Kit Denton

Arnold Christopher "Kit" Denton (5 May 1928 – April 1997), originally Arnold Ditkofsky,[1][2] was a writer and broadcaster prominent in Australia. Denton was born in England and was of Polish Jewish descent.[1] He is the father of comedian and television presenter Andrew Denton.

Kit Denton
BornArnold Christopher Ditkofsky
(1928-05-05)5 May 1928
Stepney, London, England
Died14 April 1997(1997-04-14) (aged 68)
Blue Mountains, Australia
OccupationWriter, broadcaster
ChildrenAndrew Denton

Early life

Denton was born in the London suburb of Stepney[2] and was raised in the East End.[3]

He joined the British Army where he served with the British Forces Broadcasting Service in Germany.[3]

Denton emigrated to Australia in the late 1940s, and worked as a gold miner in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Broadcasting and writing career in Australia

From 1951 until 1965, Denton worked for the Australian Broadcasting Commission as an announcer, and eventually moved on to screenwriting, producing and directing television. In the 1970s, an anonymous television critic for The Australian newspaper was revealed to be Kit Denton, writing under the pseudonym "Janus".[4]

Denton had an abiding interest in military history, and is best known for his novel The Breaker (1973), based on the story of Breaker Morant. Although it is often considered that the film Breaker Morant was based on Denton's book, it was in fact based on a play by Kenneth G. Ross, who successfully sued publisher Angus & Robertson when they publicised Denton's novel as the source for the film. Denton also wrote For Queen and Commonwealth, about British military forces in the late 19th century, and Gallipoli: One Long Grave (1986), a book about the Battle of Gallipoli.


Denton died in April 1997 at his home in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales.


In August 2006, Denton's son Andrew announced a new A$25,000 writing scholarship in his father's name: the Kit Denton Fellowship, which would be presented to members of the Australian Writers' Guild from 2007 onwards.[5]


  • The Breaker: a novel (1973, ISBN 0-207-14344-7)
  • The Breaker (1979, ISBN 0-207-14065-0)
  • The Breaker: a novel, with a selection of the verse of Harry (the Breaker) Morant / Kit Denton (1980, revised edition ISBN 0-207-14268-8)
  • The Breaker (1983, ISBN 0-85835-691-0)
  • Burning Spear (1990, ISBN 0-947245-06-5 (hbk) and ISBN 0-947245-07-3 (pbk))
  • Closed File (1983, ISBN 0-7270-1739-X)
  • Fiddlers Bridge (1986, ISBN 0-949118-10-9)
  • Fiddlers Bridge (1988, ISBN 0-207-15872-X)
  • For Queen and Commonwealth (1987, ISBN 0-949118-08-7)
  • Gallipoli illustrated / compiled and written by Kit Denton (1981, ISBN 0-7270-1462-5)
  • Gallipoli, One Long Grave (1986, ISBN 0-949118-04-4)
  • A Walk Around My Cluttered Mind (1968)



  1. Matthew Ricketson, 2004, The Best Australian Profiles, Melbourne, Black Inc., p. 248.
  2. General Register Office (UK), n.d. Births, Marriages & Deaths 1837–1983, Births registered in April, May and June 1928, p. 285 (viewed 14 February 2013).
  3. Wilde, William; Joy Hooton; Barry Andrews (1995). The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553381-X.
  4. Debus, Bob: Private Members' Statements: Death of Mr Kit Denton, New South Wales Legislative Assembly Hansard, 22 April 1997
  5. Kit Denton Scholarship Announced at the 2006 AWGIE Awards Archived 8 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Australian Writers' Guild, 28 August 2006.
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