Fly­ing the flag

Grant Denyer starts a new tra­di­tion on Aus­tralia Day

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

FOR­GET Paul Ho­gan, Lara ‘where the bloody hell are ya?’ Bingle, even a horse-rid­ing Hugh Jack­man. Grant Denyer’s en­thu­si­asm for Aus­tralia Day should be bot­tled and sent by the crate-load to lure tourists from over­seas.

Sum­ming up the per­fect way to spend the na­tional hol­i­day, the Fam­ily Feud pre­sen­ter and host of Ten’s Aus­tralia Day con­cert cov­er­age fizzes like cham­pagne on New Year’s Eve.

With a dose of Ted Bull­pit from Kingswood Coun­try thrown in for good mea­sure.

“At the end of Aus­tralia Day, af­ter you’ve come in­side from your bar­be­cues and you’ve played back­yard cricket with your wheelie bin as the stumps, you come in­side, you pick the bindies out of your feet and you sit down with your fam­ily on the couch, or your vinyl bean­bag where you leave be­hind eight lay­ers of skin af­ter you’ve seen a bit of sun, and you watch the con­cert,” Denyer tells, no sells it, to TV Guide.

Re­turn­ing to front the fes­tiv­i­ties, live from the steps of Sydney’s Opera House, Denyer reck­ons the show and its spec­tac­u­lar set­ting sells it­self.

And he’s not wrong, with a stel­lar line-up in­clud­ing Tina Arena, Dami Im, Guy Se­bas­tian, Hu­man Na­ture and The Wiggles all inked to ap­pear. Tak­ing the party far and wide, Gre­tel Killeen will act as the evening’s ‘ru­ral re­porter,’ live from Tam­worth; while Kerri-Anne Ken­ner­ley will be in­ter­view­ing the stars be­hind the scenes.

A tra­di­tional ‘wel­come to coun­try’ will also be per­formed by In­dige­nous dancers from the neigh­bour­ing har­bour in­let of Baranga­roo.

“It’s just a mag­nif­i­cent back­drop,” he says. “A great place for a party. You’ve got some of the big­gest names in Aus­tralian en­ter­tain­ment who are bust­ing to be a part of it. It’s not a for­mal part of the day. It’s not an awards cer­e­mony, it’s just a flat-out, big-bang party.”

Nor­mally, Denyer spends the day bare­foot on the beach, or hit­ting the wa­ter “in a lit­tle tin­nie” with friends. But the op­por­tu­nity to hand in his beach cricket bat and host again was “too cool to turn down”.

“This con­cert, when it came along was a cool idea and I think it will be­come Aus­tralia’s next big tra­di­tion,” he said.

“It’s a lit­tle party to back-end what is al­ready a big day for the coun­try. It’s be­come for Aus­tralia Day what Carols is to Christ­mas.”

Denyer will share the cel­e­bra­tions with his own fam­ily, in­clud­ing wife Ch­eryl and daugh­ters Sailor and Scout, who might not just be there to watch Dad at work.

“Now that The Wiggles have been con­firmed, I think I’d be the worst par­ent in the world if I didn’t take them,” Denyer said.

“So they’ll be there ... try­ing to keep them awake un­til the end of the con­cert will be the dif­fi­cult thing.”



‘‘ It’s be­come for Aus­tralia Day what Carols is to Christ­mas

Pas­sion­ate: Grant Denyer will host Ten’s Aus­tralia Day con­cert cov­er­age.

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