Grant Denyer’s new challenges don’t involve motorsports or TV shows—just a soundproof room, a microphone and hours to fill.
As co-host of Sydney’s 2Day FM breakfast show with Ed Kavalee and Em Rusciano, The Family Feud ringleader,40, who will also appear on Ten’s The Living Room starting Feb. 9, tells WHO about being more in the moment, living on his farm outside Bathurst, NSW, and if he will race again.
Q: So what do The Living Room folks have planned for you with this "big Adventure"?
They are sending the littlest bloke on television to cover the littlest attractions in the biggest cities. It wasn't until I was halfway through it that I'm getting in on the joke.
Q: As a radio personality, you have to reveal more about life away from the public eye. How are you enjoying that?
A: I’ve been off the grid on the farm—we've had no internet for three years. I've been disconnected from the world a little, you know? I’ve been devoting my time to my family, and just resting, relaxing. So, it kind of jolted me awake to be honest. On television, you kind have got a few layers on top that protect you. Whereas this is a lot more vulnerable, and you’ve got to be a lot more real. I'm not match fit for that.
Q: So it’s a scary thing?
A: It kind of makes you a little bit more awake in your own life. You’re kind scouring it for material as well! You're more in the moment and you just become more connected with what you're doing, because you're living it, and then you're explaining it on air. It's been a while since I've been scared in my life. The hard part is when you're a TV professional, you kind of take that same professional expectation across to what you're doing next. But you know, I don't have the skill set yet. So, it’s kind of hard being a rookie again, and learning something and starting from scratch.
Q: How are Ed and Em?
A: They're incredibly fast. They're incredibly quick-witted. So, it's more about me learning the ropes and starting off gently. I've got enormous amount of respect for the both of them. To be honest, I'm kind of white-knuckling it and hanging on like hell! Because this show is wild, and it's kind of breath-taking fun.
Q: And how is life on the farm with your wife Chezzi and your girls Sailor, 6, and Scout, 2?
A: They love it out there. They love the animals, Scout loves the sheep, and Sailor loves the chickens, and there's room for them to run around. You know, there's also little life lessons as well that they've unfortunately got to learn along the way, like when all of a sudden, we put one chicken down, and we explained where it went. Sometimes that circle of life, and explaining Mother Nature, is part of that storytelling
Q: You had a scare with a rally crash last March.
A: Yeah, and look. I didn't do much racing last year because it took me a little bit of time to physically recover from some of those injuries. So, I've sort of put motorsport to the side. But you know, I'll be back in a car this year in some form.
Q: It won’t be daunting to do that?
A: It's been a big part of my life ... I've had probably 400 races in my life and only two accidents. I’ve won too many races to want to give it up just yet. It’s kind of good for my soul as well. Yeah, I had a bit of a scare last year, but I also don't want to finish on that note. To have a hurdle in your life and to give up, I think is the wrong reaction. I think to have a hurdle in your life, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start winning again. That’s the ultimate response to anything.
Q: Your family supports you.
A: Yes, absolutely. They know I'm a safe driver. It was something that was out of my control. That accident happened, and I've made it quite easy to process. Yeah, it was a nasty crash and it was a very close call. But circuit racing is a big part of my life, and I had the accident in a different motorsport discipline. I'll probably just reassess those things as to which kind of motorsport I do. But that's probably as much thinking as it needs.
To read more from Grant, pick up the latest issue of WHO on newsstands today.