Tuesday, September 11, 2018

An International Affair

Feel for Whispers. This is the type of even we are dragged out on a cold Sunday evening to attend. The bar formely known as Hugos in Kings Cross was the location and we didn't expect so much beauty and brains to be on display after being told it was just a small get-together for drinks. They came from all over the world and a panel of judges will soon pick a winner. We're bipartisan and think they all deserve to win.  Tomorrow we'll tell you who did win.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Pull the udder one

Getty Images
I may not know about art but I know what I like. Artist Andrew Barnes popped down to the tiny Double Bay beach in Sydney's ritzy Eastern Suburbs this week to give his cows some rest and relaxation and a change from their daily milking regime. He calls it an art installation. Who are we to disagree?.
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Meanwhile in nearby Kings Cross, once the heart of Sydney's nightlife and sex trade, a "Celebrity" boot sale was held on the weekend where most of the items on sale were once owned by the rich and mildly famous. 

Pictured are two local slebs who gave up their goods and time for the event. On the left is the delightful Cindy Pastel, one of the town's most famous drag acts. The award winning film Priscilla Queen of the Desert was based on his life. 

With him is one of our favourite eccentric characters around town Christa Billich who stars in the cable TV show "Housewives of Sydney". What fun.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Death of a Legal Eagle

Model Sharon Sargeant * Clive Evatt QC & gumshoe Frank Monte
What a sad day. One of Australia's great legal minds and defamation experts has passed away. Clive Evatt QC has died aged 84. Evatt, from a distinguished legal family was one of those rare larger-than-life characters who acted for all manner of clients devoid of any judgment on what their perceived character was.

Among those clients were so-called "Mr Sin" Abe Safron who was reputed to be the most powerful underworld figure in Sydney crime when he basically controlled all nighttime entertainment in notorious King's Cross (not so much now as it becomes yet another Sydney gentrified suburb). In fact Evatt won a defamation case against a newspaper for labeling Saffron with that very label. That was in a crossword puzzle in a Queensland newspaper. Evatt delightfully said of his client "I've never seen any evidence of criminal activity".

Among his clients:superstar Shirley Bassey, respected architect Harry Seidler who was married to Evatt's sister Penny Seidler, Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib (Evatt secured nearly $180,000 in libel damages against various radio shock jocks) and the colourful poetess Gypsy Rose Fire who was labelled by one newspaper as "Bob Dylan's Sex slave".

"Mr Sin" Abe Saffron* Ace Bourke & John Rendall * Donatella Versace
One client we have written about on here is the Los Angeles based Australian private eye Frank Monte who was sued by the Versace family over claims he had worked for the late Gianni Versace in New York. Evatt famously got Donatella Versace giving evidence in court via a video link-up to claim she had never ever taken illicit drugs in her life. About 18 months later Donatella in a tell-all interview in Vogue magazine admitted she had been hooked on cocaine before and after Gianna's murder. Asked if Donatella should be referred to Australia's High Court for perjury, Evatt said although she was as "guilty as sin" the prospect of making her attend an Australian court was just too complicated.
More recently Evatt, even though his health wasn't top notch and he was a bit unsteady on his feet , secured substantial damages in the Federal Court for Monte from the giant Fairfax Media after they breached his copyright over a photo they published.

Evatt was also an art lover and collector and for a time owned the prestigious Hogarth Gallery in  trendy Paddington. The manager of the Hogarth was Ace Bourke who later hit international fame in the memorable Christian the Lion video that swept the world. Indeed Whispers attended several parties at the Hogarth in honour of fellow Christian owner John Rendall.
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Another Whisper acquaintance also passed away recently. Highly respected jurist Sir Laurence Street QC died on the 21st June. Street was the third consecutive generation of his family to have served New South Wales as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court following his father and grandfather.  Sir Laurence was a resident at the Potts Point retirement home Lulworth House which recently lost several notable figures including former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, former NSW premier Neville Wran and the much loved impresario Harry M. Miller.

Lady Penny Street & Sir Laurence * Lady Jessie Street " Earl Grey " Sir Laurence Street as Chief Justice
Sir Laurence was not only highly respected for his non-partisan role as a lawyer who could negotiate complicated legal disputes, but was a man known for his old-fashioned gentlemanly outlook who was often spotted around town at high society parties wearing a pair of monogrammed Gucci loafers. He treated everyone, no matter their social status, as an equal.
His mother Lady Jessie Street (1889 – 1970) was an equally fascinating character. Coming from  a very conservative family and indeed, marrying into one she was an ardent feminist and Suffragette who was dubbed Red Jessie by her detractors in the conservative media for promoting diplomacy with the USSR during the Cold War. At one stage while abroad she had her Australian passport cancelled so that she couldn't return to Australian.

Born in India, Lady Jessie was  descendant of General Charles Grey, Ist Baron Grey, known as Earl Grey and British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. Perhaps an even greater honour is the fact Earl Grey Tea is named in his honour. As Whisper's favourite tipple, we'll always remember Sir Laurence Sreet while supping on a cuppa of Earl Grey.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Ladies Who Lunch

B/W Chair Susan Diver * TV news reader Natarsha Belling * Mem Fox * Julia Baird * Dame Marie Bashir * Kate Carnell
 The Black and White Charity Committee raises funds for Vision Australia to provide support services for children and their families.  Each year they hold the Women Of Achievement lunch at the Four Season's Hotel at Circular Quay.
This is a great event: every penny raised goes to the charity as the ladies on the B/W Committee, cajole, beg, borrow and steal every aspect of the day. They are all unpaid volunteers and it's a pretty good achievement in itself to be able to draw over 500 attendees as they did this year, to pack the hotel ballroom.
Three distinguished ladies of "achievement" give a speech outlining their career and how they got there. Most started from humble beginnings This years speakers were Mem Fox who is married to the billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox, ABC TV presenter Julia Baird and Kate Carnell former Chief Minister of the ACT and currently the Ombudsman for Small Business.
Among the guests, Gina Rinehart arguably the world's richest woman with a mining fortune and Dame Marie Bashir former NSW Governor, Professor Ross Steele, one of world's great experts on the French language and Olympian Jessica Gallagher.
Judith Crawley * Daniel Trelease * Maria Finlay * Professor Steele* Jessica Gallagher * Mike Levendi

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hollywood comes to The Rescue

Lord of The Rings star Hugo Weaving joined Whispers on the floor of the Teacher's Federation Theatre  in Surry Hills at a rally by the Friends of the ABC to protest funding cuts to the national broadcaster. Under the current conservative government over $300M this year alone has been slashed from the ABC budget by PM Malcolm Turnbull leading to the loss of 800 jobs (despite promising no cuts previously).

It was standing (or seated on the floor) room only as Weaving spread his legs out to enthusiastically applaud the various speakers. They included top selling author  Tom Keneally of Schindler's List fame, Magda Szubanski, star of the ABC'S Kath & Kim and "red" Kerry O'Brien , the retired broadcaster who fronted the 7.30 Report and 4 Corners for many years.

Kerry O'Brien, Magda Szubanski and Tom Keneally at the Save the ABC Rally
Often criticized as being too "left wing" O'Brien read out many of the 100s of letters he would receive after hosting ABC political broadcasts during election days. Most attacked him as being too favourable to the Liberal Party and too tough on the Labor Party.
Szubanski compared the recent same sex marriage survey that found a 62% positive result for LGBT marriage rights with the Aussie public and quoted credible surveys that say 68% of Australians love their ABC.
One speaker pointed out that after slashing ABC TV & radio broadcasts to our South Pacific neighbours which received audiences the UK's BBC would envy,  China has quickly filled the void snapping up 300 of the Australian broadcast wavelengths and now dominate our nearest neighbours.
The rally, which was followed by one in Melbourne and will be repeated around the country are in response to a recent Liberal Party conference where delegates voted to privatize the ABC.
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Out and about canvassing today in the Longman bi-election with the Labor Party candidate Susan Lamb was Hollywood star Danny Glover.
Glover is making quite a splash around Australia and appears to have become an activist for several local matters including Indigenous affairs.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Danny celebrates NAIDOC Week

It's NAIDOC Week in Australia where (at least) 40,000 years of Indigenous culture is celebrated. That's a celebration for the oldest continuous inhabitants of anywhere on Earth let alone this vast continent. You can read much more about various events that will take place at the official website.
And look who's in town to celebrate !. The actor Danny Glover joined Aboriginal activists in Canberra. Well done Danny.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ahoy Newcastle residents: the fabulous Jackie Loeb is back in Oz for a series of shows. She lives in Los Angeles where she is a popular face in the various comedy clubs so this is chance to catch some side-splitting comedy. And crikey-look at the sponsers- this is serious.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Gina & The Trumpettes

on the far right- Gina & The Fabulous Trumpettes at Mar A Lago
 Whisper's attention is drawn to the news that Australia's on / off Wealthiest Woman on The Planet Gina Rinehart appears to have joined the prestigious Trumpettes at Mar-A- Lago in Miami. The Trumpettes are a band of wealthy society ladies who spruik the joys of Donald Trumps' presidency and as you can see from our various pics, Gina is right in there in the middle of the action having heaps of fun.
And don't they look like fun ladies !

These gals go from one giddy party to another with the odd sporting event tossed in and Our Gina is there in the thick of it as can be seen on The Trumpette's Facebook page. The Trumpettes were started by a former Hollywood journalist Toni Holt Kramer (left-waving the US flag) who is a yuuge fan of The Pres. Toni flits about in her private jet between her homes in LA and Miami and has defended Mr Trump in the past from the alleged groping recording that appeared in 2016 with this response : "when people really think about it, is not nearly as bad as receiving a blow job in the White House" referring to former president Bill Clinton. Ouch.
Gina at Mar-A-Lago with (right- seated) Australia's Governor General Peter Cosgrove
But we are slightly worried about Our Gina who seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time at Mr Trump's splendorous Miami resort. Reports emerged in February this year in the Miami Herald that Florida Health Inspectors had cited the resort when they found 13 violations at the fancy club’s kitchen deemed a record for a club that charges $200,000 to join.
Toni Holt Kramer reportedly has an ex-Navy Seal as a bodyguard, as one does, and hopefully Our Gina has her own fearsome chap to guard her. Perhaps a permanent food taster would be in order as well.
# Former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, a pal of Gina's may soon be at a loose end. Could be an ideal job for him.

Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/restaurants/article144261894.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, July 5, 2018

One million Parisians can't be wrong. This is their Champagne of choice and the most popular fizz in Paris.


Passing of a "super agent"

Australia's best known impresario Harry M.Miller has died at age 84. Miller was suffering from dementia.
Originally from New Zealand Harry become Australia's top promoter of international acts bringing the biggest names in show business to Australia and managing some of our top names in entertainment over a career that last 50 years.
Harry M with Lindy Chamberlain, one of his clients
Whispers first met Harry when as a callow youth we received an invitation to the opening of the Hippie musical Hair in the old Metro Theatre in Kings Cross. Our female partner for the night decided to wear a see thru dress with a flesh coloured body stocking underneath but which gave the appearance of bare skin. The press were delighted as was Miller who rushed over to congratulate her. Later that evening as the show ended we joined dozens of audience members on stage to dance and ended up in a jiving trio with the late TV show King Graham Kennedy.
Miller managed Kennedy, on and off during his career in an often tumultuous relationship.

The last time we met up with Harry was at the launch of his autobiography "Confessions of a Not So Secret Agent' where Harry was joined by many of his clients like the famous"Dingo lady" Lindy Chamberlain.

Every Christmas Day Harry would spend the day feeding the homeless at The Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross, the charity started by his pal Ted Noffs in the 1960s.

Harry is survived by his partner the restaurateur Simone Logue and daughters Justine, Brook and Lauren and their mother Wendy Miller who still oversee Miller's celebrity management business.
The family have asked  friends to donate to Dementia Australia and the Salvation Army in lieu of flowers.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Launching a frog

  Pictured left: artist John Olsen, his frog sculpture and Lucy & Malcolm Turnbull.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and "First Lady" Lucy Turnbull did the honours as artist John Olsen's "frog" sculpture was launched outside the uber harbour-side restaurant Catalina in Rose Bay this morning.
And what a gorgeous sunny Winter day for the event.
Hosts Michael & Judy McMahon, owners of Catalina laid on a superb lunch, as is their wont, and it's difficult to image how better to spend a lazy Sunday in Sydney. Catalina has an afinity with the water. It's superb balcony that extends over the harbour is often visited by two pelicans. Nearby are Sydney's famous seaplanes that deliver the well-heeled to their Palm Beach weekenders.

Locals join the PM: L-R Suzanne Dougall * Glen Marie Frost * Malcolm & Lucy* Victoria Morish
Left to Right : artist John Olsen * PM Malcolm Turnbull * Lucy Turnbull * the Frog* Catalina owners Michale & Judy McMahon

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hope ?

 The man considered to be the mastermind behind the shambles successful BREXIT campaign Nigel Farage is soon to grace our shores. While the political party he started, UKIP stumbles from disaster to election disaster, the MEP (Member of European Parliament)  who finds little time to actually spend in Brussels will tour Australia for 5 days spruiking his message in September. Farage will also visit New Zealand. Perhaps he'll be telling the New Zealanders they need to break away from Australia.
A "VIP" ticket to his events will be around $500 but you get to attend a backstage cocktail party or you can pay $250 for a photo with him or you can fork out nearly $1000 for a pre-show dinner with Farage. 
Most people should be aware that things are not going well in the UK Parliament as they wrestle with just how to manage the split from the rest of Europe. One major problem is the Custom's Union between Ireland and North Ireland which now enjoys unfettered access with the EU saying this must cease. To date several large corporations have threatened they may have to leave Britain and base themselves in Europe for easy access. The giant Airbus Corp being just one but there are fears several big banks may also decide to HQ in France or Germany.
Never mind, Nige is quoted as saying he will bring his Oz listeners "a message of hope and optimism". Perhaps he's specifically targeting that at current PM Malcolm Turnbull who needs all help he can get at present. What a shame Whispers happens to be busy that night. Whenever it is.
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Trigger Warning ! 
 Over night on Twitter the following message appeared from the UKIP MEP Neil Hamilton

Apparently some chap called Milo has joined the party with a conspiracy apparatchik from the bizarre US Alex Jones show along with Sargon of Akkad whoever that is.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pic of the day..



Golfing legend Greg Norman is a golfing partner of president Donald Trump. Is this how the pair will play a round on the Mar a Lago golf course in the near future?. (Now try to get that image out of your head.)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Electrifying news

 She was a regular on the Sydney and Melbourne social scenes before re-locating to the Coffs Harbour area where she is now in the restaurant business.
Danielle Wallace was renowned for her beautiful ties worn by the great and good (see our snap). You can still buy them on the internet and at the occasional pop-up shop. Or if you happen to be shopping in New York try Bergdorf Goodmans on Fifth Avenue.

After a stint in New York and then ritzy Lake Como, as one does, Danielle is currently based in her old stamping ground on the NSW North Coast and has a new project underway.
She's taken her parents older Rolls Royce and is having it completely turned into an electric vehicle. And what a fantastic idea which should give hope to all those who have hankered after a Roller but were always put off by the expensive repairs . If you check out the UK Ebay you can pick up one of the vintage models from anything from $7000 to $20,000. While the conversion isn't cheap, apparently around the $25,000, over time this is bound to become a growing business with prices dropping and what a boon to those who love the more stylish older vehicles.
Whispers is rather sad we didn't hold on to our first auto, a convertible Morris Minor.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Awards


 Don your sunglasses before reading this: 

Two of Australia's vintage fashion designers received the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours on Monday.

Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee reigned supreme in the 80s with their colorful outfits.
Living in New York at the time Whispers could easily spot a visiting tourist from Oz as they sported their multi-colored Jenny Kee pullover.
Even the late Princess Diana wore one to the Polo. Apparently Prince William loved it.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Anthony Bourdain

 “Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Macquarie Street fire

A building has burst into flames in Sydney's legal and medical specialist district Macquarie Street almost opposite Parliament House.as our exclusive snaps show.
It's not as bad as first thought- the flames are actually consuming plastic sheeting stretching up the side of the building currently being renovated.
The scaffolding was also in flames. The irony is that the work being carried out was to remove flammable cladding that has caused so much grief in London's deadly Grenfell Tower fire.
Fortunately there were no casualties with today's blaze.
pictures:  

Malcolm's beach party

Whispers has been privileged to attend a shindig at Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull's exclusive Point Piper mansion (pictured above) . It was charity fundraising event and well before Malcolm was Prime  Minister, merely the local MP.

It's a splendorous house with magnificent harbor views and it's own tiny beach at the base of the garden. Now a small group of protestors have taken up residence on that beach to agitate about the controversial proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland which it's claimed will do untold damage to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
The freezing weather has driven off the protestors for the moment but I'm reliably informed that they have more plans to enliven life in genteel Point Piper- the most exclusive and expensive suburb in Australia. Meanwhile Mal & Lucy are residing at The Lodge (above right) in Canberra. It's freezing there as well. Not in the Lodge itself but Canberra. Winter in Canberra is something else. Life is just tough sometimes.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


On the subject of Dr Olivia Newton John- the fab Livvie appears on the cover of this month's Woman's Weekly and for every issue sold, 20c goes to Olivia's great charity Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre. So get a copy now. In fact get several (give them to your pals- always a good read !)

And another very important charity event for our Melbourne readers as pictured in the advert below to aid mental health awareness. How can you miss up the chance to meet Jeff Kennett. And Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett who has had his own battles in the past.





Dr. Olivia


Viewers are arguing over the merits of the biopic Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted To You staring Delta Goodren but Olivia herself is loving it.
But Ms Newton John has other reasons to also celebrate- she's Dr Olivia Newton John courtesy of Latrobe University where Olivia has been made a Doctor of Letters due to her endless charity work.

Our happy snaps show Olivia is in fine mettle despite several health scares which are featured in the TV series. And on hand to see Olivia receive her doctorate was niece, the glamorous entertainer Tottie Goldsmith (with Olivia in our snap right)
Tottie has just been made Goodwill Ambassador for the singer's Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre which has just received an $18M grant from the Victorian government for research. Wow, what a talented family. And good looking too!.