Monday, April 22, 2019

Julia Gillard's new pal Rhianna

They seem like the most unlikely of pairings – a former Prime Minister and one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. And yet since first meeting in 2016, Julia Gillard and Rihanna have formed an unlikely friendship based on their shared passion for promoting education in developing countries around the world.

Read more at Australian Vogue. 

Meanwhile: spotted in New York by one of our eagle-eyed readers -on the Promenade along the East River and Carl Schurz Park filming for an HBO series : Nicole Kidman.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Farewells & Memories

There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that Whispers attended the Red Carpet arrivals for
Noah's ARK launch party ( the invitation was lost in the mail).
But we have been around for some time. Covered the waterfront as they say.

This bash took place last night in the very ritzy Southern Highlands which is a bit out of our stamping ground.

left: Ray Martin with Ros Packer at the Gibraltar dinner.

Geoff Harvey
The last time Whispers stayed at the Gibraltar Hotel in Bowral was when we accompanied one of Britain's well known rock impresarios Simon Napier -Bell who when he's not penning best selling books about the music business or the stars he has discovered-the late George Michael being one- he's a dedicated wine aficionado and when in Oz, heads for the Hunter Valley.
Last night the Gibraltar hosted a group of people celebrating the life of the late British born   Geoff passed away on the 30th March.
Geoffrey John Harvey OAM musician, pianist, conductor, musical director and television personality who worked at the Australian Nine Network for 38 years.

And look at the guests!. Some of Australia's top movers & shakers in the Show Biz world looking, well bloody good.
In the snap above (from left to right) we have Col Joye (one of Australia's most successful rock stars in the 1960s), Kerri-Anne Kennerely, surely Australia's most successful TV host, Mardi Henderson, Glen-Marie Frost - the Civil Celebrant if you plan on getting hitched and Brian Henderson who still holds the record for being this countries most famous and longest working TV news reader and host.

In 2006 Whispers attended the farewell retirement dinner for Brian Henderson at the Nine studios hosted by the TV supremo Kerry Packer. Brian is 88 years old and looks sensational. What's his secret- and he's had a few battles with cancer. We should be told.
Above is a Whisper's snap from that do with (l-r) John Laws, Brian and Kerry Packer.
## Whispers ordered this week a book by the late Dame Barbara Cartland after reading that she advised former British PM Margaret Thatcher on how to stay healthy. Whispers snapped Thatcher in Sydney some time ago- her skin glowed with health!. Does that sound desperate?.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Strange connections

L-R Keith Moon & Kit Lambert " Arthur Brown * George Lambert* Sir Keith Murdoch
Hollywood heavyweights Cassian & Cary Elwes
 Following the dreadful terrorist attacks in the New Zealand Mosques (the perpetrator's name should never be mentioned) comes an odd and rather upsetting 'scandal'. Videos of the terrible shootings have been removed in their hundreds from social media websites. But an artist from 1968, Arthur Brown who had a hit record 'Fire' with his 'The Crazy World of Arthur Brown' is distressed that his recording has been used in those videos.

The recording Fire is a production by the late rock manager Kit Lambert who died in 1983. A big budget film on the life of Lambert is currently being planned by ace Los Angeles producer Cassian Elwes and his actor brother Cary Elwes.
Lambert was the grandson of Australia's first internationally famous artist George Washington Lambert.

During the first World War George Washington was commissioned by the Australian government to travel to Gallipoli and record scenes from the terrible battles. The journalist who accompanied Lambert was Sir Keith Murdoch, the father of possibly the world's most powerful media baron, Rupert Murdoch

# Heir apparent to the world-wide Murdoch media empire, Lachlan Murdoch and his glamorous wife Sarah (pictured right) arrived back in Sydney this week for an extended stay.
## Kit Lambert discovered, among many others like Jimi Hendrix, one of the world's most enduring super bands The Who who are co-operating on the planned Elwes brother's biopic.
### Arthur Brown who now lives in the USA has cancelled a recent tour due to his distress that he & Lambert's music features in the video.
Here is another version of Fire with Arthur Brown recorded in Germany in 2012.


From the Crypt:

At a Pepsi Cola promotion at the Sydney Intercontinental Hotel Leslie Nielsen & Meatloaf. Why were they there? Beats me. I just turn up to these events & hope for the best and was pleasantly surprised to see two well known names who had been flown into Australia for a party.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Rick Stein will be live in Sydney on Thursday, 4 April for one night only. Who is the man behind the seafood? Rick will be joined on stage by Richard Glover; iconic broadcaster, writer and close friend of the Stein’s. A natural storyteller, Rick will reflect on his journey as a chef, the adventures his career has taken him on and the moments that have shaped his life, and ignited his passion. This is rare opportunity to join Richard and Rick on an exploration of his life and culinary travels; the triumphs, the depths and the hilariously fortuitous.
 To learn more and book → Lateral Event Management

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vale Edmund Capon

It comes to us all eventually but it's always a bit of shock when someone you admire passes away. Edmund Capon the former director of the NSW Art Gallery has died at age 78 from melanoma.
Pictured above (right) with philanthropist James Fairfax (who passed away in 2017) Whispers thinks the photo sums up Capon's 30 years plus stewardship of the Gallery.
Fairfax was donating over $30M worth of old masters to the gallery at this small get-together and it examples how Edmund was able to seduce and secure funding and donations from the rich and connected.

But more than that, with his unique personality Edmund Capon "opened up" the Gallery to millions of visitors who may not have ever visited the place. In 2010, the year before Capon retired nearly 1.4 million visitors attended the Gallery. 
Right: Barry Humphreys at the James Fairfax art donation function.
Born in London, Capon was an expert in Chinese art and archaeology and managed that division at the world famous Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) before coming to Sydney in 1977 to promote a V&A exhibition. He never left after being offered the position as director of the Art Gallery of NSW. The V&A's loss was our gain. With a unique enthusiasm and an ability to mix with every possible social and business class and treat all with equal respect, Capon became the face of the Gallery and the numbers of visitors rose very year as Capon was able to attract major art shows from all over the world.
Edmund Capon 1941-2019 is survived by his wife Joanna , two children and three step-children.
Edmund Capon (left) with then NSW Premier Barry OFarrell and art patron Stephen Lowy in 2011

Joanna Capon (left) with Edmund and former "first lady" Lucy Turnbull.
Edmund Capon was able to transverse all strata of society and out the Art Gallery of NSW on the map, attracting the general public in their millions along with movie stars like Hugo Weaving pictured here at an Archibald Portraiture prize opening night.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Silver Dinner- a glittering event

 This year's annual Silver Dinner was hosted at Swifts, that extraordinary mansion in Darling Point with it's commanding views over Sydney Harbour. Swifts may well be the most valuable property in Australia. It was built in 1875 by Sir Robert Lucas Lucas-Tooth, the beer baron and is now owned by the Moran family of nursing home fame. With it's 6 acres of land, approximately 9 building blocks it's hard to estimate it's value. being National Trust listed it cannot be changed so development is off the books.
And with it's own ballroom and band stand in the garden it's the perfect location for a swell party. The Silver Dinner, the brainchild of Skye Leckie (above left) in a gold dress has raised $Millions for the Children's Hospital over the years.

Scenes for a party:

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

So shoot us..the ship sails

Whispers has been on holiday and had to forgo the pleasure of keeping our loyal readers (so many in the USA & Russia) up to date.

Well it has been a long extended Silly Season so I doubt much was missed.
Even better: we picked up an amazing story while sunning ourselves in The Bahamas while staying with pals who were family friends of the legendary Sir Harry Oakes ( left ) who created the famous and exclusive Paradise Island resort there. COMING SOON !

However we have noticed that adverts for wacky Clive Palmer's United Australia Party are beginning to flood the airwaves as multi-millionaire Clive resurrects his political career.
But what of that other venture-  rebuild of the fated Titanic which sunk on the 15 April 1912 on it's maiden voyage with the loss of over 1500 lives.

Word reaches us via a Palmer operative that the project which was suspended in 2015 due to financial problems with Palmer's main company Mineralogy was in dispute with Chinese government-owned Citic over the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties to Palmer companies.
The Australian Supreme Court in 2017 found for Mineralogy, awarding it $US150 million, at the time worth about $196 million, in unpaid royalties.
Apparently the funds have now been paid which is why Clive is cashed up, going back into polticis and has relaunched the Titanic 2 project with the following video.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Napoleon's Waterloo

Sad news today as the Napoleon Perdis make-up empire collapses and dozens of stores shut up shop.

Whispers attended Napoleon's very first make-up boutique launch in far-flung Paramatta which was Perdis' stamping ground. It was an odd affair. A token red carpet and red velvet rope to hold back the 3 or 4 locals who possibly thought they were witnessing a glittering event.
One collared Whispers to ask who were the glamorous tall models that just arrived by limo and swanned into the party. We didn't have the heart to tell them they were drag queens from Oxford Street.

Napoleon's problem was he rose too fast and became too large. Taking on the USA, especially Beverly Hills  is always a mistake when you aren't known. Selling a product - and they are good products- when there are 100s of similar is a bit like taking ice to Eskimos. And you need very deep pockets. A little known fact is that some of the biggest brand names that occupy ritzy & expensive real estate on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan are loss making but used as advertising for their products and the stores remain there for the prestige value.

And did the name Napoleon bring with it risky karma? After all his namesake ended up on an island which is where Mr Perdis now is- back on his home soil on at least a very large island. Napolean has been trying to sell the business for some time but the problem is, he just wasn't a big enough name.

Read the full story at the MailOnline. We like promoting the Mail- they nick tidbits from us all the time.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Turning Water into Gold !

More on model Kelleth Cuthbert the gal who photo bombed the Golden Globes with her tray of Fiji Water. Kelly has landed a guest-starring role on CBS’s “The Bold and the Beautiful” the show announced on Instagram.

 Cuthbert is set to appear in the show’s Feb. 6 episode. It really doesn't get much bigger than this and you have to admire Kelleth for seizing the opportunity. Publicity is everything and the one place that appreciates it is the USA !

I mean if Jack The Ripper was still around today he would score a contract for a Reality TV show and have at least one Kardashian on as a special guest.

But how about Fiji Water who I'm reliably informed only spent around $30,000 for a promotional campaign that went viral around the world and garnered $Millions in free publicity.
Alas one of our correspondents sends us a link and it's not the most positive on the this product: click on the link.
# one thing is for sure- you haven't heard the last of Kelleth.

Fiji Water Girl would be a great meme if bottled water were something to celebrate


Weight Watchers News:

A photo lands on our desk of Man About Town and financial wiz Big Jim Byrnes. Jim is about 6'6" and is a larger than life (Sydney) character who is usually spotted tootling around the ritzy Eastern Suburbs in his red Bentley but who is also known for his pretty hefty frame.

But no longer- Jim has been working out and has slimmed down and is looking pretty good. Word is he's moved into movies and film production. Perhaps it's from hanging out in Hollywood - he was last last seen on the Red Carpet at the 2018 Academy Awards - where looks are everything that matters. Jim is obviously pretty proud of his effort and who can blame him !.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

That Fiji Water Drama

Fiji Water model Kelleth Cuthbert- a Star Is Born !
 You have to hand it to 35 year old Aussie Aaron Zerefos the mastermind behind Fiji Water after the $multi-million publicity coup he pulled off at the Golden Globe Awards.
Zerefos is a tireless promoter of his bottles of H20. A Globes' source tells us Aaron spent less than $50K to be involved in the event.

So successful is his product that Zerefos now spends most of his time traveling the world competing in racing car trials driving a series of Porsche sports cars.
Aaron pictured here by Whispers at his 30th birthday party in Sydney's King Cross)

He's even been spotted dating socialites like Lady Victoria Hervey as our snap shows.
We reckon this wasn't a very expensive promotion and it's simplicity will be the envy of publicists worldwide. It certainly beats those tired old "media walls" that confront guests and media at every party or event.
As for model Kelleth Cuthbert who brilliantly persisted for photo-bombing every celebrity on the red carpet- what can we say : A Star Is Born !

Monday, January 7, 2019

Breaking news

Tragic news today as it was revealed the beautiful model Annalise Braakensiek has been found dead in her Potts Point apartment.
Braakensiek, pictured here in Whispers' photo from some years ago where she jumped out of a cake at a birthday party for fashion designer Alex Perry was 45.

The Australian model and popular Page 3 pin-up girl in the UK's Sun newspaper had been married to stockbroker Danny Goldberg but the pair split up in April last year. She had moved into her $1M Potts Point flat in June.
The cause of death is not known and police have said there are no suspicious circumstances. Friends alerted police when they hadn't heard from Braakensiek for a few days.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019




Monday, December 31, 2018

A rip-off

Whispers has attended numerous New Year's Eve events in Sydney and 4 at the Sydney Opera
House and the Lord Mayor's Party. We were there when Kylie Minogue launched the famous fireworks and once discovered the US actress Sarah Michelle Geller (left) sitting quietly among the party goers.
While the party's were great fun getting there was something else. You can't drive into the city on NYE and you can't get a taxi when leaving. You spend an hour forging your way through a millions of people and end up walking back to a spot like Kings Cross where, if sensible, you parked your car early in the day.
It's still the same of course so it's very handy now to have a pal who lives in one of Surry Hill's tallest apartment blocks that has a commanding view of the Harbour and the sensational fireworks.

Which brings us to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald and Lord Mayor Clover Moore's outrage at how private business and the NSW State Government are co-opting the fireworks event- arguably the most spectacular in the world- and profiteering off an event paid for by City of Sydney ratepayers (me !) to the tune of $5M each year.
She is correct. The best solution would be to tax every entity that charges, what can be quite exorbitant entrance fees because they just happen to have a handy location to view the fireworks.

'It's complicated': how your NYE celebrations are being privatised

 New Year’s Eve in Sydney was always a simple affair. Dusting off that picnic rug, it was as easy as making a few salads and buying some bread rolls with a chook, putting some white wine into the cooler bag and organising the family to get to the best vantage point to watch the fireworks. What's more, it was free.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Times up

Seven years ago Whispers joined a battery of Nine Network stars at a Kings Cross restaurant to celebrate the launch of celebrity interviewer Richard Wilkins' book Black Ties, Red Carpets, Green Rooms.
Nine's then head honcho David Gyngell was there along with Australia's powerful music mogul, Sony boss Denis Handlin.
TV colleagues who joined the throng included Georgie Gardner and Lisa Wilkinson with Karl Stefanovic who launched Wilkins' book with some pretty raunchy tales. They were all at the peak of their careers. Now they have crashed and burned and their careers lie in tatters.

left- Wilkins with Vanessa Amarosi at his book launch.

A Nine insider has told Whispers that the rot began not with Stevanic's over hyped wedding, rather in 2017 with the pay negotiations over presenter Lisa Wilkinson who demanded $Millions or she would defect to Network Ten's The Project. Our source says Nine's management were more than happy to see her leave and only half-heartedly continued negotiations.

The departing Today crew that includes Richard Wilkins, well passed his prime as a star interviewer and presenter Karl Stefanovic may have believed  as many TV presenters do -that they were irreplaceable and more powerful than the show they fronted.

 Our Nine spy says senior management were secretly delighted over the endless tabloid tales of the Stefanovic shenanigans and were determined to use Karl's courting of the media as a reason to clear the decks.
 His sale of his wedding snaps to a rival magazine lead to the coup de grĂ¢ce. Georgie Gardner remains having never (sensibly) rocked the boat.You can be sure those pretty younger faces who replace the other sacked Today crew are on a fraction of the wages of their predecessors.
right- Georgie Gardner & Lisa Wilkinson at Wilkins' book launch.

# Our source says Karl Stevanovic is sure to end up on the board of his close pal James Packer's Crown Casino in Sydney.
# Difficult to imagine where Richard Wilkins goes from here except downwards.
# And there are warning bells for a particular high profile publicist who seems to court publicity with numerous clients questioning their involvement with her.
Below: Karl on Christmas Day:

Monday, December 24, 2018

Russell Country

A brief look at Russell Crowe's Coffs Harbour property..and his dog.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Salvador Dali at The Billich Gallery

Colourful Sydney artist Charles Billich and his zany wife Christa are hosting a Salvador Dali exhibition at their Rocks gallery until 31st January 2019.

The Salvador Dali Sculpture Collection originated due to a unique agreement made between the artist and the President of I.A.R. Art Resources, Mr. Beniamino Levi.
The Dali Universe also owns and operates the Dali Paris Museum in Montmartre Paris where the entire Dali sculpture collection is on permanent display.
All Dali sculptures being exhibited are recognized in the comprehensive Dali catalogue raisonne "The Hard and the Soft" produced by Robert and Nicholas Descharnes, which is the definitive reference book for Dali sculpture and has 20 pages which dedicated to the entire I.A R. Dali collection.

Expect naughtiness..anything can happen at The Billich Gallery as our exclusive video shows:

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tales from The Dreamtime # 2

"I think JFK was murdered"

Thus concludes an article in the Aussie Who Magazine. It's a quote from the colourful ex-mayor of Geelong, former "King of The Paparazzi" and "media personality" Darryn Lyons, he of the hot pink cockatoo hairstyle.
We reckon Darryn's pretty spot on with this observation. A quick perusal of the shocking Zapruder Film shot on the day the US President died clearly shows something dreadful happened.
Apparently Lyons also believes the late Princess Diana may have died because of a conspiracy.

Whispers worked with Diana for three days on her last ever charity appearance : the launch of the Victor Change Institute in Sydney in 1995.

It was quite a shock to read some time later she was apparently having an affair with Dodi Fayed. Whispers had known Dodi in London for years and formed a quartet of party-goes and clubbers that included the actress Britt Ekland.
Most nights of the week we clambered into Britt's tiny black Mini, a gift from her ex-husband Peter Sellers and did the rounds of the West End clubs, like Maunkberrys and  Annabels.

One day out of the blue Whispers was invited to lunch with the then relatively unknown Mohamed Fayed. Mr Fayed had heard of our nightly jaunts and was perturbed about our mode of transport. He doted on Dodi. Fayed loaned Whispers a Mercedes for a year from his collection and requested we drive our little group about in what he said was a much safer vehicle.

When the ill-fated pair died in that Paris tunnel Fleet Street tabloids beat a path to Whispers door wanting the low-down on Dodi's' nightly activities, offering  big bucks for the story. We declined out of respect of Mr. Fayed's feelings even though there was much to tell.

Lyons says Princess Diana appeared on his doorstep one day to request that he photograph her ex Prince Charles and not her. Odd really as Lyons Big Picture photo agency was only created in London in 2002 and was dissolved in 2012. Diana died in 1997.

Darryn says he has photographs of Diana dying in that safe Mercedes taken by a paparazzi who worked for him, stored in safes around the world. We always believed the French police confiscated the paparazzi's film on that dreadful night.

In 2008 at the British inquest into the tragic accident the jury concluded Princess Diana and her companion Dodi Fayed had been unlawfully killed by a combination of the driving of their Mercedes by their chauffeur Henri Paul and the driving of following vehicles - the posse of paparazzi photographers who were dogging their final journey.
We'll just leave that one there.