Grant moves on from storms
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.