DIANNE BUT­LER

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

WHEN you’re a hugely suc­cess­ful re­tired foot­baller such as An­drew ‘‘ ET’’ Et­ting­shausen (right), who played rugby league for the Cronulla Sharks (328 games), NSW and Australia, your ca­reer op­tions tend to be com­men­ta­tor or coach. So why not just go fish­ing?

As well as Es­cape with ET on Chan­nel 10 (launched 1997) Et­ting­shausen, 46, now has a small em­pire go­ing on the Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel, with the third of his Ul­ti­mate Fish se­ries.

This time he’s chas­ing snap­per. Which also means avoid­ing sharks. And as the Aus­tralian pre­sen­ter of Shark Week, it wouldn’t do to be get­ting bit­ten in half on na­tional tele­vi­sion.

‘‘ I’mhop­ing this year I might be in­volved in host­ing one of the doc­u­men­taries on sharks,’’ Et­ting­shausen says. ‘‘ We’re look­ing at some­thing in Western Australia at the mo­ment.’’

And there is of course some very fine snap­per off WA.

‘‘ Up around Dirk Har­tog Is­land, wow, I re­mem­ber one trip I did there, ev­ery cast was a snap­per, it was just in­cred­i­ble.

‘‘ I guess the thing with this show — the mo­ment where it all be­came very real with sharks as well — was see­ing my first great white. I was fish­ing down in South Australia, off a place called Arno Bay in the Spencer Gulf and the next minute out of the gloom comes this great white straight up to the back of the boat. And I def­i­nitely jumped back­wards. It was my first great white I’ve seen in the wild and I’ve been do­ing this gig for a long time.’’

Maybe he has seen oth­ers and didn’t re­alise. ‘‘ Well, you know what? Maybe I have.

‘‘ We’d for­got­ten about this cam­era and the shark dis­ap­peared for about five min­utes and the next minute the line’s gone taut on the cord that was at­tached to the cam­era and the shark ac­tu­ally came through and we’ve got all the footage back, be­cause I’ve some­how man­aged to get the cam­era back out of the shark’s mouth.

‘‘ I was gone if I didn’t get that cam­era back.’’ Ul­ti­mate Fish: Snap­per, Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel, Sun­day, 7.30pm

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