Thursday, February 11, 2016

Baird Banned !

The backlash against NSW's Boy Wonder premier Mike Baird over the disastrous Lock Out Laws is intensifying with small bars and restaurants now banning Baird from their premises. Arcadia, a bar in trendy Redfern was first off of the bat when they posted these notices in their window. Sydney entertainment entrepreneurs are banding together in a growing campaign after the laws have ensnared so much of Kings Cross nightlife and those on the Golden Mile of Oxford Street.
Respected restaurateur Maurice Terzini who owns the popular Bondi Icebergs eatery that hosts superstars  from all over the world is supporting the campaign.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Have they got the message yet?

 Late last year Whispers posted a video (below) of a US comedian who is a superb Barack Obama look-alike as he toured Kings Cross in support of attempts to revitalize the former nightclub area of Sydney.


Tonight Whispers had reason to visit the Cross after a small party in Dank Street. Dank Street in Waterloo is a sort of uber design area with million dollar apartments and oh-so-smart designer shops and is home to Luke Mangans latest restaurant Mojo. Pleasing to see that Mojo was filling up as we passed by but Kings Cross?. Dead as the proverbial Dodo. Even the strip joints are closing down. Coffee shops, small fast food outlets are screaming foul. As for cleaning up crime, Whispers was offered drugs twice on our stroll.


Boy Wonder enjoys a glass of wine-before midnight
On Facebook a post by respected art dealer Michael K. Carr drew ire. It was snap of a recent typical sunny Sydney day at the wondrous Boy Charlton Pool that nestles beside the harbour. The snap was of 2 policeman and Sydney's drug sniffer dogs that now invade everywhere and anywhere courtesy of former Labor premier Bob Carr who loved to govern via whatever edict came that week from Rupert Murdoch's downmarket tabloid The Daily Telegraph.
#Some posters say the snap was of dogs during a bomb search.
                  
It's Front Page news
Visiting our doctor in Oxford Street near Whitlam Square this morning brought the sight of even more empty shops, former bars & nightclubs.               

Never mind- you can still drink  24 hours at the glitzy Star Casino and also when the James Packer consortium finally opens the Barangaroo casino there will be no lockout laws and despite what Boy Wonder premier Mike Baird says (he reckons if you need a bottle of wine after midnight there is something strange about you) drinks will flow at all hours at Bangaroo,

further reading : # the screed by Matt Barrie that has ignited a seething undercurrent of furious Sydneysiders distraught at seeing their nightlife vanish overnight.
# The 'raid' by police on a small restaurant serving wine by the glass
# You can also read Boy Wonder's Facebook page defence of the Lock Out Laws- 8000 plus comments and they aren't complimentary. The campaign is just beginning!.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Plot thickens

 
 Whispers will have a full report shortly on the filming of the pilot episode of The Private Eye & The Madam as first revealed on this website some months ago. Our exclusive snaps show the stars of the reality TV show, Frank Monte and Sharon Sargeant on the set and at the wrap-up party

Arise Lord Abbott


A plan is underway to ennoble former prime minister Tony Abbott so he can aid the UK in their battle to "stop the boats".
Would Abbott accept the invitation to take the ermine? Oh yes he would. Read about in the UK's Daily Telegraph.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

G'day USA

It's that time of the year when the Gum Leaf Mafia gather in Los Angeles for a series of Australian themed events, fashion shows and so on. Last night it was the gala dinner and of course, another opportunity for casino billionaire James Packer to show of his fiancee Mariah Carey, and of course that ring. Here are a couple of short films from the events. And aren't the LA paparazzi just delightful?



And an Only In Australia moment : 2 Weeks ago he was in Washington meeting with US president Barack Obama...just yesterday our newly minted Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull was in Melbourne catching a tram. No police, flashing lights or bodyguards. And no-one noticed.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bowie Stuns Paris !

Bowie Wong that is - the Australian fashion designer has been featured with some of the world's top designers like Schiaparelli, Chanel and Versace in this feature of OTT (over the top) designs. They describe the gown as This Round Dress.
 What fun !

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The Australia Day honours have featured two of Whisper's favourite characters.
Popular show business publicist Bruce Pollack (below right) who has handled some of the biggest stars in the world has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australiafor significant service to the community in the areas of social welfare and public health.” Pollack is also an LBGT activist who helped make the  Sydney Mardi Gras one of the most famous street events on the planet.


 Meanwhile in the snooty Southern Highlands young newspaper executive Cristian King  (pictured with former PM Julia Gillard) who publishes the LatteLife group of newspapers has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his "outstanding contribution to the community of Wingecarribee Shire". Pretty heady stuff for a lad of just 20 years old who recently defended himself in court when a local councilor attempted to obtain an AVO order against him. The councilor sensibly dropped her request. King also broadcasts on local FM radio.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Has Clive's Titanic 2 sunk already?

Desperate business news for billionaire millionaire politcian Clive Palmer as his business interests hit the wall. Clive's Queensland nickel mines have just gone into voluntary administration as of Monday with the loss of 237 jobs after the Queensland government refused to bail out the ailing mines on the claim Palmer refused to allow them to inspect the books with a fine tooth comb.
In 2010 we reported how Clive startled guests at his lavish Christmas bash as he handed out keys to a brand new Mercedes to 55 of his 700 employees. And the largesse continued with Clive giving Fijian holidays to the rest along with stays at the Sheraton Mirage resort.
Palmer is now embroiled in a tussle with residents at his Coolum Resort as reported in the local Sunshine Coast Daily. And as if like a foreboding portent of more dramas at the resort Clive's favorite dinosaur Jeff (pictured ) went up in smoke early last year.
But what of Palmer's ambitious plans to recreate the Titanic with his announcement in 2012 he planed to rebuild the hapless ship and as we reported, OAPs (pensioners) would be banned from the boat seeing it would be sailing in international waters.
Whisper's Chinese spy disguised as a credible Shi Pei Pu (look her up) has been hovering around the Jinling  Shipyard in Jangling asking pertinent questions about the construction of Titanic 2 but alas, she received just blank looks.
The notion of recreating the most famous wreck in history was not only ambitious and romantic but reeked of a fabulous publicity stunt that was bound to end in tears. Will Clive's political career survive?
Below is the promo video of tests in Hamburg of a model of Titanic 2 cleverly disguised as an old Thames barge.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cleo Clanger

Feel for the staff of Cleo Magazine who probably read today via the Daily Telegraph that they would lose their jobs as the magazine closes. Cleo came as part of the package when the James Packer sold out his publishing interests to the giant German Bauer Media Group in 2012.

First published 44 years ago with the venerable Packer favorite Ita Buttrose as editor (a shout-out to Ita who Whispers found themselves with in a Surry Hills post office queue just a few days ago), Cleo was aimed at an older female audience. Recently their Bachelor Of The Year awards have received plenty of publicity (aided by some self-important publicists who seemed oblivious to the rapidly changing world of media). Circulation has hovered around 53000 a year with a claimed readership of 173000 and a claimed 300,000 online readers.
But just look at Whispers'(thesocialshuttle.com) online readership (left : Google's figures) . Daily views are around 2300 with monthly views around 72000 which is not dissimilar to a monthly magazine or a local newspaper (and a shout out to our daily 300 approx readers who are in Russia). Of course it's very hard to compare and many factors influence readership but compared to a blog run by 1.5 (part timer) and a dyslexic cat who claims to be the sub-editor, something must give in these print publications and the large staff needed to run them.
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Meanwhile as the Happy Couple, Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall announce their engagement, Don Rupioni's beloved Sun Newspaper is under investigation for claims it was also involved in phone hacking. We couldn't help but notice a recent cover. As one irreverent wag from that august publication put it : "how dare they, that's our job"

Monday, January 11, 2016

At the Golden Globes

 













Ricky Gervais on introducing Mel Gibson : “I’m in the awkward position of having to introduce him again. Listen, I’m sure it’s embarrassing for both of us. I blame NBC for this terrible situation. Mel blames…we know who Mel blames. Listen, I still feel a bit bad for it. Mel’s forgotten all about it apparently, that’s what drinking does. I want to say something nice about Mel before he comes out. So: I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby.” Then after Gibson came out on stage, Gervais asked him, bleeped out for TV: “What the f–k does ‘sugar t-ts’ even mean?’”

Friday, January 8, 2016

They're back !!!


Tropfest attracts the biggest stars in the business
 Admittedly Whispers has been a critic of Tropfest in the past. But overall, it really is a fantastic event.
Tropfest founder John Polson & Jamie Foxx- a Tropfest fan
How pleasing then to announce that reports of
Tropfest's death have been greatly exaggerated (we are guilty too). Fortunately they have found a new sponsor and the event will take place on Sunday February 14th this year. The location will be Centennial Park and the weather should be perfect at that time of the year instead of the original December date which really can be quite humid.. And that's a Very Good Thing. And congrats should go to Tropfest found John Polson for persevering in the face of adversity.
# A few years ago Whispers was privileged to lunch with actor and Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx at Royal Randwick. Foxx enthused about Tropfest which he had just attended calling it the very best short film festival he had ever attended : "I intend to tell everyone back in LA about how fantastic it is" said Jamie.
For more details, bookings etc go to the Tropfest official website here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

It's a reality : The Private Eye & The Madam

Earlier we reported that noted gumshoe Frank Monte had conceived of his own reality TV program : The Private Eye &The Madam
To us it seemed to be such an obvious winner we were surprised no-one had thought of it before and most especially in America where TV networks are now falling over themselves to snap up reality shows that are very economical to make compared to big budget dramas, but also pull in huge audiences (some of the stars of these shows- auction hunters etc are earning up to $20,000 per episode)
        Local naysayers were skeptical especially when Monte set up a gofundme page to raise capital for a pilot. While the general public were reticent it worked. Whispers has spoken to one  investor, a US based Australian who immediately jumped on board Monte's project and fronted up with the required funds (rumored to be $250,000) along with a New York based partner. Thus we can report that Mr Monte and The Madam- Sharon Sergeant are ensconced in Los Angeles and filming will begin next week. The director, a veteran of reality pilots says he is enthusiastic about the project and anxious to sign up for the series. And several well known actors and stars have agreed to appear in cameo roles.
You read it here first and always will.
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 Monte's LA digs
 Not one to do things by half, Frank Monte has rented a House with History during his stay in LA where he is filming his reality TV pilot, The Private Eye & The Madam
Located on Bundy Drive in ritzy Brentwood, it's the former home of Nicole Brown Simpson who was murdered there in 1994 with her friend Ronald Goldman. Husband O.J.Simpson was found not guilty of the murders in one of the most sensational reality televised trials of the century.  Will it feature in Monte's TV show ?
The house is now owned by a property investor and reputedly rents for $3000 a month.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The New Years Eve Party We Missed

Whispers saw in the New Year at a small party of just 10 people in a harbourside apartment. That's as hectic as it gets for us these days and even then, it took about an hour in traffic to get out of the Eastern Suburbs. But here is one party we wished we had attended but alas , it was 1954 (not '47 as labelled) . Having attended 2 Chelsea Arts Balls in our day, always fun but this one looks extra special. A weeks break and then back on board on the 7th January. A Happy New Year to our loyal readers and all the best for 2016

Friday, December 25, 2015

Whispers is taking a short break until the first week of January 2016. The office cat Matilda will be on duty to receive calls but don't expect much sense from her.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

exclusive : deleted scene from star Wars


The new Star Wars film is cleaning up at the box office and we've uncovered a deleted scene that features two beloved characters : Yoda and a pussycat(s). To see this you have to go to this link.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sad passing as David Grant dies

David Grant and partner Katerina
Special events organiser David Grant has died from a brain tumour at age 55. David was the genius behind the legendary Cointreau Balls organised by PR supremos Deeta Colvin and Nikki Andrews. A few hundred select people including international guests were ferried by limousine to secret locations all over Sydney to be greeted by unforgettable scenarios created by the genius Grant.

David then went onto organise shindigs at the 2000 Sydney Olympcs and was soon in demand by Olympic Committees around the world who commissioned him to organise their parties and social events. These of course have to be perfect considering the dignatories including crowned head sof state who attend. Along the way he was hired by US presidents and world leaders to put together unforgettable events. David was a much loved personality, funny and charming who always remembered every person and every name. A sad loss indeed and most especially for his family- wife Katerina who David married this September and sons Seigfried, Max, Jack and Lewis, his parents, Bill and Maggie and brothers, Michael and Peter, and first wife, Lisa.

# Unforgettable Cointreau Balls included a circus tent on the sand hills at Wanda near Cronulla, Beach and various factories around Sydney and the Maritime Museum with a Titanic theme.. Guests would be collected by limo (impossible to book one for the night) and delivered to an unknown location to dine on cuisine by Sydney's best chefs, sip champagne and of course, drink Cointreau.  Below: scenes from the Cointreau Ball

Gossip finally silenced

Much chatter around town as the Sunday Telegraph's legendary  Ros Reines is finally laid off after the News Corp axe falls on a number of  employees (it's always Danger Time when Rupert Murdoch hits town). One thing is for sure, you could not ignore Reines who became feared for her exposes and sharp words but loved by readers. Her byline "The Columnist They Can't Silence"was well deserved
Packer-just before he spotted Reines at his party
 It's odd but for a country that claims not to take society and their shenanigans seriously, it's also a country that seems particularly sensitive to even the slightest criticism
Timothy Swallow
Whispers having worked in both London and New York where the old adage- as long as they spell the name correctly- still holds sway has found Sydneysiders rather thin skinned. So of course, we are terribly nice to everyone.

Whispers first encountered Ros Reines many moons ago when she wrote for a magazine called London Index where a great friend, the late Timothy Swallow also worked. Swallow went on to work for the Daily Mail gossip king Nigel Demspter and then wrote the famous William Hickey column on the Daily Express. Sadly Timothy died during a trip to Australia but he always paid tribute to Reines superiority in being able to present a paragraph that was both amusing and wicked at the same time.

Kelly Cutrone in Sydney
# Timothy Swallow & Whispers put the then languishing film Mommie Dearest on the map during a trip to New York. A tale for another time. 

Ros appeared in these pages when we reported on her tussle with New York PR Kelly Cutrone. At the time a well known New York columnist lamented that in another era Reines & Cutrone would have got on a like a house on fire, so similar were their temperaments. 
Whispers was also with Reines at the famous Nine Network TV season launch on Garden Island when media king James Packer took her aside and tore strips off her over some alleged sleight. It became the only news that weekend as new TV offerings were forgotten. In fact, we also appeared in the same Australian Story about gossip writers along with writer Simon Kent (now on the Toronto Sun in Canada). No doubt Ros Reines with a wealth of local social knowledge will surface in a new capacity and publication but it's an indication of the rapidly changing world of media.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Home & Away actress loses bid for AVO against reporter

Former Home and Away star Holly Campbell who is now a councilor on the Wingecarribee Council in the Southern Highland has lost a bid to take out an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order) against reporter Cristian King from the local newspaper LatteLife Southern Highlands.

Magistrate Mary Ryan refused to uphold the application and stated that King, who defended himself in court, was simply doing his job as a reporter on the 2 occasions he asked Cr Campbell questions following council meetings and that his actions did not warrant her being in fear of her life. 
 Cr Campbell had posed for Cristian at a social event less than a week ago. During cross examination by King aged 20, the photograph of Cr Campbell smiling was submitted as evidence and she was asked, "what emotion does your face in that photograph display"?
At a prior court date Cr Campbell asked Magistrate Ryan if she could stop LatteLife from printing because they ' say bad things about me'. The Magistrate reminded Cr Campbell that "we live in a democracy and as an elected official she should get used to it." 

 
Bunya Hill 
# For the benefit of our many overseas readers : the beautiful Southern Highlands is a couple of hours drive from Sydney and is the most expensive country property in Australia. With it's green rolling pastures and numerous antique shops in picturesque villages it attracts many of Australia's wealthiest citizens who own weekend retreats. Superstars Nicolle Kidman and Keith Urban own the former governor's residence Bunya Hill, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes spends most of her spare time there  while the late Lord McAlpine owned a magnificent property with award winning gardens.  #Whispers is a contributor to LatteLife and once produced glossy videos and real estate brochures of Southern Highland's properties in conjunction with the late Bill Ranken.

Cate in Black. Again

The faces on the paparazzi said it all. Superstar Cate Blanchett a great supporter of the local ACCTA Awards was in black again. It may have been a gorgeous Armani gown but as one well known snapper said : "one pic of Cate in black is pretty much like another. They just don't sell very well."

He probably has a point. Look at our snap of Blanchett at the ACTTA Awards 3 years ago in that amazing red dress. This pic taken by your humble scribe has been used over and over in European glossy magazines.
 Below is our snap of Cate at the Helpmann Awards earlier this year. Black again.


The other disappointment for the media was the expectation that Harrison Ford would attend the awards. Hardly, he has a huge Star Wars launch to attend tonight at the Opera House.

Blanchett received the Longford Lyell Award for outstanding contribution to Australian screen at the ceremony in Sydney.