Hot shoe shuf­fle

Daniel MacPher­son hopes to put his best foot for­ward host­ing Danc­ing with the Stars, writes Erin McWhirter

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

DANIEL MacPher­son was ner­vous. Would the City Homi­cide star live up to every­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions? Was he mak­ing the right de­ci­sion to take the host­ing job on Danc­ing with the Stars af­ter fronting that best­for­got­ten re­al­ity flop The X Fac­tor?

Agree­ing to step into the well­worn shoes of vet­eran pre­sen­ter Daryl Somers was a de­ci­sion not made lightly. Not only was the show mov­ing to a tough new times­lot on Sun­day, MacPher­son felt it was im­por­tant not to take on a gig that could com­pro­mise the mo­men­tum of his act­ing ca­reer.

MacPher­son, who was an­nounced as host af­ter ru­mours the job would go to ei­ther Shane Bourne, Larry Em­dur or Fifi Box, is now con­fi­dent he’s made the right move.

‘‘Man­age­ment and I were toss­ing up whether this was go­ing to be the right fit for us and we de­cided it was and I’m very ex­cited about it,’’ the 28-year-old says.

‘‘On a per­sonal note, it was the chal­lenge of be­ing in a No.1 drama (City Homi­cide) while host­ing the No.1 live va­ri­ety show si­mul­ta­ne­ously. To get them both right would be a hell of an achieve­ment and that is some­thing I can turn around at the end of 2008 and go, ‘I am re­ally proud of what I achieved here’. I think to do a show like Danc­ing you have to be hun­gry, pas­sion­ate and re­ally want to be a part of it be­cause it’s such a huge ve­hi­cle.’’

Hav­ing set­tled into re­hearsals for Danc­ing and por­tray­ing Det-Sen Const Si­mon Joyner in City Homi­cide, MacPher­son seems re­laxed. He’s on a rare day off. It will prob­a­bly be his last un­til the end of the year and he’s de­ter­mined to make it count.

‘‘I am mak­ing the most of my days off be­cause they are go­ing to evap­o­rate very quickly,’’ MacPher­son says. ‘‘In the long term, sleep is a com­mod­ity I value very highly.’’

As fire­works ex­ploded on New Danc­ing with the Stars, PG Chan­nel 7, Sun­day, 7.30pm Celebrity dance com­pe­ti­tion Du­ra­tion: 90 min­utes Year’s Eve, MacPher­son’s res­o­lu­tion was to make 2008 his year of achieve­ment.

‘‘My mates tell me I’m too driven and I need to stop and en­joy things, but I need to go from chal­lenge to chal­lenge,’’ he says.

‘‘I’ve been qui­etly go­ing about tick­ing off the dif­fer­ent boxes here and there. And on a per­sonal note, I raced a triathlon in Fe­bru­ary and made the Aus­tralian team for the world cham­pi­onships. They were two things I wanted to do out­side the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try. Then this (Danc­ing) came up and I asked my­self, ‘What bet­ter way to add to the list?’ ’’

MacPher­son says the show be­ing moved to Sun­day nights, where it will be pit­ted against Aus­tralian Idol and 60 Min­utes, presents a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge.

DANC­ING has scrapped its fourth judge — Paul Mer­cu­rio — which means the panel matches the world­wide for­mat of three ad­ju­di­ca­tors.

‘‘There are go­ing to be a lot of changes this year and I think a new au­di­ence will be brought to the show,’’ MacPher­son says in the hope that Idol’s younger view­ers will be en­ticed to switch over.

‘‘There are a great bunch of celebri­ties on board.’’

Co-host So­nia Kruger, who has en­dured crit­i­cism for her work at the Bei­jing Olympics, says she’s looking for­ward to be­ing part of the re­ju­ve­nated Danc­ing for­mat.

‘‘I quite like that I have the al­lcare, no-re­spon­si­bil­ity gig out the back be­cause I think if I had to di­rect traf­fic I don’t know that I’d be able to have as much fun,’’ she says.

Hot to fox trot: Danc­ing with the Stars’ So­nia Kruger and Daniel

MacPher­son.

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