TV’S Den­ton calls it a day

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

COL­LEAGUES and pro­teges of An­drew Den­ton have ex­pressed sad­ness at news of the tele­vi­sion creative’s re­tire­ment. Den­ton, the mas­ter­mind be­hind some of Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar shows, founded Zapruder’s Other Films 13 years ago be­fore it merged with Cordell Jig­saw in Fe­bru­ary, 2012. The af­fa­ble tele­vi­sion ex­ec­u­tive is cred­ited with bring­ing The Gruen Trans­fer, Enough Rope and The Chaser’s CNNNN to Aus­tralian screens. Gruen host Wil An­der­son says he was ‘‘hon­oured’’ to have worked with Den­ton on the ABC show. ‘‘If you had told 15-year-old me I would get to work with my hero An­drew Den­ton, I never would have be­lieved it,’’ he writes on Twit­ter. Dominic Knight, one of the found­ing mem­bers of The Chaser be­fore the group was nur­tured by Den­ton as the hosts of CNNNN and Elec­tion Chaser, also sent trib­utes. ‘‘Thanks for tak­ing a chance on a bunch of no­bod­ies 12 years ago,’’ Knight tweets. Yes­ter­day 53-year-old Den­ton an­nounced he was switch­ing off his tele­vi­sion ca­reer and sell­ing his stake in the merged com­pany, Cordell Jig­saw Zapruder (CJZ). The for­mer host of ABC’s Enough Rope an­nounced he was leav­ing to ‘‘stir my creative juices out­side of tele­vi­sion’’. ‘‘It’s been a full-on 13 years,’’ Den­ton says. ‘‘For the next lit­tle while at least, I am go­ing to try my hand at be­ing Aus­tralia’s most un­likely, least-laid-back, hip­pie.’’ Co­me­dian Dan Ilic, who trained un­der Den­ton on the ABC com­edy Hun­gry Beast, de­scribed his men­tor as a ge­nius. ‘‘He’s a ge­nius and a gen­er­ous man. If I hadn’t worked for him I would be best friends with lesser peo­ple.’’ Den­ton says he is proud of his work in nur­tur­ing new tal­ent. ‘‘In an in­dus­try that can be bru­tal, I con­sider it an achieve­ment to have pro­vided a nur­tur­ing en­vi­ron­ment for good peo­ple and ideas,’’ Den­ton says. ‘‘It’s great to know that tra­di­tion con­tin­ues at CJZ.’’ But Den­ton also hinted he could one day re­turn to tele­vi­sion, se­cur­ing a first-look deal with the com­pany in the event he de­cides to make a come­back. ‘‘We’re sad to see An­drew go, but his DNA will al­ways re­main em­bed­ded in CJZ,’’ says CJZ coowner Michael Cordell.

– RASHIDA YO­SUFZAI

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