Game show brings out Grant's dark side
HE'S known for bringing the family together in front of the telly, but Grant Denyer says his new show brings out his sinister side.
The Gold Logie winner helms the Australian version of Game of Games, Ellen DeGeneres's large-scale game show inspired by the hilarious challenges from her US talk show.
"Humans by nature just love watching other humans fall or get shot in the face by a canon full of paint. It's very primal," Denyer says.
"I'm the one pushing the buttons and pulling the strings, which brings out a sinister side in me. People think I'm a nice guy but I'm not (laughs).
"I really enjoy making silly television, and this is silly on a ludicrous level. It's the perfect next project for me. It's a game show on steroids."
That required one of the biggest indoor sets Channel 10 has ever constructed.
"It's the biggest set I've ever seen in Australian television," Denyer says.
"I couldn't believe it when I first walked in. It was so high and vast. It sets a new benchmark. The challenges are so enormous, it's crazy in scale."
From three-storey drops to blindfolded musical chairs and the dizzy dash, contestants put their knowledge and bodies to the test in playful and nerve-racking challenges.
Each correct answer moves them one step closer to a $50,000 prize, while every wrong answer comes with a messy or dreaded consequence.
"The research and development of the games was a really fun process," Denyer says.
"No one knows how much explosives to put in a canon so we just did it through trial and error. There were a couple of times in the early development of some of the games where we almost fired a few people through the back wall of the studio.
"There is a genuine element of danger and there's no hiding the fear on their faces, which is so compelling... it's torture on television, but the pay-off is so good. It's worth it in the end, but gee we put them through the wringer."
If you've seen the viral video of the Japanese game show Slippery Stairs, then you'll love one of the new additions to the Australian version of Game of Games.
"We have a couple of extra games because our show is an hour and a half and Ellen's is only an hour," Denyer says.
"Tomb of Doom is one of my favourites. We have a giant pyramid with stairs leading to the top but the stairs are covered in slippery goo. It's so hilarious it's captivating. I almost broke a rib hosting that one. I was in stitches for hours on end. I came out with the most amazing six pack from laughing so hard."
Denyer will also be seen in Ten's upcoming revival of Dancing with the Stars. It's a show he knows well, having won the fourth season of the ballroom competition in 2006.
He will co-host with fellow Gold Logie nominee Amanda Keller.
"This has been an incredible period in my life," he says. "I had Family Feud finish, I won a Gold Logie and then I went straight into Game of Game and now this.
"One of the great joys of this job is making shows for everybody in the household."
Game of Games premieres on Sunday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.