Catching Up with Andrew Denton

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Jan 11, 2016

by DI WEBSTER, Managing Editor

Three years after vanishing from our living rooms, the TV identity is back with a serious podcast, Better Off Dead. But there’s another job with a microphone that he truly covets...

What is your greatest strength?

Determination.

What is your greatest weakness?

Self-doubt.

What scares you?

Spiders – pretty much all of them. A friend and I constantly terrify each
other by sharing every new gross story about spiders we come across. I’ve dubbed us “arachnerds”.

What’s your favourite karaoke song?

Firestarter by Prodigy.

What virtue do you admire most in people?

Integrity.

If you could do any other job, what would it be?

Libidinous, louche and lawless rock god.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?

I am very competitive at sport. Not necessarily good but very competitive.

What’s your idea of absolute happiness?

A still moment of deep gratitude for the love and good fortune in my life.

If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would you choose?

My wife and my son. They’re both famous in my eyes.

What travel experience is on your bucket list?

Bhutan. Machu Picchu. Gorillas in Rwanda. Diving in Antarctica. A million of them really. Oh, and going into space.

What’s your most treasured possession?

My health.

How do you switch off?

By watching sport on TV. I refer to it as “putting my brain in a jar”.

If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?

My underwear, back in 1976. Gross.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being kind when it would have been easier to be angry.

Who is your personal hero?

I’m not looking for a hero. The people I admire are those who will stick up for what is right – even if it’s at a personal cost – and those who court change, even if it risks failure.

What’s the most Australian thing about you?

I refuse to finish any sentence with the expression “Oi! Oi! Oi!”. You may not think of that as “Australian” but I do.

Where would we find you at a party?

Most likely leaving.

If you were an animal, what would it be?

Who says I’m not?

What would you spend your last $20 on?

Two $10 notes so I would at least have two bills to rub together. 

Better off Dead, a podcast by Andrew Denton and the Wheeler Centre, is available on iTunes or via wheelercentre.com.