A Friday, March. 14, 2008 file photo of Australian television presenter Andrew Denton as he poses for photographs in Sydney. Mr Denton will host a new ABC TV program with working title 'Project Next' to be aired later in 2009. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)
Just seven months after undergoing major heart surgery, Andrew Denton insists he is raring to go for his much-anticipated return to TV with a new chat show.
Simply titled Interview, the Seven Network series allows Denton to do what he does best and probe a different guest each week.
Since undergoing bypass surgery for heart disease last August the seasoned interviewer says he feels better than ever.
"About six or seven months ago (co-producer) Jon (Casimir) said to me 'are you sure you're going to be well enough to come back?' and I said 'I'm actually going to be better than well'," Denton told reporters on Tuesday.
The surgery came as a surprise but Denton said the outcome was a complete success.
"As bad news goes it was the best news I could have had because, essentially, I'm largely heart attack-proof for 10 or 15 years. It was really good," he said.
It's been a decade since the last episode of Denton's popular ABC interview show Enough Rope went to air, and five years since his ill-fated word-game Randling aired, enough time he feels to warrant his return.
"When you do take time away just to immerse yourself in something else it's like a fallow field, you come back richer with better crops," he said.
"I really enjoyed sitting out of television, it's been five years now, and I've really enjoyed being back."
The incomparable Andrew Denton @FOXNRL Sunday night; unexpected highlight of Easter. Also, I have been living in a cupboard clearly because I had no idea he was coming back with a new interview show on TV. 👏— Mary Collier (@mtc01) April 1, 2018
Good to see Andrew Denton back. But "Interview"? Was "TV Show" already taken?— Ian Whitworth (@ianwhitworth) April 6, 2018
British comedian Ross Noble and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant will feature on the show with other guests to be revealed in coming weeks.
High on Denton's wish list are media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and US presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
The challenge in this one-on-one format, he said, is to try and get his guests to go off-script.
"One of the best answers you can get to a question is silence," Denton said.
"I remember once asking Matt Damon a really simple question which was 'are you a good actor?' and he was silent for about 10 seconds and I knew, from the minute he went silent, that whatever he said after that was going to be a real answer. What I'm looking for, and the greatest moments on television, are moments of honesty."
Denton went with Seven because of his relationship with chairman Kerry Stokes, who was once a guest on his TV chat show Denton, which aired for a year on Seven in the mid 90s.
Convincing Stokes to sign him up for his new Interview show this year proved easy, with Denton being presented with a new contract within two hours of meeting the TV mogul.
"It was the shortest negotiation I've had in my career," Denton said.
"I'm in my late 50s and I'm really excited to have a fantastic work opportunity so I'm taking that with both hands and one slightly dodgy heart."
*Interview will air from next Tuesday, April 17 at 9pm AEST
© AAP 2018