Danc­ing Sp­ida

We’ll see the real man be­hind the head­lines, writes Erin McWhirter

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

THERE were times in his Aussie rules play­ing days when Peter ‘‘Sp­ida’’ Everitt was no role model.

Dur­ing his stints at St Kilda and Hawthorn, Everitt says, the eas­i­est way for his mum to find out what he’d been up to was to look at the front page of a news­pa­per.

The head­lines — in­clud­ing a charge of racial vil­i­fi­ca­tion and mi­nor al­co­hol-re­lated of­fences — were of­ten bad.

Everitt, how­ever, is not in the busi­ness of mak­ing ex­cuses for past mis­de­meanours.

‘‘Look, trou­ble can find any­one,’’ the 35-year-old fa­ther of four says. ‘‘If Mum hadn’t seen me for a few days she knew where to find me and that was on the front page of the Her­ald Sun.

‘‘She was quite happy to see I’ve taken a back­wards step.’’

Some heavy-handed tac­tics from wife of 17 months Sheree have helped him clean up his act.

‘‘Must have been af­ter the third black eye Sheree gave me af­ter get­ting home at all hours of the morn­ing,’’ he says with a laugh.

Af­ter 15 years and 291 games, Everitt re­tired from footy last year. Now the long-limbed, heav­ily tat­tooed Everitt is set to test his ath­leti­cism in a new do­main, hav­ing signed for Danc­ing with the Stars.

Not only is he hop­ing to re­gain his fit­ness, he also hopes the show will ad­dress some mis­con­cep­tions about him.

‘‘That was one of the driv­ing forces, to get fit again,’’ he says. ‘‘I also think peo­ple see a dif­fer­ent side to every­one when they watch this show. You get an in­sight you wouldn’t ex­pect or see on the sport­ing field. I look for­ward to that.’’

As for be­ing judged by He­len Ritchie, Mark Wil­son and Todd McKen­ney, Everitt, known for his out­spo­ken­ness, says there may be fire­works if he’s crit­i­cised.

‘‘I think there will be (fire­works), es­pe­cially if they don’t get their com­ments right. You know what they say, you can never make a sec­ond first im­pres­sion so mine will be good.’’

Everitt isn’t the only one hop­ing to change pub­lic per­cep­tion on Danc­ing with the Stars.

Swim­suit model Emily Scott is no stranger to caus­ing a ruckus. Whether it’s pos­ing nude in the desert near Las Ve­gas, dat­ing Lit­tle Bri­tain star David Wal­liams or ap­pear­ing in a Rob­bie Wil­liams video clip, Scott, 26, knows how to cre­ate a head­line.

‘‘I don’t think I’ve ever done enough train­ing,’’ she says of her prepa­ra­tions to dance with Michael Miziner on the show.

‘‘I’m feel­ing ner­vous, but there have been no bro­ken bones, just a few blis­ters.

‘‘The other day I was sweat­ing and he (Miziner) had barely bro­ken into a sweat.

‘‘He keeps telling me to put in an­other bat­tery, but how much faster can I go?’’ Danc­ing with the Stars, PG Chan­nel 7, Sun­day, 6.30pm Celebrity dance-off Du­ra­tion: 2½ hours

Re­formed: Peter Everitt and dance part­ner Linda De Ni­cola.

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