Noth­ing for GRANTED

Fam­ily Feud turns 3 and Grant Denyer’s ready to party

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN VICK­ERY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Grant Denyer has plenty of rea­sons to celebrate — just be­ing alive for a start.

Then there is his 40th birth­day on Septem­ber 12 and the third an­niver­sary of Ten’s hit quiz show, Fam­ily Feud.

He nearly wasn’t here to pop the cham­pagne, af­ter nar­rowly es­cap­ing death in March, from a hor­ror rally car ac­ci­dent.

Slam­ming his sil­ver Lo­tus into a tree at 160kmh, it’s a mir­a­cle he es­caped with just a bro­ken sacrum, bruis­ing and smashed hands.

Fam­ily Feud fans would have no­ticed Denyer wear­ing ban­dages and a brace dur­ing re­cent episodes.

He only got to April’s Lo­gies — where he was nom­i­nated for Gold — thanks to painkillers.

“I’m back to 100 per cent which is fan­tas­tic,” Denyer says. “Fun­nily enough, it is my wed­ding ring fin­ger, which I also broke in the ac­ci­dent, that has been the slow­est to heal.”

His wife, Ch­eryl, nursed him back to health, with some hugs and help from the cou­ple’s two chil­dren, Sailor and Scout.

So has the re­cent ac­ci­dent given the fam­ily man any sec­ond thoughts about mo­tor rac­ing? The an­swer is “no”.

He has his sights set on Round two of the Aus­tralian En­durance Cham­pi­onship in Syd­ney next month.

“I’ll be back in the race car for sure,” Denyer says. “You don’t want your last ex­pe­ri­ence to be a bad one … and what les­son would I be teach­ing my kids if you have a knock and then you give up? I’ve been jump­ing in mo­tion sim­u­la­tors to try and make sure the body is OK and I’ve got the grip in my hand and can change gears, and it is fine.

“Ch­eryl com­pletely left the de­ci­sion to me which was won­der­fully gra­cious. She comes to the track all the time with the kids and it is a big part of her life as well.”

Well what about Chan­nel 10? Didn’t they read him the riot act? Af­ter all, Denyer is the heart and soul of Fam­ily Feud.

“Sur­pris­ingly no,” Denyer says. “I thought I was go­ing to get a sit down chat but it never hap­pened. I think they un­der­stand that motorsport is part of the deal.”

Fam­ily Feud fits Denyer like a glove. He has made it his own. The switch to Ten from Seven has been a bless­ing too.

Denyer’s fi­nal year at Seven, in 2013, was a mess. In March of that year he quit Sun­rise cit­ing ex­haus­tion. By Septem­ber, he was back host­ing quiz show

Mil­lion Dol­lar Minute; but two months later he quit that too, for fam­ily rea­sons.

It was for­mer Ten news boss Peter Meakin who ap­proached Denyer about host­ing Fam­ily Feud.

“I’d just come out of a game show so I didn’t know whether it was the right thing to do. But when I did the au­di­tion, some­thing clicked and I laughed my heart out. It suits my per­son­al­ity per­fectly. The un­pre­dictabil­ity of the show makes it so re­ward­ing. It’s not re­ally work for me. I’ll do it as long as Aus­tralian au­di­ences want to watch it.”

WATCH FAM­ILY FEUD, TEN, WEEK­NIGHTS, 6PM

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