Grant Denyer has been a renowned face on Australian Television for some time. From his time competing in the V8 Supercars and his public start on Sunrise to his meteoric rise into Australian hearts as the host of the runaway success of Family Feud, there’s no denying he is a familiar face on our televisions. This year we see him receive his third Gold Logie nomination for Family Feud and a new upcoming show from the mind of Ellen DeGeneres, Game of Games. We sat down with Grant to get his thoughts on his recent nomination, Game of Games and everything in between.
Grant Denyer: I did the math the other day on how many times I’ve been nominated versus how many times I’ve won and it’s pretty embarrassing. I have been nominated 22 times either personally or for shows I’ve been on and Family Feud has won one Logie. Not a great record.
Glam Adelaide: Nominations are still a great thing and I would say your chances for the Gold Logie are quite good this year.
GD: You don’t ever really know. If you look at the history and look at the odds, does the favourite always win? The last few years after being nominated I was terrified. I was terrified of winning and then having to make some sort of amazing speech in front of all your industry peers. This time I’m like; you know what, it may be the last time I’m nominated, enjoy the experience and enjoy the night. I’m just going to have fun this time.
GA: Who would you say would be your biggest competition this year?
GD: I reckon Tracey Grimshaw or Amanda Keller. They’re both in legend status. I think the award tries to be about that kind of calibre star. Amanda is an incredible broadcaster and an amazing human being. She’s been doing it longer and better than I have. It’s tough. I mean Family Feud has been on television 6 nights a week twice a day for 4 years and the country fell in love with it. So, you never really know.
GA: I would agree. Amanda Keller is my next bet but us here at GLAM Adelaide are backing you of course.
GD: You try not to get too excited by it. You want to be realistic but there is a little piece of me, that has been doing this for 20 years, that goes it would be really incredible and tremendously humbling. I never expected a game show host to ever be nominated for a Gold Logie. I didn’t think game shows found their way into the hearts of Aussie’s enough to motivate them to vote. I didn’t think game shows were special enough but they’ve proved me wrong.
GA: I think it’s all about the personality, right? Ray Martin has won several times and I think he was all about personality.
GD: Yeah I think so. You have to remember Family Feud is 50 years old. And that was part of the reason I was hesitant to take the job on. I kind of thought well if I just make it my own, be a bit loose with it and just have a really good time and that will keep it fresh. The fact that we’re up for a Gold Logie nomination has blown me away. I did not see that coming when I started Family Feud 4 years ago.
GA: So now that you’ve got Game of Games coming up do you feel like it’s going to have the same success as Family Feud?
GD: I think so. It’s slightly different in the fact it’s not five nights a week but it’s very very special. It’s only just come out in America and it’s got the hands of Ellen DeGeneres all over it and that’s pure magic. It’s going to be big, it’s one of the biggest sets on Australian television. Certainly, the biggest set Channel Ten has ever made. It’s just good, silly, crazy fun on a lunatic level. It’s going to be massive. So I’m really excited for it. On one hand I’m a little heartbroken Family Feud finishes but I’m really excited by the prospect of something big, shiny and completely new for Australia.
GA: Have you spoken to Ellen and has she had any input?
She sent us a message when it was announced but she has been over in Rwanda working on a gorilla conservation program. She’s having some downtime away from her show at the moment. So we’re waiting for her to return so we can start to link up and work together. I know her team are looking at this one very closely as we’re one of the first markets outside of America to do it. We will be working hand in hand with Ellen’s team. We’ll be consulting her and speaking with her really soon. Which will be unbelievable.
GA: Absolutely. Getting that personal bump for Ellen would be a great start for the show and hey it might just get you another nomination next year or even a win.
GD: I think so. I know that she wants to be involved in it and so now we’ll work on how that will happen. Her endorsement would mean a lot. The format itself is brilliant and it’s going to be so much fun but having her be a part of it would be amazing.
GA: Well you and Family Feud have a few nominations so hopefully you can walk away with something.
GD: Well there’s a nomination for Family Feud and Most Popular Presenter so there is a chance to walk away with something. For Family Feud to win would be a really sweet experience. Sending the show out with a bang and paying homage to everyone who’s ever watched it and to every contestant who has come on and said stupid things. I’m so glad it has come into my life.
GA: If we can change things up a bit. So, your obviously not racing as much as you used to but you’re still entering the Bathurst 12 Hour every year.
GD: Yeah, I love the Bathurst 12 hour so I do that. I’m also racing in the Australian Production Car Championship this year, I’m driving for Lotus in that. The last other thing I did was I won the Australian GT Championship, for McLaren. Motorsports is still in my life. I just do it for fun now. I’ve been doing it since I was 14 and I still love it, it makes my soul shine. I can’t get enough of it.
GA: So with your extensive career on Channel 7 and 10 you’ve met a lot of famous people. Let’s say for the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour you have to invite one celebrity on your team. Who would it be?
GD: That’s a good question. I know Eric Bana can drive. He’s good because he’s a celebrity and can drive. He’s good driver too. I’ve actually invited him previously but he was busy with a film at the time.
GA: That’s a good choice, maybe give him a call. Make it happen.
Voting for Popular Award categories opens on the 29th of June. So get out there, fans, and help Grant on the finish line.
Image: Chanel 10