Denton's back to slow down the conversation
WHEN Andrew Denton returned to our screens last year, the cultural landscape had changed significantly since he was last in the interviewer's chair.
In the decade since his acclaimed and long-running ABC series Enough Rope ended - during which he took a self-imposed exile from television - we'd entered a 'shouty' age of divisiveness and social media outrage.
When his new talk show Interview returns for a second season next week, don't expect the veteran presenter to engage with polarising figures such as Queensland Senator Fraser Anning.
"I don't have a problem with divisiveness; frankly I could talk to an artichoke and the audience would be divided. That's the time we're in," Denton says.
"It's a very fractured and fracturing time, so to put someone on who adds to that is not a very healthy thing to do.
"Our basic mission statement is to look for things that will make people feel better about life, not worse.
"We think of it as slow cooking in a fast food environment... long conversations with people who are very interesting to find out what makes them tick."
Last year Denton sat down in his blue contour Featherston with everyone from Robert Plant and Cher to Rosie Batty, Tim Winton and Keith Urban for the long-form interview program.
Australian actor Guy Pearce also stunned viewers with his disturbing anecdote about disgraced actor Kevin Spacey, while things got heated between Denton and so-called celebrity healer Charlie Goldsmith.
"There's my wish list, but then the world that doesn't share my wish list," he says.
"There's an amazing team I work with. We all throw up names, from the impossible like 'let's get Moses' to the possible.
"It's a constant juggle of who we would like and why, who's available and who would like to come on a show like this. We start with eight million and end up with a list of about 30."
The six-time Logie nominee promises an equally intriguing and diverse list of interview subjects this year, but won't name names until the first promo airs. Some will be instantly recognisable, while others will be unknown but nonetheless interesting.
"I can only give you a couple of broad hints. The first show is somebody who is very much in the news who hasn't spoken yet about what they've been in the news for," he says.
"That particular person is going to be with someone else. Could I be more vague? These two people together is what's going to make the conversation really open up... it's going to be very emotional.
"The second show will be with two American comedy legends, both of whom I've long admired and one of whom in particular would be considered one of the greats of the second half of the last century."
Season two of Interview premieres on Tuesday, April 23 at 9pm on Seven.