brutal way" during the Highland Clearances.
"All the women were attacked and they were driven off their land and had nowhere to live," he said. "I was not expecting to hear that my ancestors had horrific lives. It was really deeply emotional. At times it was very hard to stomach.
"It took me weeks to recover, I reckon. It really rocked me."
One thing that Grant learnt from doing the show is that he's descended from some incredibly strong women.
"I've always had really strong women in my life: my grandmothers, and my mum – she's a powerhouse – and my wife is an exceptionally strong person. Now I know it goes back three and four generations, which is incredible."

It looks like Grant and Chezzi are producing another generation of strong women. Grant, a former V8 Supercar driver, is starting to think Sailor and Scout might follow him into motorsports, after seeing the girls in action on the family's Bathurst property.
"I've been watching them drive around the shed, sideways, flat-out, relentlessly, and I thought, 'Oh, I think I know where this is going,'" he says. "So we went out to the local go-kart track, and we let them cut some laps. It turns out they love it and they're good at it."
Grant says he doesn't mind what his kids want to do.
"But if they want to do the motorsport thing, I'm certainly not going to stop them and I'm probably a good set of hands to guide them in the right direction."
As well as seeing Grant's emotional journey on Who Do You Think You Are?, viewers will get to see him take on his first "proper acting" role in new ABC comedy series Preppers later this year.
Grant's daughters have taken an interest in motorsports. (Instagram)
Grant will be starring alongside the likes of Nakkiah Lui, Miranda Tapsell and Brooke Satchwell.
"I did an audition, not thinking that I'd get the gig at all, but just wanting the experience," he explains. "Then I got the role and I was like, 'Oh my God.' I crapped myself, because I still don't know if I'm any good at it."
The series is about a group of doomsday preppers, and Grant says his character is "a bit of an a--ehole".
"I was tired of being the smiley TV guy," he says. "I reckon it'll be cool to be a d--k."
Grant has also been working on a six-part comedy series of his own.
"I have written myself a role in there," he says. "Whether I play that role will probably depend on how I go in Preppers. But it's a really great fall-from-grace story."
As to whether Grant's future lies in acting, writing or a return to TV hosting, he doesn't know. But right now, the TV WEEK Gold Logie winner is happy to focus on his family and be "more present" than he's ever been.
"I'm just being dad and that's enough for me."
Who Do You Think You Are? begins Tuesday, 7.30pm on SBS.

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