TV Quickfire: Dancing on Ice's Matt Evers on baring all for TV charity strip show
Dancing On Ice professional Matt Evers (43) is taking to the stage in aid of ITV's The All New Monty: Who Bares Wins. We quizzed the skatedance ace on how he's feeling ahead of the cancer fundraiser and why he's taking part
THIS SHOW SEES YOU PERFORM A STRIP TEASE. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO IT?
I had a testicular cancer scare about seven years ago now, and I lost my mum to cancer when I was young, so I've always been a huge supporter of the majority of the different cancer charities in the UK.
It was kind of a no-brainer when I was approached to do it. I felt I could give back and raise awareness and use my profile to potentially save lives.
IT MUST HAVE BEEN VERY EMOTIONAL TO THINK ABOUT YOUR MUM DURING THE FILMING PROCESS?
The funny thing is I'm a California boy – everybody has their therapist, and I really love my therapy sessions. It wasn't until a couple of weeks after we finished the Monty and the dust settled on what I did, and hearing feedback from the producers, when they were saying, 'This is one of the best casts we've ever had' – these emotions started to bubble up that I didn't realise I had or that were still there. It was tough.
I have always dealt with anxiety and it brought up a couple of panic attacks post-show. It just rehashed a lot of emotions of losing her and the effect it had on my family, and remembering what she was like in her final days in the hospital.
HOW DID YOU FIND THE REHEARSALS?
I won't say that it was easy by any means, because I was dancing in the morning with the boys, and I would go straight to the ice with Gemma [Collins], and so I was burning both ends of the candle.
That probably helped tighten my emotions and kept me very aware of what I was feeling and what we were doing. But the Full Monty production, they kept the productions fun. Ashley [Banjo, the choreographer] was just incredible to work with.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE ITSELF - TELL US WHAT THAT WAS LIKE?
It was the most incredible feeling. Everybody in that theatre was there for the same cause, the same reason. The amount of love and hope and care that you felt or that we were feeling on stage, it was like nothing that I've ever experienced.
I know 100 per cent that the loved ones of everybody in the show or in the audience, that have passed from cancer, they were all sat right next to them. And it was a really spiritual moment.
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE MADE YOU EVEN MORE AWARE OF CHECKING YOURSELF FOR SIGNS OF CANCER?
Absolutely. I'm in the prime age window of where you've got to check yourself, not only for testicular cancer, but for prostate cancer and colon cancer; all of the very scary male cancers that nobody wants to talk about.
HOW CONFIDENT DID YOU FEEL GETTING NAKED IN FRONT OF PEOPLE?
I thought I was really comfortable in my own skin, especially when you're in the bedroom and you're in the bathroom, you're taking a shower and being naked. But it wasn't until we were in rehearsals and we had to do the strip for the very first time...
We had the G-strings underneath our costumes and Ashley said, 'I want you guys to do the strip completely, but you don't have to, it's not mandatory'. And I was like, 'Oh yeah, it would be no problem'. But then when we actually got to it, I couldn't do it. For the first few dress rehearsals that we had, it took quite a bit of talking to myself, coaxing myself, to say, 'No, you're fine'.
:: The All New Monty: Who Bares Wins starts on ITV on Monday May 6