Written by Melanie Burton, August 30, 2016

At 62, air traffic controller Peter was the eldest Australian Survivor contestant, but it wasn’t his age that prevented him from taking out the title of Australia’s ultimate Survivor. It was a serious case of gastro!

Just days before filming started, Peter got sick after eating chicken at a Samoan Hotel, and in the end he evicted himself.

NW chats to Peter about his recovery process, and why he didn’t really like how he was portrayed on the show.

How are you feeling?

Health wise, I’m good. I recovered fairly quickly – in fact I’m completely back to normal now. Now, I’m training for the next big thing. In October, I hope to reach Everest base camp, and I’m going to take in my backpack my red suit and the Saanapu flag. Then I’ll participate in a relay for a half iron man triathlon, so I’ve got to do some swim training.

How long did it take you to recover once you left Samoa?

Initially from the starvation thing, probably about three days because you’ve got to re-feed slowly and gently and carefully. My body had nothing in it for 12 days!

We hear you only had 50 calories a day!

Yeah and that wasn’t every day. Some days it was nothing! Kylie was getting really stressed out by me not eating.

She was always on my case to eat and I’d eat maybe a centimetre of banana or a little bit of coconut, and then feel sick from that.


Peter was quite the quirky contestant!

It was pretty tough out there, especially being so sick…

You’re on a tropical island and you know there are health risks, accident risks, and it’s going to be hot and humid. But half way through the night it would change to freezing cold.

We couldn’t get warm and then it would rain on you all night and we were freezing with rain falling on us trying to keep warm, and somebody made a comment at some stage, they said, “I’m being kept awake because everybody is shivering and their teeth are chattering.” That’s how bad it was. None of us saw that coming.

Have you watched the show?

[Yes, it made me uncomfortable] because it was emphasising what was happening to me. My strategy going on the show was endearment, and wicked humour and working hard and doing well in the challenges.

So that didn’t really support me being sick, but I did work hard and do really well in the challenges, but the wicked humour probably can’t be shown on TV!

Who’s going to win then?

Anyone can win it. It’s an extraordinary show – you don’t need to have the best six pack or two pack to win the show.

But you do have to have certain things, like relationship management, strategy and physical competence. I would say Kylie, Sam, Connor in my tribe. I don’t know the others very well.

Interview by Gabriella Del Grande.

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