Denise Drysdale on her terms

Veteran performer Denise Drysdale loves to give audiences a laugh, and as she tells TV Tonight, she's returning to live television on her terms.

She’s loved far and wide as a veteran performer who is unequivocally Australian, and as a performer whose honesty is downright endearing.

Denise Drysdale returns to daily television as the voice of experience on TEN’s new morning show The Circle.

‘Ding Dong’, as she is affectionately known, is synonymous with morning TV, having co-hosted In Melbourne Today / In Sydney Today (later retitled as Ernie and Denise) for Nine and three years fronting Denise for Seven. That’s on top of her extensive television career notable for In Melbourne Tonight, The Ernie Sigley Show and Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

Last year she criss-crossed Australia, performing nearly 100 live shows. She told TV Tonight the secret to being an entertainment industry survivor was her work ethic of “no job too big, no job too small.”

“I do corporate, stand-up, morning shows, a show with a piano player, a show with a band, I work with Marcie Jones, Denis Walter, I do fashion parades, MC-ing for corporate. Because I do everything that’s why I’ve lasted. They can throw me in anywhere. I am so lucky to have what I have,” she says.

For The Circle, she will be joined by Yumi Stynes, Chrissie Swan and Gorgi Coghlan. Drysdale insists she is returning to the grind of daily television on her own terms.

“I don’t mean that to sound a bit pompous but after the initial month I’m only going to be doing two days a week. That’s all I want to do. I don’t want to do 5 days a week because I live in a beautiful home in the country with my dogs, and I don’t want to be away from them.”

Luring her from her country home wasn’t easy, particularly for an early morning, live TV gig.

“The traffic’s shocking,” she says. “It’s either roadworks or an accident. So I will go down, stay two nights and go back in the afternoon. So I can still do a bit of other work as well, which has been booked. I’ve given them all the dates of other bookings that I’ve got.”

The four women on the show, to be joined by a fifth guest, promise to be discussing a range of topics including entertainment, news and topical issues.

“And what’s happening in the world. I know there’s too much violence in Australia. Especially in the city. I can’t believe things that are happening. It’s just ignorance of other people. The underlying thing with these kids is not intolerance, it’s because they don’t understand where they’ve come from or their cultures.

“If they did they wouldn’t be hating them they’d be thinking ‘Gee how lucky are they to be living in this wonderful country.'”

Conversation will be contrasted by the team all presenting advertorials, which form the revenue of the morning show genre.

“I’m happy to do those,” says Drysdale. “We’re trying to do them live which makes them more credible and more interesting I think, than the ones that are pre-recorded. Some of them are pre-recorded because they’re impossible to do in a live situation but that’s what we’re trying to do.

“They’re the people that pay our bills.”

Under producer Pam Barnes, who worked with Drysdale as far back as the 1970s, the advertorials are expected to take a lighter, entertaining tone. ‘Ding Dong’ insists they will be funny if she has anything to do with them, drawing parallels with classic live ads done by her old co-star, Graham Kennedy.

“We’ll get the dog in. My little Maltese is going to do a couple of rehearsal shows to see if he can come and be on the show every now and then,” she laughs.

But ‘Ollie’ won’t be peeing on any studio floors.

“I hope not! I’ve taught him better than that!”

When asked with similarities to another famous female chat show, The View, Drysdale’s honesty again reminds us why she is so well-loved.

“It’s sort of like The View. I can’t say it’s not because I can see the similarities. But theirs isn’t interactive with the audience and they’re different type of girls,” she admits.

“I don’t know, I suppose I’m supposed to say ‘No, it’s not like The View,’ but we’ll just wait and see!

“We had a day doing publicity all day last week and the girls and I just laughed. So I think if that’s what we can do we’ll be fine.”

The Circle premieres 10am Tuesday February 9th on TEN.

11 Responses

  1. Gawwwwd, I had a day off work, was home crook, and couldn’t believe my eyes, “The Circle”!!!, lo nah am not intellectually deprived, just was so refreshing…loved the personality match up with girrrrls on circle/ couch….interacting…….Is this the start of honesty down right shootin from hip new Aussie TV? gawwwd i hope so…..those early morning shows of male/female presenters are sooooo suffocating…..so pretencious and constrained by one line come backs, pretending to ignite a comment from viewers.. on trivial matters…..seeking…” and tell us what u think..email us now…”…lol what an insult…us viewers are not dumb…give us credit!!!!….
    The Circle appears to probably still trying to find its feet, but pls pls….Channel Ten, hang in, cause these ladies are so far bouncing off each other in such an honest way that relates to many . Gawwd Aussie TV is lacking in genuine shows during day time TV….I am generation in my 50’s, still workin hard to pay off morgage….and don’t get days off to view your show…..,but Denise and the crew, have magic…hold on, Denise Drysdale will hold it together…xo

  2. Best of luck to Denise and the new show. Unfortunately I’m not one that will able to see it unless I tape it but then not having the time to watch it back. But agree with comments that Denise should so some guesting in The 7PM Project she is too good to just hide away on morning television.

  3. I like Denise, shes a good all round performer and can take things seriously when need be.

    I hope everything works out for her – she’s one who truly deserves the title of ‘legend’.

  4. I have admired Denises work for many years,always loved her and the big heart she has.Denise is very honest and funny performer,unlike many on tv nowadays.She even admitted in interview other day she was going too have some work done on her face,not much as she said just a little lol.The show sounds good but having a woman like Denise on there will help other girls.Glad Denise is coming back but must admit only 2 days a week is not enough of her,but like she said its on her terms.I hope the show does work out,hope Denise does guest on 7PM Project one day she would be great on that too.

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