Three weeks after retiring from television Andrew Denton took time out to record his oral history with Alec Morgan in the NFSA’s Sydney office. The interview is rich with Andrew’s philosophies and stories. He discusses the importance of daydreaming, risk taking, failing, his techniques for interviewing and seizing opportunities to make a difference to people’s lives.
The conversation travels through Andrew’s early life, with stories about his family and his schooling. His early influences included The Goons, Morecambe and Wise, Dave Allen and Monty Python. He had his pick of religious beliefs – he attended a Jewish kindergarten, Roman Catholic primary school and Church of England secondary school – and left school as an atheist and is now agnostic.
After university Andrew worked at Prudential Life making training videos, where he learned to write, edit, and work with actors. He attended an Australian Writers’ Guild camp where Geoffrey Atherden and Andrew Knight were his group’s mentors. In a roundabout way this led to his involvement in Theatresports and, from there, to a career in television.