IPSWICH has a new reality TV star, with former St Edmund's student Nathan Pamenter battling the bulge in Channel 9's new show Excess Baggage, which premieres tonight.
In the show, celebrities including Kevin Federline and former AFL legend Robert 'Dipper' DiPierdomenico are put through their paces along with everyday Australians in a bid to shake their weight.
Mr Pamenter was paired with '90s hit songstress Christine Anu, a dream match-up for the theatre enthusiast.
Having a history with the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company, it was a surreal moment when he met Ms Anu, who he described as a wise old aunt.
"We definitely are like a family," he said.
"Where I struggle with the diet, Christine struggles with the challenges.
"I try to give her positives in the challenges," he said.
So far the show has been tough, but Mr Pamenter said he does not regret sending away his application for the show in October.
"It's definitely hard every day, but because it's such a competitive environment and we're there trying to get the same amount of points.
"We are a few weeks into it and it is amazing.
"It's really life changing with some of the places we have been."
He said it was the effect his 134kg frame was having on his life that motivated him to take such a massive plunge.
"That was the biggest thing for me. Because of my weight I wasn't doing things a 26-year-old would do. I didn't have any self-confidence."
When Mr Pamenter first met the other contestants, they were all in the dark about the celebrities they were about to meet and train with.
"We all stay together, we all eat together," he said. "We are all together all of the time.
"On the first night we were having dinner and I had K-Fed and Dipper on either side of me."
Excess Baggage screens tonight on Channel 9 at 7pm.
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