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Who Dares Wins was the most chaotic Aussie TV shows of the '90s. Here's where the hosts are now.

Growing up in the '90s, we had a totally different breed of reality TV screening nightly. 

Long before Married at First Sight, The Bachelor, or even Big Brother, the kinds of reality shows that aired were daggy at best and deranged at worst.

There was the campfest that was Gladiators and bizarre dating show Man O Man, but no show was quite as loose as Who Dares Wins

The series aired more than 100 episodes between 1996 and 1998, and screened in more than 50 countries around the world. In each episode, hosts Mike Whitney and Tania Zaetta would surprise an unsuspecting contestant nominated by a viewer.

From here, the contestant would be dared to participate in a series of stunts to win a cash prize or holiday package. 

But here's the kicker: if they fail or dropped out of the dare, Zaetta would have to complete it. If she failed, they would still win but if she succeeded then they'd get zilch.

Watch a snapshot of Who Dares Wins. Post continues after video. 


Video via Channel 7.

In between the Big Stunt moment, there were some bizarre dares in which Whitney encouraged random people he met on the streets and in shopping malls to do dares for around $50. The challenges often involved eating insects or shaving off all their hair, but in the best dare – titled the 'Maxibon Challenge' – the person would simply need to eat an entire Maxibon ice cream in 30 seconds.

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That's a normal Friday night for me, but anyways!

It's been almost 20 years since Who Dares Wins first aired, so let's find out what became of the show's hosts after all this time. 

Image: Channel 7.

Mike Whitney

Before making his TV debut, Whitney was already established as a legend of cricket. The fast bowler became a beloved sportsman and, after 14 years in the game, he retired in 1994. 

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Mike began hosting Who Dares Wins in 1996, solidifying his status as one of Australia's best-loved personalities. Even before the show ended, Mike began his stint hosting Sydney Weekender, which saw the former cricketer travelling around Sydney and other New South Wales spots for the best places to eat, stay and visit. 

He hosted the show for a massive 27 years and only decided to retire in January 2022. “To do anything for that long is a very long time,” Whitney said.

“People ask me if I’m going to miss it. Sure, I am going to miss it. It feels a bit surreal. But I had an incredible cricket career as well and I had to retire from that. And who gets to retire twice from two wonderful careers?”

Former Olympian Matt Shirvington has replaced Whitney's role.

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Since retiring from TV, Whitney has revealed that he made the decision so he could pivot to a music career, playing in several cover bands. “It’s so much fun,” he told New Idea in 2022

“I was never allowed to grow a beard when I was on TV, so this is the real me now... you have to conform when you’re a TV host. If I never had to wear a suit again, I’d be absolutely stoked!”

While he might be living the rock-star life, Mike doesn't consider himself the kind of musician who inspires groupies. “I’m 63, so no. There are no groupies. After every gig, we all just want to go home and sleep!”

Big mood! 

The ex-host first played with the Mike Whitney Band, which played 200 gigs all around NSW. He has since started jamming with a new band, True Sports, which features musicians-slash-sportsmen Andrew Dawson, Eric Grothe Sr, Mark ‘Spud’ Carroll, Richard Chee Quee, Gavin Robertson, and Noiseworks bassist Steve Balbi.

He's currently touring in a group called Oz Icons alongside Wayne Pearce. 

“I played in the golden era of cricket and there was a lot of adrenaline on the field. This is a different sort of adrenaline to playing a Test match, but I still get home and can’t sleep because I’m so wired.”

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Mike is the father to triplets, Fergus, Madeleine and Juliet.

Hey now! Listen to this episode of The Spill. Post continues after podcast.


Tania Zaetta

Zaetta began her TV career in 1992 as a co-host of Supermarket Sweep, a game show where contestants go on shopping sprees in supermarkets in an attempt to fill their trolleys with higher-value products than their competitors. 

Yep, this is about as '90s as it gets. 

Two years after the series ended in 1994, Tania was cast on Who Dares Wins.

After finishing up at the show, Tania's career hit new heights when, in 2005, she was cast in Bollywood movie Bunty Aur Babli

If this seems rather random, it's worth mentioning that Who Dares Wins aired in India, where it found a huge following. 

"I was in London when I received the call and flew straight to India," Zaetta told Beauty and Lace in 2012.

"Two days later I was standing at the amazing Taj Mahal in Agra in front of thousands of people filming my opening debut scene with India's most famous actor, Amitabh Bachchan, and his heartthrob actor son, Abhishek."

Tania was cast in more Bollywood films, including Salaam Namaste, Dil Apna and Mr. White Mr. Black

In 2006, she starred opposite British racing driver Jason Plato in UK series Mission Implausible. In the years since Tania's Who Dares Wins days, she has also competed on reality shows Dancing with the Stars and The Celebrity Apprentice.

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According to her Instagram, Zaetta lists her current jobs as TV host, actress, speaker and MC. She's currently the face of Issada Cosmeceuticals and sells essential oils on her website.

Zaetta has been with partner Chris Rogers for 10 years. In 2018, they welcomed twins via IVF, a boy they named Alby Zeke and a little girl, Kenzie Louise. 

Feature image: Seven Network. 

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