Dis­ney gig banks on pranks

Wes Den­ing is slowly mak­ing his mark in the US, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

IT’S a long way from Dreamworld, on the Gold Coast, to fronting a US TV show, yet for­mer Big Brother house­mate Wes Den­ing has done just that. Den­ing made the fi­nal eight of the re­al­ity TV show in 2004 be­fore he was voted out, yet he’s ar­guably the most suc­cess­ful of any of the hu­man lab rats to ap­pear on the show.

The 29-year-old is the host of the hid­den cam­era prank show Code: 9 on the Dis­ney Chan­nel which will launch to­day in the US.

Den­ing says the ini­tial test au­di­ence re­sults were strong and there’s ev­ery chance the show will be com­mis­sioned for a sec­ond sea­son.

‘‘We de­sign, build and pull off pranks, from blow­ing up a golf cart with dad’s golf clubs on the back and send­ing mum to buy a car only to find out it’s stolen and she’s be­ing blamed with deal­ing with crim­i­nals,’’ Den­ing says.

‘‘There are six episodes in the first sea­son and we will see how it does.

‘‘They tested the pi­lot on 2500 kids and it was one of the high­est test­ing pi­lots for Dis­ney.

‘‘Fin­gers crossed it will take things to an­other level.’’

If Code: 9 is re­newed it would be a huge break for the LA-based Queens­lan­der who cut his teeth in tele­vi­sion on a two-month pro­ba­tion con­tract with To­tally Wild fol­low­ing his Big Brother evic­tion.

He based him­self in the US four years ago af­ter get­ting of­fered a role in a travel show that never even­tu­ated.

To make ends meet he hosted dance shows and tried to sell con­cepts for new tele­vi­sion shows.

Dur­ing a ‘‘pitch’’ meet­ing with tele­vi­sion ex­ec­u­tives in New York about a con­cept for one of his shows he got his first break on US TV.

Den­ing got chat­ting with the pro­ducer of an­other show while wait­ing and scored a spot on truTV’s World’s Dumbest, orig­i­nally known as the

Wes Den­ing with the Gold Coast’s in­ter­na­tional DJ hit­mak­ers The Stafford Broth­ers.

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