Andrew Denton

Andrew Denton

Infobox Comedian
name = Andrew Denton

imagesize =
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birth_name = Andrew Christopher Denton
birth_date = Birth date and age|1960|5|4|df=y
birth_place = Australia
death_date =
death_place =
height = 165cm, 5'5"
medium = Television
Television Presenter
Talk Show Host
Radio personality
nationality =
active = 1980s - present
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influences =
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spouse = Jennifer Byrne
1 child, Connor (born 1994)
domesticpartner =
notable_work = Enough Rope with Andrew Denton
God On My Side
Blah Blah Blah
The Money or the Gun
Live and Sweaty
Triple M

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Andrew Christopher Denton (born 4 May 1960 ) is an Australian comedian and Gold Logie [,21985,23496621-2902,00.html and TV Week dated 12th April 2008] nominated television presenter, and is the host of the ABC's weekly interview program "Enough Rope". He is known for his quick-witted comedy and sharp interviewing technique. [A profile of Andrew Denton from The Age [] ] He is also responsible for introducing the troupe The Chaser to a wider audience.

Early life

Andrew Denton is the son of Kit Denton, author of "The Breaker", a novel about Australian soldier and folk hero Breaker Morant. He went to Blue Mountains Grammar School [The Blue Mountains Grammar School WebSite [] ] in Wentworth Falls where he was known for public speaking and debating. He had previously attended a number of religious schools, which he claims resulted in him becoming an atheist. Denton studied Media and Communications at Charles Sturt University (then Mitchell College of Advanced Education) [Detail of Charles Sturt Graduates [] ] . There is a rumour that the words "Towers Power", written on one of the roofs of the John Oxley Village dormitory area of the Bathurst campus, were his doing. Denton is reported to have lived in the Towers dormitory buildings, but not at the time that the graffiti appeared. At the time he was a resident in F Hut in John Oxley Village and was involved in the campus radio station, 2MCE


Andrew Denton worked on Australian national radio stations early in his media career. Beginning as a writer for popular radio personality Doug Mulray on Triple M, and later appearing on the show as "Andrew the boy wonder from indoor cricket", he went on to write and host his own show. He also had an early involvement in the Sydney Theatresports movement. During the 1990s, he worked on and hosted many TV shows, including "Blah Blah Blah", "The Money or the Gun", "Live and Sweaty", and his own comedy talk show, "Denton". The first three of these appeared on the ABC, while the last was on the Seven Network. Each week on "The Money or the Gun", Andrew had a musical guest play a cover version of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven in styles ranging from grand opera to The B-52's. This later resulted in an album with 22 of the covers and a video with 25 (three highly visual covers, including the Castanet Club's "pirate" themed entry, were not included on the album).

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, musicians from Led Zeppelin, later appeared on "Denton" to perform a Rolf Harris song (Rolf having performed a notable version of "Stairway", complete with wobble-board solo). "Denton" saw the beginning of the Musical Challenge segment, where Denton would challenge musical guests to perform a song from a barrel full of well-known songs. This segment evolved during Denton's time on Triple M, resulting in three albums with tracks including Tina Arena singing 'Cheap Wine', The Wiggles singing "Long way to the Top", Neil Finn performing "Sexual Healing", James Reyne performing "Wuthering Heights", Barenaked Ladies performing "When Doves Cry" and Paul Kelly performing "Little Red Corvette". Two volumes were released on CD titled The Andrew Denton Breakfast Show - Musical Challenge.

He also appeared as Malcolm Turnbull in the Belvoir St Theatre production of "A Royal Commission into the Australian Economy", written by John Clarke and Ross Stevenson, and participated in the early years of the ABC's "World Series Debating", often as final speaker.

While presenting "Denton", Andrew Denton launched a public subscription scheme to hire a bounty hunter in order to capture Christopher Skase, who was attempting to avoid extradition to Australia at the time. When told that his repeated statements against Skase could expose him to legal action, Denton said, "If he's got a problem, he can come here and sue me." His notoriety earned him a cameo appearance in the Australian film "Let's Get Skase". Rumors abound that his life was threatened by Skase supporters. In any case, he stopped accepting 20 cent contributions to kidnap Skase, due to a specific request by the Attorney-General.

Denton had an extended stint as a morning radio host for the Triple M network in Sydney, with the assistance of Amanda Keller (who had regularly appeared on "Denton"). Segments included the aforementioned musical challenges. His time on Triple M also included the infamous "House from Hell" competition, in which various contestants, carefully chosen for their incompatibility, were placed in a house together and involved in various stunts, tricks and tortures. Denton has since said in radio interviews that he regrets being involved in the program, due to the unacceptable level of human manipulation.

In 2003, Denton began hosting "Enough Rope with Andrew Denton", which has become a hit for the ABC. Denton was also executive producer and script editor for ABC's "The Election Chaser" and "CNNNN".

In an audience development survey in 2004, respondents named Denton the "most liked and recognisable" personality on Australian television.

Denton's first feature-length documentary, "God On My Side", documents his visit to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. It was first shown at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2006 with plans to show it as a TV special on ABC's "Enough Rope". It was screened in Australian cinemas from 2 November 2006. During interviews related to the film, he revealed he is an agnostic. However, Denton has also insisted he is not anti-Christian in interviews he has done. [An Interview with Andrew Denton [] ]

Denton's production company is named Zapruder's Other Films Pty Ltd, a reference to Abraham Zapruder who filmed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His production company was behind the talk show, "David Tench Tonight", on Network Ten which used a computer-generated host named David Tench. The show had one season before being cancelled in April 2007.

In 2008, Denton produced The Gruen Transfer.


Denton has been a part of the Logies in modern times. He has hosted them twice (in 1999 and 2000).

In 2008, Denton has been nominated for the Gold Logie. He has also been nominated for the 'Most Popular Presenter' award in 2005 and 2008. These nominations are for his role in Enough Rope.

Personal life

Denton and his wife, television journalist Jennifer Byrne have a son, Connor, born in 1994.

Andrew Denton is 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall, he is an avid supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.


External links

* [ Andrew Denton] at the Internet Movie Database
* [ "Enough Rope" official website]
* [ Zapruder's other films official website]

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