TV’S Denton calls it a day
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