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