That’s enough Rope for Den­ton

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - FLIP SHEL­TON

AN­DREW Den­ton is to the ABC what Ed­die McGuire was to Chan­nel 9 — the ev­ery­where man.

And like McGuire, we’re about to see less of Den­ton on screen.

The ABC can’t get enough of Den­ton— whether it’s fronting Enough Rope and El­ders or work­ing be­hind the scenes on The Gruen Trans­fer— but Den­ton feels no de­sire to main­tain a pub­lic pro­file sim­ply for the sake of it.

While a sec­ond se­ries of The Gruen Trans­fer is con­firmed for 2009, Den­ton has an­nounced Enough Rope has run its course. Den­ton will in­stead pour his en­er­gies into 30 Sec­onds, an eight- part Fox­tel satir­i­cal drama set in the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try.

Af­ter six sea­sons of Enough Rope, Den­ton con­fesses there’s much less stress in­volved in mak­ing a tele­vi­sion show ‘‘when you are not in it’’.

Den­ton adopts the phi­los­o­phy of Work­ing Dog pro­duc­tions, renowned for Front­line, The Panel, Thank God You’re Here and The Hol­low­men— ‘‘do some­thing great and take a break rather than beat it to death’’.

While he ap­pears un­com­fort­able when an in­ter­vie­wee takes him out of his com­fort zone and chal­lenges his sense of con­trol (Gor­don Ram­say be­ing a re­cent ex­am­ple), Den­ton in­sists the in­ter­views he loves the most are the ones that ‘‘go en­tirely off the rails’’.

He refers to Rene Rivkin, Richard E Grant and Miriam Mar­goyles.

‘‘Com­ing from a back­ground of im­prov, th­ese in­ter­views are the most en­joy­able,’’ he says.

Per­haps the key to the show’s suc­cess lies in Den­ton’s fi­nal in­struc­tion to him­self as he walks onto the set—‘‘the best thing I can tell my­self is to for­get the prepa­ra­tion’’.

Den­ton’s guests are of­ten amazed at the in­for­ma­tion he has gath­ered and can re­call— without a clip­board or au­tocue— dur­ing the in­ter­view.

The rea­son he says, is be­cause the in­ter­view has to be en­joy­able for his guests, and peo­ple are flat­tered when you take an in­ter­est in their lives.

Re­cently, his prob­ing in in­ter­views has been called into ques­tion. He was crit­i­cised for ask­ing for­mer White House jour­nal­ist He­len Thomas what it was like car­ing for a hus­band who has Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

Den­ton ad­mits the Thomas in­ter­view ‘‘was a hard thing to be in, and a hard thing to watch’’.

‘‘It would have been easy to take it out and I knew it would play badly for me, but we are try­ing to do an hon­est show and along the way I show my own flaws and even ask a gauche ques­tion. The show is never about mak­ing me look great be­cause that doesn’t make it work.’’

New role: An­drew Den­ton will spend more time be­hind the scenes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.