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