Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dramas in Casablanca

 One of the stars of the unexpected hit TV series Gogglebox Angie Kent (right) has lashed out at Double Bay's uber nightclub Casablanca after her brother who suffers from Aspergers was refused entry. According to Angie security guards questioned whether the chap was drunk or drugged. The party lot then moved on to The Sheaf pub where they had more success with security who whilst initially questioning the man, allowed the group entry.
 Angie really should have made contact with Casablanca's amiable manager Karim Gharbi (pictured above) who features regularly in these pages. We feel Karim would have only been to happy to put the names of her group at the door as VIP guests given his penchant for publicity.

As the success of the show keeps resonating Whispers hears that at least 2 stars of the show are now being courted by advertising agencies to promote products. Indeed Whisper encountered one of Googlebox's stars in a shopping centre a few days ago and asked if the rumour was true (we've known this person for many years). She just laughed off the suggestion but didn't actually say "no". So that's a yes then.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

21 : and Just For Fun

Anyone brought up in Sydney will recall the motto of the fun park Luna Park : Just For Fun. Situated with possibly the most commanding views of Sydney Harbour it was the location for media heiress Francesca Packer Barham to celebrate her 21st birthday. Francesca is the daughter of the late Kerry Packer's only daughter Gretel Packer and her ex-husband British banker Nick Barham. When she's not partying at Luna Park, Francesca hangs out with the likes of Tom Cruise and Robert de Niro on her uncle James Packer's cruiser in the Mediterranean.
Pictured is Francesca ( as a Minnie Mouse character) with PR supremo Roxy Jacenko of 'Sweaty Betty' fame and below, a snap of some other fancy dressed guests.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kardashian mayhem in suburbia !

Admission : we haven't actually watched the televised shenanigans of the Kardashian family but their presence in our lives hasn't gone unnoticed. We did meet Kourtney Kardashian at a small reception at Ottos on the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo earlier this year. She was very nice. 

They must be the most famous US family since the '50s when the Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet  was followed by millions of fans and their son, heartthrob Ricky Nelson (below) was the Justin Bieber of his day. 

We digress, 2 younger members of the Kardashians, Kendall & Kyle Jenner, both successful models, appeared this morning in suburban Parramatta at the ginormous Westfield shopping centre to launch a range of clothing.
Dramatically one disgruntled attendee decided to decorate the stage with eggs & tomatoes flung from the first floor. No Kardashian was hurt during this protest. But we think a few hundred school girls may be sanctioned tomorrow for wagging a day off school.  

Such is life sunny Sydney. The fun never stops. Like those Jenner legs !

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Enter Lady Georgia Campbell

What a treat is in store for northern New South Wales as one of England's Grande Dames Lady Georgia Campbell is to grace our shores as a contestant in the British reality program I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
Whispers knows Georgia fairly well and have been to many parties with the aristocrat. Indeed we once shared adjoining seats on a Lear jet owned by Saudi mega billionaire Adnan Khashoggi, on a flight to Monaco to attend a gala party on his sumptuous yacht The Nambila (Whispers was writing a social column at the time for a European magazine owned by Khashoggi.)

Campbell's history has been well covered in the past in articles like this. Born in Jamaica she married Lord Colin Campbell the son of the Duke of Argyle but the marriage only lasted 14 months. Since then she has written hugely successful books about the British Royals. Georgia now lives in a petite townhouse in London's Kennington with the 2 young Russian boys she adopted - Mischa and Dima who were whisked away from Moscow poverty to be brought up amongst minor British aristocracy

More recently Georgia featured on the Aussie TV show Ladette to Lady where her good friend publicist Liz Brewer -left, (Liz was married to Australian John Rendall of Christian the Lion fame) brought in Lady Campbell to introduce the ladettes to the British upper classes that included a successful used car dealer, an aging Count and a handful of golly gosh Hooray Henry's. What fun.
 And the excitement just keeps coming. Manager of Double Bay's Casablanca nightclub Karim Gharbi, above- a regular fixture on these pages, has been snapped up to write a monthly lifestyle column in Maxim Australia called OZ HOT SPOTS. It pays to have several irons in the fire these days especially as the owners of the building where Casablanca is located have a proposal with Woollahra Council to turn the building into private apartments

Friday, November 13, 2015

Death of music figure Eric Robinson

Elton John & Patti Mostyn
Eric Robinson (centre) with Michael Chugg & Glen Shorrock
Australia's show business community is in mourning today after the death of music figure Eric Robinson who passed away from cancer on Wednesday.
Beginning as a roadie for local bands, Robinson eventually rose through hard work to become Australia's foremost lighting and sound provider for the biggest entertainment acts. For a time he also excelled in the same business in the UK before returning to Australia. Along the way he married the countries most powerful music publicist Patti Mostyn who achieved fame after becoming the best pal of some of her superstar clients like Elton John. This year Eric received the Sue Nattrass Award at the  Helpmann Awards to honour his long standing commitment to the live performance industry.

Robinson and Patti retired to Port Douglas a few years ago where Eric died at age 67 from complications from cancer.  He leaves behind wife Patti and their daughter Tara and will be farewelled in a private funeral.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Too hot for Tropfest

In 2013 we wrote "has Tropfest peaked?" after attending the first festival in it's new location at Centennial Park in December. Whispers had a feeling it's days were numbered and now founder John Polson has conformed that Tropfest is kaput and in serious financial difficulties.
Why the organisers moved to a hollow in a park away from the harbour in hot December is a mystery. The crowds seem to evaporate in the sweltering heat. If there was an international star in town they were only to eager to support Polson but they just aren't here in December. The Domain with it's cooling harbour breezes was a blessing in the evening of the festival.
Here are a few highlights with some of the local and international stars Poulson invited and who attended.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kim parties in Washington

Susie & Kim Beazley at the Harman Centre
Being Australian Ambassador to the USA would have to be one of the plum jobs along with France and High Commissioner in the UK.
Kim Beazley and his wife Susie have taken to the Washington social circuit easily and are a regular sight on the diplomatic and art's cocktail circuits. Our snaps show Kim & Suzi at the recent Harman Centre Gala which draws all manner of powerful folk along with show biz greats. The Harman centre is home to the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Tsidii Le Loka, Kim Beazley, Rose Carter, Paul Carter, Helen Mirren and Victoria Jaiani.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Jessica needs some good advice

The dramas over Jessica Mauboy's aborted plan to sing the national anthem at the Melbourne Cup could be an indicator of  the professionalism of those advising her. Jessica's no show was passed off by her management with the following statement :

“There was a lot going on yesterday and there was miscommunication with her styling team, unfortunately by the time it was resolved the call time had been missed.".  The Victorian Racing Club responded : "contracts for paid appearances at the Cup are easily understood and it is paramount that paid guests understand the importance of respecting paid sponsors"
Whispers should know. Many moons ago we organised the visit of the famous British milliner David Shilling who was a star guest at the Cup. VRC reps are nothing but courteous and experts in handling visiting celebrities such as Shilling with no stone left unturned during his 3 day stay in Melbourne as they guided him through a tour of personal appearances with their various sponsors like Myer.
Mauboy is currently promoting her new perfume which has had a less than stellar impact. Perhaps it's something to do with the organisers of her launch in Kings Cross a few weeks ago. A top publication sent their photographer to the small launch (guests : the usual newsreaders etc one saw at a function the week before) only to have a snooty publicist proclaim that they would choose what photographs  that the magazine could publish.

Just to show they had no hard feelings, the magazine editor ditched the entire idea of covering Jessica's launch. It's sad as Jessica is a sweet lady and a terrific talent. But as always, you must have the right team to promote you or it can all go pie eyed.
David Shilling at Ascot

Thursday, November 5, 2015

So that's another superb PR coup then

 You have to congratulate young Sydney model Essena O'Neill who has catapulted herself into worldwide fame with just a couple of smart moves. Just to show she has no hard feelings about quitting social media Essena has launched a website called Lets Be Game Changers media... here.
A couple of (ex?) pals are calling Essena a "fake" in the video below. Who cares? She's had publicity to die for and the sort of PR that some of this town's more snooty publicists would charge tens of thousands of dollars for and still wouldn't get the coverage Ms O'Neill did. So we look forward to spotting Essena out on the social circuit any day soon. What a shame she didn't do this a month ago- she could have starred as a guest at the Melbourne Cup.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Reporting the Love Match of the Decade

The British media were out in force at the now famous Rugby match at Twickenham between New Zealand and Australia. One lucky snapper secured the first pictures of the love-birds Jerry Hall & Rupert Murdoch as they arrived at the grounds. Whispers is a cynical old thing and finds this most odd. The photo is clearly taken as the loving couple are arriving - not via the VIP entrance as other celebrities did, but along with the general public. The photographer appears to have been the only one to get the shot almost as though he/she had prior knowledge of this. And then likewise the photo of Uncle Rupes planting a kiss on a coy Jerry's cheek. Again just one snapper got the pics. And the source of the coupling :"a family friend". Such friends revealing info like this are usually banished to the outer realms, Not that Whispers is complaining as every time Rupert Murdoch's private life is reported our now famous snap of he and former wife Wendi Deng features throughout China's media (Chinese Hello! seems to love it)
Even odder is the fact not one News Corp outlet (proprietor Rupert Murdoch) has mentioned the tryst or published photos. Yet the pair seem happy to pose and appear in public ! Amongst the dozens of News Corp titles across the world that passed on the mention of the Love Match of The Decade:

Spring has sprung

It's that glorious time of the year when Sydney is bathed in sunshine and the Jacaranda trees are blossoming. Here are just a few shots we compiled from travels around the inner city.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

And so it came to pass

Princes Harry & William were there as was our own princess Kylie Minogue. And this couple finally fronted the cameras : Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall.  Read all about it in the MailOnline.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A rainy day in Melbourne

The Melbourne Cup season is upon us again. A long planned trip South had to be cancelled at the last minute although by the looks of that unpredictable Melbourne weather perhaps Whispers is fortunate. Our Victorian racing spy disguised as a $2 poncho raincoat promises to keep his/her eyes open for fascinating snippets which usually means people you saw last week at a party in Sydney doing something else in Melbourne but probably dressed up to the nines.

As always Swisse trotted out a major celeb- Hilary Swank this year, to pose in front of the dreaded "wall". It's a long way to come to stand in front of a wall but I suppose they are suitably rewarded (financially). As for Swisse, there must be big bikkies in vitamins as their rival Blackmores just demonstrated with a share price having risen from $31 to over $200  in a year and that's without a Hilary Swank standing in front of a wall.
And here some of our favourite Sydney people who we did see last week (walking their dogs in Redfern) David Novakpiper and The Block judge Neale Whitaker with a lady pal lunching in The Birdcage 
The entire world is awaiting (well the paparazzi are!) Will they or won't they? As a "close family friend of the Murdochs" promised : said: "It's all very new.  They are really enjoying each other's company very much. "He is very fond of her. There is no question that they are a couple." 
Tonight is the final in the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham and as the "close family friend" promised the star crossed lovers Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to appear in public for the first time together at the match as Australia plays New Zealand. We wait with baited breath.
And the wondrous MailOnline does not fail to once again impress with this caption :
" Racegoers line-up at a Melbourne station as they head to Randwick in a bid to beat the early-rush ". Melbourne to Randwick by train? About 900 kms and 12-14 hours.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oxford Street News

This wondrous lady above is the delectable Maxine Maurine Shield who holds sway at the famous Oxford Street gay nightclub the Midnight Shift. Maxi has just been announced as the Entertainer of The Year at the Diva (drag) Awards and quite right too. Maxi will also serve as Hostess at Madonna's tour next year as the Ultimate Door Bitch (but she's really very nice)
Below is X Factor judge Dannii Minogue who took a turn last Sunday at Justin HemmesBeresford Hotel as Bingo Caller at Tranny Bingo. They raise funds for charity. No matter how much they try to kill of Sydney's nightlife with the restrictive Lockout Laws they can't keep a good woman down. Or a man. Or a tranny for that matter.

Studio City opening

Whispers thinks this is the most handsome photo of Leo DiCaprio who picked up a cool $12M to attend the opening of the new James Packer Macau casino Studio City. Accompanying Leo were Martin Scorcese, Robert de Niro and Mariah Carey who also sang at the opening. Our exclusive pics come from Adam Zammit who as Director of Live Entertainment and Events put the night together. Along with a 6000 seat arena ( Madonna will sing there in February next year) and the Pacha Nightclub Zammit is launching the multi-million dollar House of Magic. What fun !

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall rumours

Fleet Street in the UK is having one of it's meltdown moments as the claim that Jerry Hall is now dating Rupert Murdoch run riot. Oddly they all echo the same source who is said to be a 'family friend' - the usual way of describing an unknown source - and all quote the same thing :
" they are set to go public by attending next Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham. Billionaire Murdoch was introduced to Texan Jerry by one of his sisters and a niece while in his native Australia." 
 Time will tell. As Whispers reported on the September 20th Murdoch's defunct News of The World  bugged the phone of Mick Jagger's publicist when Jagger was married to Hall and they were having marital problems. The bugging provided many stories that were published. So is all forgiven?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cate Blanchett is the Toast of New York

Mary Mapes*Cate Blanchett*Robert Redford* Dan Rather (Truth is about Mapes & Rather)
 Cate Blanchett's latest film has premiered in New York City. "Truth" was filmed in Sydney's Western Suburbs earlier this year. Whispers reported on the fact that one of the Shuttle's most searched for personalities Sharon Sargeant (right) had a small role in the flick. So impressed were the 2 stars of the film -Cate Blanchett and the legendary Robert Redford - that Blanchett said to Sargeant after her scene :"you were perfect, just perfect". And Redford requested Sargeant share his limo back into central Sydney to discuss the film with her.    

Now one the USA's most famed chroniclers of society Liz Smith is raving about Cate Blanchett in Truth. She said this:
"What the movie couldn't do without is Cate Blanchett. To say this is a great performance, would be a laughable understatement. I don't know
Liz Smith
if the real Mary Mapes is as volcanically intense and charismatic as Blanchett, but after seeing herself portrayed by Cate, she might have wished she was, or had been, during her five months battling CBS and the rest of the media...I would go so far as to say that Blanchett's performance, from beginning to end, makes her recent Oscar win for "Blue Jasmine" seem like rehearsal footage! You cannot look away from this woman, who needs nothing but her eyes, her mobile mouth, and her cheekbones to rivet. (I know — you can't really "act" with your cheekbones, but somehow, Blanchett seems to.) Even if you are a staunch conservative, go see "Truth" just for Cate's amazing performance

So you heard it here first : expect Cate Blanchett to be nominated for an Academy Award.
But it gets better. Liz Smith has also discovered Noni Hazelhurst who also appears in Truth and had this to say:     "But aside from the pyrotechnics provided by Miss Blachette, there is another great female performance. Her name is Noni Hazlehurst, whose face is familiar to me, but whose credits are not on the tip of my tongue. She portrays Stacy Keach's wife, who urges him from the start not to "get involved."
Ms. Hazlehurst delivers a scene toward the end of the movie, in which she upbraids Mapes and her crew, for dragging her ill husband across the country to "explain" himself, to agree, on camera, that he lied. "So, don't you dare ask me 'how is he!'" This confrontation cannot last more than two and a half minutes. It sears the screen. Judi Dench won an Oscar for eight minutes as Queen Elizabeth in "Shakespeare in Love." Noni Hazlehurst could be carrying home an award for her splendid two and half!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Baz Luhrmann honoured in New York City

2015 Fiesta! Honorees Veronique and Bob Pittman, Board Chair Jacqueline Weld Drake, and honorees John Bernbach and Baz Luhrmann photo by Patrick McMullan (c)
The Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education based in New York states it's mission is to empower youth and their families by creating a culture of learning through high quality social, cultural, and educational .opportunities. Each year they honour individuals who have done just that. Honorees have included Margot Fonteyn, Oscar de la Renta, Audrey Hepburn, Oscar de la Hoya and Julio Ingelsias. This year Baz Luhrmann, described by the Centre as "film director extraordinaire" was a recipient.
And the Casita Maria Centre comes with some powerful chairperson names, amongst them Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo, Sting and Trudie Styler, Roberto Cavalli and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia. So the answer to that question you're asking yourself "was Baz's move to New York a positive one", you betcha life!.