Daniel MacPherson

Daniel Donald MacPherson (born 25 April 1980) is an Australian actor and television presenter, best known for his roles as Joel Samuels in Neighbours, Sergeant Samuel Wyatt in Sky and Cinemax's Strike Back, Whit Carmichael in the Shane Abbess sci-fi film Infini, and Arion Elessedil in The Shannara Chronicles. He has also co-hosted Dancing with the Stars for six years while simultaneously starring in a number of Australians dramas such as Wild Boys. MacPherson has a cameo role as Calvin's father in Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time.

Daniel MacPherson
Daniel MacPherson.jpg
MacPherson at the Sydney premiere of The Cup in 2011
Daniel Donald MacPherson

(1980-04-25) 25 April 1980 (age 40)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
OccupationActor, television presenter
Years active1998–present
(m. 2015)

Early lifeEdit

MacPherson grew up in Sydney's beachside suburb of Cronulla. He was accepted into Mensa at the age of 10 and went on to attend the academically selective school Sydney Boys High School.[1][2]

An avid fitness advocate, MacPherson regularly competes in triathlons and marathons.


MacPherson was discovered while competing in the Kurnell triathlon in southern Sydney when he was 16. He soon landed the role of Joel Samuels in the soap opera Neighbours, starting in 1998.[3] Soon after, MacPherson won a Logie Award in 1999 for Most Popular New Talent. After leaving the soap in 2002, MacPherson travelled to the United Kingdom to star in a British production of the musical Godspell in which he alternated the lead roles of Jesus and Judas with English entertainer Jonathan Wilkes.[4] During this time MacPherson resided in Notting Hill with close friend Robbie Williams. After completing the show, MacPherson was offered the role of PC Cameron Tait in the British drama The Bill, which he played from 2003 until late 2004.[5] Upon leaving The Bill, he took a role playing Jesus opposite Edward Woodward as God in The Mysteries. This was a drama based on a medieval mystery play cycle in which every scene moved to a different part of Canterbury Cathedral.

MacPherson on the set of City Homicide in 2008

In 2005, MacPherson returned to Australia to present the Australian version of The X Factor.[6] MacPherson received very positive feedback, despite the series attracting low ratings. After the season had finished, reports stated that before one of the live shows MacPherson was accidentally knocked unconscious by a crew member. After regaining consciousness several minutes later, and being rushed to hospital, MacPherson went on to do the show that night despite being heavily concussed. He says he "remembers nothing at all" from that night's broadcast. This was undetected by the public.[citation needed] The following year, MacPherson hosted a three-part series called Killer Sharks on Australia's Network Ten in February 2006. In late 2006, he appeared in a British/Australian production entitled Tripping Over. The show appeared on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom and Network Ten in Australia. Tripping Over featured MacPherson's ex-Neighbours co-star Brooke Satchwell. Tripping Over received numerous positive reviews and the show was a hit with Australian critics; however due to funding issues it was not picked up for a second season.

In October 2007, MacPherson left Network Ten after taking a role on the Seven Network's City Homicide. The show became the number one Australian Drama between 2007 and 2008. MacPherson left City Homicide during the fourth season.[7] On 3 August 2008, the Seven Network announced that MacPherson would be taking over the hosting role on Dancing with the Stars, after former host Daryl Somers resigned at the end of 2007. This was his first live hosting gig since The X Factor in 2005. On 17 May 2010, MacPherson guest co-hosted The Morning Show alongside Kylie Gillies, while regular male presenter Larry Emdur was on holidays. Macpherson hosted the Seven Network series, Beat the Star, a local version of the British and German television series for one season before the show was cancelled.[8]

In 2011, MacPherson returned to hosting season 11 of Dancing with the Stars in the first half of the year, before filming a new "Australian Western" style show, called Wild Boys based around Bushrangers.[7] MacPherson played the lead role and the show's protagonist, Jack Keenan and starred alongside Zoe Ventoura.[7] Wild Boys premiered to strong ratings of 1.67 million viewers.[9] This was not to last, and in November 2011, the Seven Network chose not to make a second season of the show. In 2013 MacPherson played the lead role of 'Whit' in Shane Abbess's sci fi feature film 'Infini'. Macpherson's performance in the lead role was universally praised for its intensity. MacPherson and Abbess re-united in 2015 for another science fiction film 'SFV1', with MacPherson starring alongside US actor Kellan Lutz. In February 2015, it was announced that MacPherson had landed the role of Arion in MTV's upcoming fantasy drama series The Shannara Chronicles.[10] MacPherson appeared in a documentary special celebrating Neighbours' 30th anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.[11][12] In 2014, MacPherson resigned from Dancing with the Stars to focus on his film career; his replacement was comedian Shane Bourne.

In 2016, MacPherson was a fill-in co-host on The Project with Carrie Bickmore.[13]

Other projectsEdit

MacPherson starred in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk in 1999 at The Victoria Theatre in Halifax. He also starred in two pantomimes at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury alongside Paul Hendy and Leila Birch, Cinderella in 2000 and Aladdin in 2001.[14]

In 2006, MacPherson co-hosted the Sydney New Year's Eve 2006-07 telecast alongside Big Brother host Gretel Killeen. The telecast caused much controversy after former Big Brother 2004 housemates Ryan Fitzgerald and Bree Amer appeared to be drunk throughout their segments of the evening. Notably, MacPherson received much praise for being a "complete professional" and left with his reputation unscathed.

MacPherson competes in World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) and Ironman 70.3. He competed in Ironman Australia at Port Macquarie where he missed out on qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii by only one spot. His swim time of 49:30 in Ironman New Zealand 2008 was the fastest in his age group. His fastest Ironman remains 9-hour and 42 minutes in Port Macquarie in 2007.

In April 2009, MacPherson completed the China Ironman in Haikou. He completed the race in 11 hours and one minute, after a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and 42 km run in 45C heat. He came first in his 25–29 age group, qualifying him for the Hawaiian Ironman in October. MacPherson competed in the Hawaiian Ironman in 2009, finishing in 10 hours and 32 minutes. Macpherson has twice qualified for the Ironman 70.3 world championships, in 2013 and 2014.

Personal lifeEdit

He began dating his Wild Boys co-star Zoe Ventoura in 2011. They became engaged in December 2014,[15] and married on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in November 2015.[16] The couple have one child, a son born in December 2019 named Austin Xavier.[17]



Year Title Role[18] Notes
2011 The Cup Jason Oliver
2015 Infini Whit Carmichael
2016 Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child Lt. Kane Sommerville
2017 Generational Sins Drew Caldwell
2018 A Wrinkle in Time Calvin's father


Year Title Role[18] Notes
1998–2002 Neighbours Joel Samuels Role specifically written for him
2003–2004 The Bill PC Cameron Tait
2006 Blackjack Craig
Tripping Over Ned British/Australian six-part drama series
2007–10 City Homicide Simon Joyner
2011 Wild Boys Jack Keenan
2015 Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite Himself Documentary
2016 The Shannara Chronicles Arion
2017 APB Scott Murphy
2017–20 Strike Back Samuel Wyatt
2019 Bad Mothers Anton


Year Title Role[18] Notes
1999 Jack and the Beanstalk Jack Victoria Theatre, Halifax, UK
2000 Cinderella Prince Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, UK
2001 Aladdin Aladdin Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, UK
2002 Godspell Jesus/Judas 16-week, No. 1 venue tour, United Kingdom
2004 The Mysteries Jesus Canterbury Cathedral, UK,

with Edward Woodward, Thomas James Longley and Joseph McManners

2005 Love Letters Andrew NIDA/Parade Theatre, Sydney


Year Title Role[18] Notes
2005 The X Factor Australia Host Network Ten
Good Morning Australia Fill in Host Network Ten
Killer Shark Documentary Host Network Ten
2006 NYE Live Broadcast Co-host Network Ten
2006–2007 National Geographic Presents Host Foxtel
2008–2014 Dancing with the Stars Host Seven Network
2017 6th AACTA International Awards Host

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Result[18]
1999 Logie Awards Most Popular New Male Talent Won
2001 Logie Awards Most Popular Actor Nominated
2003 British National Television Awards Best Newcomer Nominated


  1. ^ http://www.sydneyboyshigh.com/pj-day-scholarship-endorsement
  2. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0534205/bio
  3. ^ Daniel MacPherson Archived 24 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Dancing with the Stars, Yahoo!7.
  4. ^ Godspell stars talk to BBC Norfolk, BBC Radio Norfolk, 25 October 2002.
  5. ^ Aussie Actor Bares Bottom On "The Bill", ABC Radio and Regional Content, 16 September 2003.
  6. ^ Enker, Debi: Stars in their eyes, The Age, 20 November 2004.
  7. ^ a b c Lowie (20 February 2011). "Ventoura and MacPherson go Wild". Media Spy. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Dan MacPherson for Beat the Star". TV Tonight. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Viewers go Wild for drama on the box". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  10. ^ Lee, Ben (10 February 2015). "Neighbours' Daniel MacPherson joins MTV's The Shannara Chronicles". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  11. ^ Knox, David (28 February 2015). "Airdate: Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  12. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Neighbours 30th anniversary schedule confirmed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  13. ^ Bowden, Ebony (5 January 2016). "Carrie Bickmore left mortified after 'Big Breast League' gaffe on The Project". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  14. ^ http://perfectblend.net/reference/pantoarchive.htm
  15. ^ Molloy, Shannon (20 January 2015). "Daniel MacPherson announces his engagement to girlfriend Zoe Ventoura". news.com.au. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Zoe Ventoura and Daniel Macpherson tie the knot low-profile style". The Daily Telegraph. News Corp Australia. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  17. ^ Sullivan, Rebecca (6 May 2020). "Daniel Macpherson breaks his silence on his exciting baby news and gives a rare insight into fatherhood". TV Week. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  18. ^ a b c d e "The Official Daniel MacPherson Website". Retrieved 20 November 2009.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Richard Wilkins
Sydney New Year's Eve host (with Gretel Killeen)
Succeeded by
Kim Watkins and Andrew G