Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Bachelor Jordan undergoes a Mauger transformation

Jordan Mauger will be transformed from smoothie to slob for his first big TV appearance since The Bachelor NZ ended in controversy in May.

He has swapped his tuxedo for toe-curling 1980s clobber and a dodgy moustache to return as slippery pawn shop boss Rob Nugent in the second season of TV3 smash Westside.

The 32-year-old was vilified for dumping Fleur Verhoeven just days after she was crowned the winner of The Bachelor NZ.

But Mauger thinks people might be hard pushed to even recognise him in Westside as he is 25kg heavier than he was before starring in the reality dating show.

"When I first saw the script I felt my character Rob needed to be fatter and bit slobbier," he told the Herald on Sunday. "Before filming Westside I changed my diet and ate as much rubbish as I could lay my hands on.

"Mince and cheese pies was the secret of my success. Lots of them. I couldn't get enough pies. I was eating them morning, noon and night and it wasn't long before a spare tyre started appearing around my waist.

"Washing them down with pints of of beer was another good way of putting the weight on."

Mauger, from Christchurch, had to get the beef back off quickly before The Bachelor NZ started shooting but he insisted slimming back down within weeks was a challenge he enjoyed.

"I'm quite fascinated by people who undergo body transformations, like some Hollywood actors do for various roles," he said.

For the role of Nugent, Mauger was delighted when he was also allowed to choose his own outfits from a selection of ghastly, early-80s fashion.

"My clothes in the show are so hideous, yet so cool," he said. "I was given a free licence to wear what I like."

Mauger returns to Westside next Sunday and it is not long before his character Nugent ramps up attempts to ignite a romance with crime-wife temptress Rita West, played by Antonia Prebble.

"Rod has had a crush on Rita for a while but his slimy charm hasn't worked," he said.

Mauger said he keeps in touch with some of the bachelorettes but insisted he is still single.

"I'm still on the market," he said.

• Westside is screened on Sundays at 8.30pm on TV3.

Jordan Mauger and with Fleur Verhoeven.
Jordan Mauger and with Fleur Verhoeven.

Bullies in their sights

Jordan Mauger and his 'Bachelorette' Fleur Verhoeven might not have shared a love connection - but the reality TV stars share a passion for tackling bullies.

Mauger and Verhoeven have both been individually visiting schools in recent weeks.

Bullying and the impact of low self-esteem are close to their hearts - Verhoeven battled low self-esteem during her school years, while Mauger was the target of vile online taunts and threats after dumping the Hawke's Bay-based blonde just days after the final of The Bachelor NZ aired.

Verhoeven visited Waipukurau School to talk to Year 8 students, while Mauger this week dropped into his former Christchurch school, St Andrew's College, to talk to media studies students.

"I am keen to help," he said. "After The Bachelor NZ finished it was a tough period for my family because there was a backlash and the negativity wasn't easy to deal with.

"It was great to go back to my old school and gatecrash some classes and meet some of my old teachers again."

- Herald on Sunday

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