Andrew Denton went to Blue Mountains Grammar School in Wentworth Falls where he was known as a talented public speaker and debater. Denton then studied Media and Communications at Charles Sturt University (then Mitchell College of Advanced Education).
Andrew Denton worked on a few Australian national radio stations in his early media career, beginning as a writer for popular radio personality Doug Mulray before he began writing and hosting 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 Zeppelins Stairway to Heaven in styles ranging from grand opera to The B-52s. This later resulted in an album with 22 of the covers and a video with 25 (three highly visual covers, including the Castanet Clubs "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 Dentons time on Triple M, resulting in three albums with tracks including 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 ABCs 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 hes got a problem, he can come here and sue me."
His notoriety earned him a cameo appearance in the Australian film Lets Get Skase. Rumors abound that his life was threatened by Skase supporters. In any case, he stopped accepting 20 cent contributions to kidnap Skase, (this was due to a specific request by the Attorney-General) and went on to other humourous ideas less damaging to his health.
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.
In 2004 Denton was named by respondents to a survey conducted by Audience Development Australia Pty Ltd as the "most liked and recognisable" personality on Australian television.
Dentons first feature length documentary, God On My Side, documents his visit to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, and was first shown at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2006 with plans to show it as a TV special on ABCs Enough Rope. It was screened in Australian cinemas from 2 November 2006.
During interviews related to the film, he revealed he is an agnostic. Howe'ver, Denton has also insisted he is not anti-Christian in interviews he has done.
Dentons production company is named Zapruders 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.
Denton has been a part of the Logies in modern times. He has hosted them twice (in 1999 and 2000).
In 2008, Denton was 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.
Dentons long-time partner and now wife is prominent television journalist Jennifer Byrne; their son, Connor, was born in 1994, he attends Sydney Grammar School. Andrew Dentons father was Kit Denton, author of The Breaker, a novel about Australian soldier and folk hero Breaker Morant.
❊ Web Links ❊
➼ Andrew Denton
➼ Enough Rope website
➼ Internet Movie Database - Andrew Denton
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