Sunday, July 26, 2015

Over Here & Over Priced

It's a perfect example of how Australian property prices, especially in Sydney are sky-rocketing. With just an average suburban house, inner city terrace or a Redfern apartment now costing up to $1M, Iona , the gorgeous residence of Academy Award winning film duo Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin has gone on the market for a whopping $16M US with the pair moving permanently to New York.
Whispers has been to the property twice, once before Baz bought Iona and it was fairly run down and once for a garden party given by the pair. We managed to peek inside and the decor is truly wonderful and an example of Catherine's exquisite taste.

But consider what their movie contemporaries pay in Hollywood or New York. Julia Roberts put her sensational NY penthouse on the market for $4.5M while fitness guru Russell Simmons picked up a stunning LA house for $5.8M. Meanwhile writer and actor Larry David purchased a huge mansion with 7 bedrooms & 9 bathrooms in the snooty Pacific Palisades with stunning water views for $15M (Iona may be in Darlinghurst but it has absolutely no views at all) and comedienne Rosie O'Donnell has listed her New Jersey mega mansion for sale at just $7M while mega star George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin paid an affordable $16M for a 300 year old Grade II listed Georgian mansion in a five-acre islet in the River Thames west of central London.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Maxine's Magnificent Gig

She's a welcoming sight to Darlinghurst visitors : drag star Maxi Shield patrols Sydney's Oxford Street like she's owns it. And why not. On freezing winter nights like those we are currently experiencing Maxi warms the cockles of any heart as she happily chats to passersby at the Colombian Hotel on the Golden Mile adding a touch of glamour to the strip, now losing much of it's glitter under new licensing laws that are crucifying inner-city nightlife.
Now Maxi will be the grand hostess at Madonna's 2016 Rebel Heart Tour of Australia where she will host after-parties in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and hopefully it could lead to a whole new career along the lines of Perez Hilton who does similar around the USA. # Maxi swears that bosom is real.

Kerry Packer's family pours scorn on Richard Desmond claims

A close relative of the late  Kerry Packer says claims by Britain's Daily Express newspaper owner Richard Desmond in his autobiography The Real Deal that the Aussie media mogul said to him "I will slit your throat from ear to ear" are complete hogwash.

The relative who wished to remain anonymous said "Kerry was tough in business, could be brusque but was also very fair and it was not his style to issue threats like that".
People who have worked for Packer or who have done business deals with him often confirm that although the media baron could drive a tough deal, he was also very honest in his dealings.
"Kerry always wanted the most advantageous deal" says the relative "but he was never one to threaten or do the dirty on anyone. It was his policy to pay good money or even more than required and he expected loyalty in return and he always received it. There was no need for him to ever talk like that as his reputation was - you do the wrong thing to me and I will never deal with you again".

And Britain's famous Private Eye magazine seems to agree and in a review of Desmond's book point out that he has put words into several mouths of people who are all conveniently dead, echoing the late Hollywood actress Shelley Winters who was once asked for advice by an actress friend on how she could beef up her book as she had had so few affairs : "include anyone who is gay or dead" said Winters, "neither will complain".

Whispers has experience with Richard Desmond when he was Britain's most successful, and much disliked porn merchant. Taking over management of a gay bookshop in Notting Hill while the owner was being detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure (for tax evasion) we were instructed that the local police would raid the shop once a month. Although the books and magazines on sale were perfectly legal the police did arrive and confiscate half the stock to "examine" it to see if it was legal. The magazine were so cheap to produce, costing around 30p for a magazine that might sell for £15-20, it wasn't worth the hassle getting back the material so several warehouses would need to be visited to obtain new stock.
 One of those warehouses was Desmond's in the East End and he was one of the most abusive, arrogant and mean people we have ever encountered. None of his heterosexual porn titles sold (they were just there for 'balance') and according to Private Eye that has  been his history along with many unsavoury dealings with dubious 'partners' in the UK and the Mafia type people in New York.

Former porn barons in the UK have now risen to such heights they support the ruling Conservative Party as this article demonstrates but Desmond's desperate desire to receive a Knighthood in Britain seems doomed to failure considering his background.

Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 Archibald Prize winner Announced

Artist Nigel Milsom has won the Archibald with his portrait of colourful barrister-around-town, film producer, novelist, film script writer (Rake) and newspaper columnnist Charles Waterstreet.
Says Milson : ‘"I’ve known Charlie indirectly and directly since birth. I was born in Albury around the corner from the Waterstreet Hotel, owned and managed by his parents. On Friday afternoons, my father used to sell them freshly caught Murray cod to earn extra money for materials he needed to complete a boat he was building at home, which later sank to the bottom of the Murray River during its maiden voyage one freezing afternoon."
Perhaps the claw like hands (left) are a reference to Waterstreet's 1987 production of Howling 111.
 And the famous Packer's Prize : chosen by the workers at the NSW Gallery-has been picked up by Bruno Jean Grasswill ( husband of ABC "Australian Story" producer Helen Grasswill ) with his portrait of actor Michael Caton. (pictured left inset)

Below are just a selection of this year's Archibald entries. The full exhibition can be viewed from Monday at the Art Gallery of NSW.
 below : At the gallery today for the announcement : Sarah Najjar, Charles Waterstreet, Nigel Milsom & partner. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

exclusive: Eternity for Martin Sharp

The late Martin Sharp is to get his own museum dedicated to his life and works. Whispers has been told by a relative of Sharp's that his remaining family members are working hard behind the scenes to set up a museum to house his extensive works, re-create his studio and house his collection of toys (he loved vintage Mickey Mouse memorabilia)

They are also hoping to get government assistance much in the same way Wendy Whiteley received a $4M grant from the NSW government to buy the late Brett Whiteley's Surry Hills' studio which is open to the public and is popular with school groups.
A Martin Sharp museum is bound to be a tourist attraction with his worldwide fame and his pop art paintings. During his life Sharp also revived interest in the legendary Arthur Stace, an illiterate former soldier and alcoholic who found religion and wandered Sydney's streets as the first great graffiti artist, penning Eternity in white chalk & beautiful script on footpaths. A new East Sydney theatre has now been named Eternity and Sharp's version of the word featured on the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the famous New Year's Eve celebrations.

The family also scotched the odd rumour that has appeared in some media stories that Martin had left his Bellevue Hill mansion to Cranbrook School which he attended. The house backs onto Cranbrook's playing fields and although the estate is still in probate, our family source confirmed that his house had been left to friends and family.
Martin was also obsessed with Tiny Tim, bringing him out for tours of Australia and producing a still unfinished film of his life.
( Whispers interviewed Tiny Tim in his tiny Times Square apartment many moons ago. The flat was almost empty of furniture and had threadbare carpets but when he opened a wardrobe there must have been nearly 100 bottles of French champagne stored there !

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mrs Keating's Raincoat

Min Keating and our Paul Keating portrait
The Keating clan assembled last week at St Patricks Catholic Church in The Rocks to farewell their beloved matriarch Min Keating who died at the grand age of 94. Min was the mother of former Prime Minister Paul Keating and notable businesswoman Anne Keating. Whispers & Min had a long association first formed via our own late mother who was a long time pal of Min's.
 In the late 90s Whispers held an exhibition of Warholesque style photographic screen prints on a blustery June night in Kings Cross. It was a huge success with many of the portraits being snapped up by their subjects including Kylie Minogue and Elle McPherson along with Lady Mary Fairfax's daughter Anna and brother Charles purchasing a picture of Lady Mary for the family art collection.

Unashamedly influenced by Andy Warhol (he was an old friend) the famed New York society photographer Patrick McMullan who had two regular social pages on Warhol's Interview Magazine flew out for the opening night of the exhibition. Patrick was chuffed to meet members of Sydney society including Lady Sonia McMahon and Min Keating who was pleased to see a portrait of her son Paul in the exhibition. As we all dined later in a nearby restaurant Min finally left at around 2am.

McMullan was startled to receive a rather frantic phone call from Min at his hotel at 7am the next morning. Min had left her raincoat at the restaurant but it was a very special one- purchased by son Paul on one of his Prime Ministerial trips to the UK.
"I dined out on this for weeks to come when I got back to New York" said Patrick later. " Having the PM's mum telephone is like having the US presidents mum on the blower.".
But what has he done with those photos from the night?,  Somewhere in his extensive archive is a series of pics taken after Min left the dinner, of each of the guests parading in Min Keating's fetching leopard print raincoat, including Lady Sonia McMahon!
" I seriously though of holding an exhibition in New York titled The Prime Minister's Mother's Raincoat" said McMullan. "It's the sort of arty thing that goes down well in the Big Apple"

Friday, July 10, 2015

Johnny Depp's Surprise Visit to a Brisbane Hospital

He's like a walking PR machine as he daily greets tourists and fans hovering around the Gold Coast filming Location. Johnny Depp took time off from shooting the new Pirates of The Caribbean flick to visit the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane today and surprise patients. Our spy disguised as a lowly gaffer on the film set swears that Depp never gets out of that costume and arrives on-set every day still in character. You can see the full video here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Rupert & Matty Take Manhattan

There's more than one Aussie Rupert wielding power in New York. Whilst Rupert Murdoch oversees a global media empire from his NYC base, fashion entrepreneur Rupert Noffs is carving out his own successful career with his unique Gideon Shoes that are fast becoming the favourite footwear of young celebrities and popping up for sale in more and more US fashion stores.

Rupert Noffs (left) and Matty Bennett
Just last September we reported on the wedding of Noffs, grandson of Sydney's Wayside Chapel founder Rev Ted Noffs, when  Rupert married his long time partner Matty Bennett.
Now Bennett, known affectionately as Matty Bee is opening a restaurant with Noffs on Broome Street (where Whispers lived for 2 years in a loft) on the fashionable Lower East Side.

 To be called The Lucky Bee, food will be South East Asian inspired "from farm to table" and will join the small number of popular cafes and eateries run by Aussie ex-pats such as The Fashionable Cow and former model & photographer Lincoln Pilcher's Kingswood.
# When Whispers lived in Broome Street we were advised by the local plod to avoid walking home late at night. How times change.  Below : the location for The Lucky Bee

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bling & Rings & Things with Cate Blanchett

 Our favourite Malaysian gossip writer Kee Hua Chee has written of his great coup in obtaining a one on one interview with Aussie actress Cate Blanchett :  "like all ordinary unknowns all the way to superstars, no-one is immune to Dato Kee Hua Chee's shirt painted with his face !. Superstar Cate Blanchett ordered her personal videographer and cameraman to take this rare photo of her examining the shirt of a journalist for the time in her life !. Big honour for me" . Gee, the last time Whispers encountered Cate was at a Sydney Theatre Company party and she asked us where we got our (craggy) leather jacket from. Cate was in Kuala Lumpur to promote a beauty product presumably for big bucks. 
According to Chee he was given access to Cate  "due to his bling & rings & things, other top editors from across the world had to settle for a big press conference ". Chee covers the buzzy social scene in Malaysia for his own blog wearing some pretty colourful outfits more often than not, painted with his own image. We need this man in Sydney !
Below : some of Kee Hua Chee's outfits ,

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Doing The Rounds with Susan..

Susan Olsen above with Amanda & Jonesy from radio WFSM
If you didn't know by now Susan Olsen from the Brady Bunch is in Sydney.  She's here for the Supernova convention at the Olympic Park. These US style conventions have taken off like a bushfire in Australia and are proving to be real money spinners for all involved.
 How much does a (former) star make for a few day's work signing autographs and chatting to and posing with fans? Our inside source says top stars can make around $40,000 (all expenses paid) and lesser well known stars around $15-20,000 which is not bad considering they may attend 6 conventions during the year. You can find out more about Supernova coming to a city near you here.
Susan (left) with Ben Fordham & Sonia Kruger

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Dog / The Cat

It's an unusual name for a play, The Dog /The Cat opened tonight at Belvoir Street. It stars (heartthrob) Xavier Samuel of Twilight Saga fame, Andrea Demetriades of the ABC's Janet King fame and Benedict Hardie who just appeared in The Water Diviner (pictured above) and it's a romantic comedy with two interconnected tales of true love and stupidity from two of the hottest playwrights around, Brendan Cowell and Lally Katz (right). Opening night was packed and the audience roared with laughter and gave a rapturous ovation. And that's a good thing. The Belvoir season has been extended due to popularity but you need to book asap here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Everything Old is New Again :The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail : It's been described as the very worst and the very best of tabloids. Certainly their online version MailOnline is the most read newspaper website on the planet. The printed version has for decades had the most pleasing layout and graphics of any of the British tabloids and an excellent mixture of news, newsy tales and celebrity, society and show biz gossip.
So it's always a great compliment when the Mail takes a cue from Whispers at thesocialshuttle (as is their wont) to bring the public a tale as they did with this piece on 2nd June 2015  : about former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard with a fab pic of Julia jiving on stage to accompany the late Victorian premier Joan Kirner at the microphone.
The fact our tale with a similar headline appeared on June 29th 2013 is neither here nor there
JUNE 2015                                                                                       JUNE 2013
Hey a good story is always worth recycling and the Mail are experts at it. We reckon the later Peter Allen may have had them in mind when he penned this song:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vale Bill Ranken

One of the leading lights of the Sydney social scene, Bill Ranken has passed away at age 85 after a brief fight with cancer.
Bill was known for the last 10 years or so as a photographer and a must addition to any smart party or red carpet launch but his life was one of great variety in many different occupations.

Brought up on the family estate near Goulburn, Ranken lost interest in working on the property when a tractor accident cost him the sight in one eye.

Whispers first encountered Bill over 30 years ago when he arrived at a Mayfair art gallery on the arm of the late Princess Margaret causing gossip as perhaps her latest flame with his tall elegant looks.
"Landed gentry from Australia" was legendary Daily Mail gossip columnist Nigel Dempster's description when asked who Margaret's date was.
Chatting with Bill at the launch- an exhibition of artists Gilbert & George's  huge canvas depicting bodily functions he leaned over to the Princess and quipped: "for God's sake don't look too closely Margaret, it will put you off the champagne".

Commenting that we were soon leaving for Sydney to live, Bill retrieved a business card from his wallet- he always carried a variety from his different jobs -and a phone call 6 months later started a long friendship of nightly telephone "debriefings" as we called them, to chat and laugh about everyone and everything that had happened during our day.

Ranken was often far grander than those he photographed. As co-owner with his sister Jean of two of the most desired country properties in the state, he was a millionaire many times over but few seem to know. With houses on both properties at Gunning and Goulburn, Bill lived an almost monkish style life usually bedding down in the working men's quarters in a barn. When not planting trees or retrieving lost sheep he loved to check on his favourite animals, ducks, which he had installed in the various lakes.

In Sydney he lived in an Elizabeth Bay apartment and breakfasted at one of the local cafes sipping Green Tea which he swore kept him youthful.

A man of great contrasts he had an innate ability to talk to anyone and everyone no matter their status and make each feel important. He would laugh that he sat next to former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser at the snobby Tudor House prep school.
"God Malcolm was boring when he was young"  Bill would say and Fraser would return the compliment saying to Bill  "you give our class a bad name" referring to Bill's admitted snobbishness But he was anything but.
In the morning he may have a quick chat with a Kings Cross stripper, hooker or a nightclub bouncer on their way home after a night's work. In the afternoon he could be chatting to Barry Humphries at a Double Bay cafe while later that evening he might be dining with Princess Mary of Denmark.

Meeting a new young artist, actor, singer perhaps a budding caterer Bill was always happy to delve into his extensive list of contacts and help in anyway he could.  With a natural kindness and expecting nothing in return, there are numerous now famous names who pay tribute to Bill's ability to point them in the right direction after a chance meeting. Always alert to meeting an interesting new person on the circuit he could also be cynical at times : "if Jesus Christ came through the Heads I'd want to know who his PR agent is" he once said.

At a social functions it was no surprise to hear Rupert Murdoch or Kerry Packer or the latest Prime Minster say : "Hi Bill, I need to talk to you about some rural matters" on which he had an encyclopedic knowledge. 

For Bill life was never meant to be boring and each day brought an incident to be laughed at and crafted into an amusing anecdote. Even his 6am run from Kings Cross to Double Bay (right up until the last 6 months) brought a tale to tell. He recounted that he was once taking a breather in Rushcutters Bay Park when 2 large policeman emerged from the bushes dragging a naked, wild looking man.
"There's my pal Bill Ranken" cried the man who Bill swore he did not recognise. As the nude felon was bundled into a Paddy Wagon he yelled "Bill,  please call my solicitor Sir Laurence Street!"

When the Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared off the Victorian coast in choppy seas in 1967 Bill was disappointed that he had turned down an invitation to accompany the swimming party: "I would have liked to have seen that Chinese sub" said Bill.

Whispers worked with Bill on many different projects, an airline magazine, Penthouse Magazine after owner Bob Guccione who had flown into town to launch the local edition spotted Bill at the launch party and told the editor: "hire that man immediately as our social correspondent", plus a variety of newspapers.
At one stage he put his rural upbringing to good use as the Rural Consultant for the late real estate agent Andrew Gibbons where he advised on properties for identities like Lady Susan Renouf and Lord McAlpine. He nearly got caught in an embarrassing episode when Gibbons asked him to bid during the auction of a harbour side mansion which was knocked down to Ranken for $5M while he wasn't paying attention. He quickly exited out a side gate pursued by the property media.

Whispers produced some of the first real estate videos for Gibbons with Bill fronting the camera. When the visiting British film director Michael Winner expressed interest in purchasing a local property and watched one with Bill extolling the virtues of a Moss Vale estate Winner said "oh bugger the house, I want that man in my next film".

On another occasion  he was flown first class to Tonga by the late King George Tupou V who asked Bill to advise on his  flock of sheep. Arriving at the airport he was met by the King's limo, a London taxi and driven to a bungalow to be shown just 6 forlorn looking ewes in a small paddock. "Shoot the lot" was Bill's advice.

Taking up photography gave him a reason to be at a party. Bill loved parties even though he rarely drank. He could tell you anecdotes from parties from the 1950s onwards and it gave him a good reason to chat to a pretty girl. Often after asking her name he would exclaim "I took your mother out". Sometimes it was true but in later years that became "I think I took your grandmother out". He dreaded there may come a time when he might be saying he took their great grandmother out.

A few months ago Bill complained of a back pain and uncharacteristic weakness. Diagnosed first as a virus it was eventually found  to be liver cancer.. Always practical he said : "I just want go to one of those rest homes where they'll fill me full or morphine until I shuffle off ".
For a while he was cared for by newspaper executive Cristan King in his Bowral home but the cancer got the better of him and Bill died last Thursday. He leaves behind his beloved sister Jean and nephew Matthew and will be missed by many people as another bright light in Sydney is dimmed.
This was Bill Ranken's favourite song and one he thought summed up his life. From Noel Coward:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Whispers at the Tony Awards

excited show biz folk..
We go to all sorts of lengths to bring the latest glossy news to our readers. And if that means New York then so be it. Here are our exclusive pics from the fabulous Tony Awards last night and gosh, Hugh Jackman wasn't compering or even singing !
The big winners : Fun Home won five Tony Awards, the most of any musical at the 69th Annual Tony Awards. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens also won five Tonys, including Best Play, the most of any non-musical play.
 And we went one step further and whipped out the I-phone on the Red Carpet. Spot the stars and their sensational frocks- they're all household names. That yelling is quite normal- it's the media who go quite mental at these times. Fortunately they are corralled in a pen.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Selfie Attacks at Terminator Genisys

And so to the George Street cinema complex for the preview screening of Terminator Genisys. It's an action pscked movie-if you like that sort of thing- and  Arnold Schwarzenegger was still in top form as he first avoided one fan tickling his chin, posed for a few selfies & then the dreaded selfie stick emerged. Below :some of the glamour puss' who also attended the evening.
Jade Albany    *    Pia Muehlenbeck   *   Laura Csortan   *    Fleur Egan    *    Sasha Simone 

Terminator Selfie

Jai Courtney poses during a 'Terminator Genisys' press conference today while Arnold Schwarzenegger takes a souvenir selfie with the Sydney Opera House.

Photos by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Heath Ledger Scholarship Awards

Heath Ledger & winners : Matt Levett , Emilie Cocquerel and Lily Sullivan
  Matt Levett was announced the winner of the prestigious 2015 Heath Ledger Scholarship Award and Emilie Cocquerel and Lily Sullivan were named the runners up.
For the high calibre judging panel at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles the choice was not an easy one to make. Emmy award winning casting director, Laray Mayfield (Fight Club, Gone Girl, House of Cards, The Social Network), who joined the panel for the first time this year said, ‘It was inspiring to be on a judging panel where every person was passionate and invested in the result. The decision was not easy as each of the applicants are talented and unique and we are sure they will have long and lovely careers."
At the awards: 
at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles : Denise Roberts, Phil Noyce, Luke Hemsworth & Mark Morrisey

Skye does Bassey

A video arrives in Whispers' inbox.
 It features prominent Aussie socialite Skye Leckie, wife of media mogul David Leckie who has revived the fortunes of several TV networks including the 7 Network for Perth billionaire Kerry Stokes.  Skye and David plus kids divide their time between a magnificent mansion in Sydney's Centennial Park and a very nice Southern Highland's farm. Skye performs her rendition of Big Spender.  We reckon Skye is a pretty hot dancer. Enjoy....

She's Baaack..

The Scourge of Fleet Street Madame Arcati has succumbed to pressure from her fan base and is back in business. Go here for the latest jottings of the British blogger who strikes fear into the hearts of society and those who dare to comment on it via the pages of the UK's ghastly tabloids.
Alternatively, Madame Aracti's long suffering manager (this is the UK's Dame Edan Everage / Barry Humphries very own Odd Couple) renowned astrologer "to the stars" (why not) Victor Olliver has just published his latest guide to your prospects for the next year. As we only half way through this one why not download his 2015 daily guide. We swear by it and won't even step outside the front door before we have consulted our Lifesurfing paperback.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

B/W Moment: The Unsung Aussie Orry-Kelly

 The Sydney Film Festival is now in full swing and there is one movie that should not be missed. Produced and directed by Academy Award winner Gillian Armstrong, it is the story of one of Hollywood's most celebrated artistes Orry-Kelly who died in 1964.
Gillian Armstrong
The chances are you have watched a movie where Orry George Kelly-his birth name, designed unforgettable costumes for the most famous legends of the day from Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot to Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.  Kelly is also Australia's most prolific Oscar winner having won three for costume design and nominated numerous times.

  Kelly (left) was born in Kiama NSW in 1897 before he embarked for New York in 1923 where he shared an apartment with Cary Grant and then to LA and a Hollywood career. In many ways he is similar to Aussie legends Sir Robert Helpmann and Peter Allen, both born in rural communities but with fathers who actively encouraged them in their pursuit of the arts.

Armstrong's film is titled Women I've Undressed after an unpublished manuscript Kelly wrote which reputedly detailed his affair with movie legend and his former flat mate Cary Grant

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Clover to The Rescue

  Sydney's esteemed Lord Mayor Clover Moore held a small shindig last week to farewell Town Hall worker Rachel Healy who is leaving to join theatre director Neil Armfield  (actor Geoffrey Rush's best pal) to work on the Adelaide Festival with Armfield. Left pictured are Armfield, Lord Mayor Clover Moor and Rachel.
Alas proceedings were drawn to a sudden halt when a party guest went crashing down in a faint perhaps overcome by the excitement of it all. Leaping into action Clover was by the side of the prone body in seconds and soon administering a cool clothe to the brow of the hapless guest. Below is a snap of all the drama taken by noted Sydney photographer and chronicler of this town's society, William Yang.

 Australian cultural icon Dame Edna Everage has sent Whispers a doctored snap she also sent to Sir Ian McKellan for his 76th birthday. McKellan was so taken with it he is now using as his profile pic on Facebook.

 Meanwhile Dame Edna's manager Barry Humphries has been interviewed in The Guardian in his capacity as director of the Adelaide Festival with some comments to make about the noted Australian diplomat Sir Les Patterson pictured below next to Humphries.

And a Tale of Woe : singer and musician Sean Lennon currently on tour in the UK has posted a snap (right)  on his Facebook page of the empty spot in his band's van where their radio was stolen a few days ago in Shepherd's Bush while they were performing. At last estimate his mum Yoko Ono was worth a cool $500M.