‘It Saved Me’: Grant Denyer Tearfully Explains Why Family Feud Meant So Much To Him

The Gold Logie winner opened up to fellow campmate Toni Pearen about the difficult times his family faced.

In 2014, a magazine accused Grant and his wife Chezzi of drug abuse, claiming the couple had checked into a Thai rehab. Grant has always strongly denied the claims, but it didn’t stop the rumours and articles from spreading like wildfire.

“The worst of it happened at a time when I was at my worst and wasn’t very strong,” Grant told Toni, “I basically had chronic fatigue. I had run myself into the ground.”

Later, in the Tok Tokkie, Grant asked, “How do you counter so many stories and articles once the gossip machine has fired up? The totally made-up, ludicrously ridiculous stories that are just fabricated to sell magazines.”

After being hounded by the false claims, he and Chezzi - who struggled with PTSD from the experience - removed themselves from Australia for a while.

“You just don’t know where to run because they’re coming at you from every angle and you just want to go and never come back,” Grant said. “We got away from it all, we went overseas and just worked on ourselves.”

While he stridently denied the claims at the time, Grant admitted that it was difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel and emerging unscathed from it all.

“You run the risk of never working again,” he said. “I’m surprised that anybody touched me after that, I really am. But Family Feud came along and… it saved my career and it also saved me.”

Fighting back tears Grant said he felt very lucky that Family Feud came along when it did, which he hosted from 2014 to 2018 and again in 2020 for a run of specials. The hosting gig eventually saw Grant win the Gold Logie, as well as the Logie for Most Popular Presenter.

During his Gold Logie acceptance speech, Grant said working on Family Feud had given him his “mojo back”.

“It gave me my confidence, it gave me some courage and I rebuilt myself,” he said back in 2018.

“I figured out it’s never too late to improve yourself, to be kind to other people, and to know that you can always be a better you and that you can have a much better, positive influence on other people.”

In the speech, he also spoke directly to Chezzi telling her, “This [award] is yours as much as it is mine. You believed in me even when I stopped believing in myself… Thank you for everything.”

In the jungle Grant also spoke about the effects being in the spotlight could have on his family, with his daughters getting older and into what he described as “the Googling age”, with all the false reports on their parents just a keystroke away.

“Luckily you’re an evolved person,” Toni told him, “but they will learn. Sailor will learn a different dialogue and she will learn how to defend herself.”

“And she’ll learn from our mistakes,” Grant agreed, “our growth and our scars.”

After it was announced that Grant was heading into the Aussie jungle, Chezzi posted a lengthy tribute for her husband and how excited she was for Australia to get to see more of the man behind the host.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Airs Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play