Grant Denyer’s rise and fall

He's the golden boy of the Australian showbiz industry, with TV and radio shows spanning across multiple networks.

Gold Logie winner Grant Denyer, 42, is no stranger to headlines - whether it's a major health scare, near death experience, or yet another axed project.

This week Denyer made news after his troubled Sydney breakfast radio show was finally cut after just one year.

Here are all the hits and misses of Denyer's two-decade long career:

 

Denyer hoped a career in front of the camera would help him realise his childhood dream of becoming a race car driver. Picture: Supplied
Denyer hoped a career in front of the camera would help him realise his childhood dream of becoming a race car driver. Picture: Supplied

1997: DENYER KICKS OFF MEDIA CAREER

Denyer commences his career in front of the camera as a cadet journalist at Prime TV in Wagga Wagga. The fresh-faced 20-year-old hoped television would set him on a path to fame an fortune, ultimately helping him realise his childhood dream of becoming a race car driver.

 

1999: ROLLS IN TO TEN

Following his stint in regional media, Denyer headed back to the big smoke and joined Ten as a full-time news reporter. The new gig meant he could also indulge his love of motor racing, and also worked on the station's V8 supercar coverage as a pit reporter.

Denyer was morning show Sunrise’s weather presenter from 2004 to 2006. Picture: Supplied
Denyer was morning show Sunrise’s weather presenter from 2004 to 2006. Picture: Supplied

2004: DENYER JOINS SUNRISE

Denyer caught the eye of Sunrise producer Adam Boland after the morning show had revamped with a more family-friendly focus. He took up the role of full-time weather presenter from 2004 until 2006. During his time reporting on the skies, he set five Guinness World Records, including the world's largest tandem bungee jump when he and NZ entrepreneur AJ Hackett jumped from a helicopter hovering at 300m above Bondi Beach.

 

2005: AUSTRALIA'S GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS HOST

Denyer hosted Australia's Guinness World Records, alongside fellow Australian TV personality Shelley Craft. Details about what fate the record-setting show met are slim, but it's understood it ran for just for one season.

Denyer set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest tandem bungee jump in 2005. Picture: Supplied
Denyer set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest tandem bungee jump in 2005. Picture: Supplied

2006: DENYER DANCES TO VICTORY

Grant jived, foxtrotted and waltzed his way through season four of Dancing With the Stars with partner Amanda Garner - a professional ballroom dancer. The pair won ahead of boxing champion Kostya Tszyu and his dancing companion Luda Kroitor.

 

2006: PICKS UP HOSTING DUTIES ON IT TAKES TWO

Now well and truly established on Aussie screens, Denyer joined forces with a number of female co-hosts across three seasons to front present music talent show It Takes Two. Success was short-lived, however, and the karaoke competition was canned in 2008.

The TV personality won season four of Dancing with the Stars. Picture: Supplied
The TV personality won season four of Dancing with the Stars. Picture: Supplied

 

2007: RECRUITED FOR AUSTRALIAS GOT TALENT BEFORE AXING

Grant hosted reality talent show Australia's Got Talent for six seasons before Channel Seven axed it in 2012 after deciding it was no longer cost-effective. The following year it was picked up by Channel 9 but he was nowhere to be seen, with the show presented instead by Julia Morris.

 

2008: BREAKS BACK IN MONSTER TRUCK CRASH

The TV-host was showing off a monster truck's car-crushing abilities for media ahead of the NSW Monster Truck Championships. But Denyer ended up in hospital after when the 6.5-tonne rig nosedived into the ground after he attempted another jump once the presentation was over. He suffered a vertebral compression fracture which took a couple of months to recover from. It also shaved 1cm off his height, dropping the already short-statured man to 164cm.

Denyer is a keen race car driver. Picture: Supplied
Denyer is a keen race car driver. Picture: Supplied

2010: SHORT-LIVED CAREER ON IRON CHEF AUSTRALIA

Around the same time My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef first hit Australian screens, Iron Chef Australia also made its debut. However, it ended up as chopped liver compared to its competitors.

Channel Seven reportedly splashed $20 million on the franchise, which featured celebrity chefs Neil Perry, Guy Grossi and Guillaume Brahimi along with Denyer as the host. It was axed after just one season.

 

2010: MARRIES CHEZZIE

Grant married his wife Cheryl in a low-key ceremony at the ritzy Qualia Resort on Hamilton Island. The pair met when they worked at Sunrise in 2005 and initially didn't see eye-to-eye. But the TV host told Stellar magazine in 2018: "Then one day I brushed hands with her and tingled from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes and I just went, 'I cannot live without this woman.'"

Grant Denyer and hsi wife Cheryl at the Logies this year. Picture: AAP
Grant Denyer and hsi wife Cheryl at the Logies this year. Picture: AAP

 

2013: ONE SEASON AS MILLION DOLLAR MINUTE'S QUIZMASTER

Denyer was recruited to host quiz show Channel Seven quiz show Million Dollar Minute where he lasted just 10 weeks before quitting.

He said family reasons were behind his departure, explaining the production schedule kept him away from home for extended periods of time. But polls showed viewers hadn't warmed to him as host.

Denyer passed on his quizmaster duties to Sunrise presenter Simon Reeve for the 2014 series, after which it was thrown out. Channel Seven acknowledged it had not performed well enough against Nine's Hot Seat.

 

2014: 'REBIRTHED': DENYER'S TIME ON FAMILY FEUD

Denyer jumped across to Ten when it brought the popular American game show Family Feud to Aussie shores. The game show premiered on Ten and its multichannels Eleven and One, and drew criticism after it requested ratings provider OzTam to merge audience figures. Some questioned whether the attempt to pad out the numbers was because the network was afraid of failure.

Family Feud lasted four years before it was axed in 2018. Denyer said the show "rebirthed" him after struggling to find his feet after quitting Sunrise, and admitted he and Ten thought the originally though it would only run for two years.

The game show debuted to an audience of about 700,000, which later plunged to an average of 280,000 in the weeks leading up to its cancellation.

Denyer hosted two iterations of Family Feud before it was axed. Picture: AAP
Denyer hosted two iterations of Family Feud before it was axed. Picture: AAP

2015: QUICK STINT ON THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN SPELLING BEE

The ill-fated TV presenter then teamed up with radio personality Chrissie Swan on yet another Ten venture The Great Australian Spelling Bee - a self-explanatory show where talented kiddies spelled words which varied in difficulty.

Despite drawing 456,000 eyeballs for its debut, ratings dived just three weeks later where an episode had just 283,000 viewers.

It was renewed for a second season in 2016, but was dumped from the network's prime time schedule. At the season's conclusion, it was never seen again.

 

2016: FAMILY FEUD FAILS AFTER RELAUNCH

Perhaps hoping Australian celebrities would help boost the show's fortunes, Ten exhumed Denyer's former game show in the form of All Star Family Feud. Stars would compete in teams to raise money for their chosen family, rather than taking it home for themselves.

It lasted until 2018 where it was revealed production would be "rested", with nothing more said since.

He was lucky to survive a car crash in 2017. Picture: Supplied
He was lucky to survive a car crash in 2017. Picture: Supplied

 

2017: DENYER SURVIVES SERIOUS CAR CRASH

Taking some time out from studio life, Denyer hit the rally car tracks. And it almost cost him his life.

Denyer lost control at 160km an hour before ploughing into a tree. He managed to escape the twisted wreck with a broken coccyx and finger. However, his co-driver was not as fortunate, and was left with a broken leg from the crash.

 

Denyer was air lifted to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital following the rally car crash. Picture: Eugene Hyland
Denyer was air lifted to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital following the rally car crash. Picture: Eugene Hyland

2018: JOINS BREAKFAST RADIO SHOW

Denyer hit the radio waves at Sydney station 2Day FM alongside Ed Kavalee and Em Rusciano.

 

2018: WINS GOLD LOGIE AFTER MOCK CAMPAIGN

In what some described as a Steven Bradbury moment, Denyer picked up a Gold Logie ... despite his show Family Feud having been axed.

ABC Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson launched a campaign after the game show was cancelled, saying at the time: "Let's push the Logies to its most absurd extreme ever and give the Gold Logie to a guy that doesn't have a TV show."

Denyer clearly wasn't pleased when he came face-to-face with Gleeson earlier this year, saying: "You hijacked my campaign and now everyone thinks I won a Gold Logie because you hijacked it. That's not a question. It just sh*ts me".

Denyer hit the radio waves at Sydney station 2Day FM alongside Ed Kavalee and Em Rusciano in 2018. Picture: Supplied
Denyer hit the radio waves at Sydney station 2Day FM alongside Ed Kavalee and Em Rusciano in 2018. Picture: Supplied

2018: NEW GAME SHOW AXED AFTER ONE SEASON

Trying his luck at hosting duties for yet another quiz show, Denyer was selected to present the Australian adaptation of the quiz show made famous by Ellen DeGeneres, Game of Games.

But despite promising to be "the most jaw-dropping game in TV history", it lasted just one season before joining TV's trash heap.

 

2019: RETURNS TO DANCING WITH THE STARS

Four years after Channel Seven axed the show, and 13 years after the Gold Logie winner danced on its stage, Ten revealed it would revive the show with Denyer and Amanda Keller as its hosts.

Denyer managed to have a relatively problem-free run for season 16 of the competition, except for when he was forced to pull out of an episode following an incident at his rural property, which left him with an injured disc.

Denyer returned to Dancing with the Stars alongside Amanda Keller, this time as its host. Picture: Toby Zerna
Denyer returned to Dancing with the Stars alongside Amanda Keller, this time as its host. Picture: Toby Zerna

2019: TROUBLES ON CELEBRITY NAME GAME

Denyer is currently on a hiatus from hosting the Ten game show, a role he picked up following his Gold Logie win.

Rove McManus has stepped in after Denyer's back problems flared up. It's unknown when he will return.

 

2019: DENYER'S 2DAYFM SHOW AXED

Hit Network recently announced it would be taking The Grant, Ed and Ash Show off airwaves.

The show, which struggled in ratings, would instead be replaced with three hours of music.

Denyer took to Instagram and joked, "It's nice to join an elite group of people who've been sacked from radio".

"Well that was bloody fun!" he wrote. "Last ever show on 2Day FM tomorrow. I have really enjoyed it.

"Tried my hardest, did my best and over-shared more than I should have.


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