Grant moves on from storms

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

GRANT Denyer knew he was tak­ing a risk when he quit his job as weather pre­sen­ter on Sun­rise. It was six months af­ter Denyer, 35, shocked view­ers with his on-air an­nounce­ment that he was end­ing his time on the Chan­nel 7 break­fast show.

He said wanted to spend more time with wife, Cheryl, and twoyear-old daugh­ter Sailor. In June, Denyer re­vealed poor health was be­hind the de­ci­sion.

Af­ter three years trav­el­ling all around the coun­try, he was burnt out, suf­fer­ing from se­vere ex­haus­tion and had dropped 15kg in weight. Some­thing had to give – his job.

‘‘It was al­most ca­reer sui­cide but I had no choice,’’ says Denyer. ‘‘I was at the point where my body couldn’t take any­more.’’

Things are dif­fer­ent to­day. Denyer is nearly back to full health and his ca­reer is go­ing gang­busters, too.

The host of light en­ter­tain­ment hit Slide Show, where con­tes­tants act out com­edy skits on a set that is tilted at 22.5 de­grees, is about to launch his new quiz show Mil­lion Dol­lar Minute. He takes on Ed­die McGuire and Hot Seat in all mar­kets bar the Gold Coast where the com­pe­ti­tion is Chan­nel 9’s Gold Coast News.

Mil­lion Dol­lar Minute is a re­turn to a sim­pler, rapid­fire quiz-show for­mat af­ter the raz­zle daz­zle of Deal.

The show starts with three con­tes­tants fac­ing a se­ries of gen­eral knowl­edge ques­tions. The player with the high­est score at the end of each episode will play for a nightly jackpot, start­ing at $20,000 in the Mil­lion Dol­lar Minute round.

Win eight rounds in a row (over eight nights) and take home $1 mil­lion.

‘‘I didn’t re­alise Mil­lion Dol­lar Minute had been bub­bling away in se­cret at Seven for quite some time. I’d heard that there was a pilot around and I was asked to au­di­tion as host,’’ Denyer says.

‘‘This is a pure game show, a bat­tle of gen­eral knowl­edge. We did an anal­y­sis the other day and (on Hot Seat) in half an hour you’ll get 15 ques­tions. We’ll de­liver 15 ques­tions within two min­utes – and that’s the dif­fer­ence.’’

Denyer is glad to back in night-time tele­vi­sion. His re­turn to Sun­rise in 2010 (his first weather pre­sent­ing stint lasted from 2004 un­til the end of 2006) brought an end to a run of prime-time shows, in­clud­ing It Takes Two and Aus­tralia’s Got Tal­ent.

Denyer copped his fair share of crit­i­cism along the way, mainly from me­dia scribes who find him too perky, too up­beat, more than a bit over­bear­ing. Still, the Aussie pub­lic likes him. He has an im­pres­sive track record of hits in a TV ca­reer that now spans 15 years.

‘‘I’ve never been a crit­ics’ favourite – ever,’’ Denyer says. ‘‘That is prob­a­bly be­cause of my ‘class clown’ ap­proach to mak­ing tele­vi­sion some­times.’’

– COLIN VICK­ERY

Mil­lion Dol­lar Minute: Week­days, 5.30pm, Seven, Prime7.

Grant Denyer

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