Competitive Celebs And Chocolate Covered Sneakers: Grant Denyer Celebrates 100 Episodes Of 'Celebrity Name Game'
'Celebrity Name Game' has just hit its 100th episode, and for Grant Denyer that means a lot of jumping, shouting and just the right amount of hysterics.
For most of us, the idea of shooting 100 episodes of a TV show sounds exhausting, but at no point does Grant's energy seem to falter. Each celebrity guest, every competitive team are all met with the same heightened energy he brings to every show.
"It's easy," Grant told 10 daily about how he managed to keep his energy up across so many episodes, "It's an extremely fun show. It's cheeky, sometimes a bit naughty, and it keeps you on your toes."
"It's actually quite easy to maintain that [energy]," he added, "We'll shoot six in a day and the last one is usually as good, if not better, than the first."
While juggling the anxious excitement of contestants and the rotating roster of celebs that come through the show, Grant has a natural ease with everyone on the stage, to which he chalks up to his stature.
"I'm not very tall therefore I'm not very intimidating," he said adding, "When people look down to you they're less frightened."
The show is fast-paced, which means it can often lead to chaos, but Grant admits the show loves to lean into its own mistakes. "There are no 'outtakes'," he tells us, "the outtakes make it in the show."
"If I make a mistake, or there's a huge, hilarious blunder or we completely drop the ball, we sort of include it in the show that goes to air. That 'warts and all' approach is very funny but quite unpredictable, so the audience doesn't know what's going to happen next -- and if they don't know what's going to happen next, that's a very powerful card to play."
One such unpredictable incident occurred when 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here' and 'Geordie Shore' star Vicky Pattison was on the show. Now she DID give the show the warning that she "doesn't think before she speaks", so when Grant tried to get some flirting going with one of the contestants on that day, things took an unexpected turn.
After Grant asked if a contestant was single (he was) Vicky immediately responded, "Get your d--k out."
"I was floored," Grant said, laughing, "She shocked me so much, and then I just... I just broke up and fell into hysterics. I just laid down on the couch and laughed until I could gather composure again because I just didn't see it coming."
It's the kind of show where anything can happen. The first thing Grant thought of when we asked some of his personal highlights was also a bit of a surprise.
"Getting Lisa Wilkinson to say 'Uranus' was possibly the highlight of my TV career," the Gold Logie-winner admitted. "It was like watching the Queen swear. It was... it was just very funny."
His other highlight is a little more general: "I just like it when people make mistakes," Grant admitted. "I love it when people are terrible at it.
"I love giving away cash, that is my favourite thing to do in the whole wide world... but if someone is terrible at playing the game? That's the best."
Having the dynamic of celebs and contestants can always be explosive. For instance, Grant described Yvie Jones as having "Game Show Tourette's" because "it comes out loud and often and pretty aggressive".
"A guy looked up to the board and he's going, 'Okay... it's a chocolate bar' and the word was 'sneakers'," Grant said, beaming.
But it isn't just the laugh-out-loud/scream-at-your-TV moments that make it so enjoyable for the host with the most.
"We're giving away stacks of cash," Grant said calculating that from what the show has recorded so far they've given away somewhere in the ballpark of $1.3 million.
"That's a pretty high hit rate of wins, and the nice thing about that is what people are coming on to win the money for," he added.
"I thought sometimes game shows are just a bit of fun, they can be silly, but people are coming on to win money for IVF treatments or they might have an old neighbour who can't afford to renovate his front veranda so they want to win for that or to take their mum on her first-ever holiday.
"That's the really sweet part of the show I didn't expect. As much as we're laughing from start to finish in all these shows, they have a really heartfelt finish to them."
Here's to hundreds more!
Featured image: Network 10.