Showing posts with label Christian the Lion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian the Lion. Show all posts

Monday, June 5, 2017

Chelsea pad for sale

News reaches us via our London realtor that star of the Christian The Lion frenzy John Rendall is selling his Chelsea apartment with the amazing view above, down the River Thames.

During the 1960s, Rendall who hails from country Bathurst was a regular on the Sydney social circuit usually on the arm of Penfold wine heiress Rebel Penfold Russell.
He then decamped to London's Kings Road and set up home with Sydney Indigenous art dealer Ace Bourke, a descendant of the legendary NSW Governor Bourke.
When they bought a lion cub at Harrods- you could do that sort of thing then - the pair were often spotted tooling up the Kings Road in a Rolls Royce Corniche convertible with Christian, as the lion was named, hanging out in the back seat.

John was also once married to British publicist Liz Brewer who featured in the TV reality series Ladette to Lady where Liz attempted to refine and introduce Bogan style young lasses to the cream of British society like Lady Georgia Campbell, a few Hooray Henries and the occasional Used Car dealer.

Fast forward to 2008 and someone attached a song to a grainy film of Rendall & Bourke in Africa where they had deposited Christian to live as he had become too big. Christian recognizes the pair and a Group Hug ensues and is seen around the world.

Rendall's apartment is in World's End and a building Whispers knows well. We visited the infamous / famous courtesan Christine Keller twice to research a book. She lives on the lower floors but John's studio penthouse is right at the top and is yours for the measly sum of £675,000 or $A1169021
We've provided some snaps of the apartment and below, that famous film of Christian and that hug.
Rendall currently hosts Safari style tours to Africa while Bourke lives at remote Bundeena in southern Sydney.

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grown Up Children

Shari-Lea & Paula

Socialite Shari-Lea Hitchcock took the opportunity to introduce her daughter Paula to Sydney at the Billich Gallery last week.

Paula is now 15 and is the daughter of the late billionaire Dick Pratt who left a $5.6B fortune. Polish born Pratt emigrated to Australia in 1938 and became the biggest supplier of cardboard in the world.
Spreading his fortune around he was an avid patron of the arts and medical research, hosting charity bashes at the Melbourne mansion Raheen  where he lived with wife Jeanne.

Jeanne & Dick at Raheen
The existence of Paula became known during a court appearance when a lawyer mistook a journalist for a solicitor and revealed details of a large payment that was to go to Shari-Lea to care for her daughter. When Dick Pratt died in 2009 he left a legacy to Paula who he adored and Shari-Lea estimated at around $40M plus a sensational beach-side house in snooty Watson's Bay and a NSW farm.
Good mum that she is, Shari-lea whisked Paula away for dinner before the arrival of some nude models at the party.

Meanwhile at the launch of the 2012 Kings Cross Festival a young man was entertaining the guests including the Shuttle with some amazing card tricks.
Max Rendall
Ace, Christian & Rendall
 Max Rendall placed a packet of cards in our hand and requested we hold them firmly while he did a few tricks to a wide-eyed audience. Upon asking for the cards back, they had turned into a block of perspex?. How did he do it ?.

Max is the son of ex-pat London resident John Rendall who found amazing fame when he and Christian The Lion became a mega YouTube hit as a videoed reunion was set to music.

Rendall and his business partner Anthony 'Ace' Bourke purchased Christian in Harrods in 1969 and kept him in their Kings Road antique store, eventually delivering him to the conservationist George Adamson in Africa.

The grainy film  of the pair re-uniting with Christian in 1971 shot to fame in 2008 and along came book and film rights and a tour of TV chat shows around the world including the Oprah Winfrey show.
Rendall lives in Chelsea and lectures about conservation and keeps a vintage Rolls Royce in Sydney for visits.
 Max Rendall has just finished his studies at Sydney University and is entertaining at corporate events while he contemplates the future.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christian The Lion Hits Hollywood

 Ace Bourke & friend Christine at the Sherman

Ace, Christian $ John
One half of the Christian The Lion duo-Anthony 'Ace' Bourke has confirmed that the famous saga about Christian, the Harrods bought lion that was raised in a Kings Road, Chelsea furniture shop is to be made into a Hollywood film.

Ace was talking at the Sherman Gallery at the exhibition of Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê

In 1969 he and Australian born social writer John Rendall purchased Christian and raised him in their shop Sophisticat, eventually returning him to Africa under the care of the famous conservationist of Born Free fame George Adamson.

Bourke and Rendell returned a year later to see how Christian was faring and the grainy film of Christian bounding down a hill to hug both John and Ace became a YouTube hit  (with over 30 million views) when put to the song I'll Always Love You. It lead to a  publishing deal and a world wide tour on TV interview shows including Oprah Winfrey.

Brian Sherman & Dinh Q. Lê
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation's current exhibition Erasure, is a newly commissioned work by Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê – an interactive sculptural and video installation that draws on recent debates in Australia concerning refugees and asylum seekers.

The darkened gallery space is dominated by a floor-to-ceiling moving image of an 18th century tall ship beached on an isolated coastline slowly being consumed by flames. The gallery floor is strewn with small islands of debris – discarded clothing and wooden fragments. Amid the destruction are thousands of small black and white photographs – self-portraits, family and passport photos – which Dinh spent years buying in second-hand stores in the hope of finding his own family’s pictures.

To date the Shermans have now sponsored 11 similar artists to the tune of $100,000 each. The exhibition runs until the 11th September 2011, Wednesday to Saturday 11 am – 5 pm
16–20 Goodhope Street, Paddington
Sydney NSW 2021 Australia
Phone +61 (0)2 9331 1112

# a short film of Dinh's installation :

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Demure Shazza Heads Home

On Wednesday she was sunning herself on the beach at Acapulco.

Marketing manager Sharon Sargeant, the girlfriend of private eye Frank Monte is now on a plane after a four hour taxi  trip from Acapulco to Mexico City and a flight from there to Los Angeles where she was finally able to get a seat on a Qantas jet  back to Sydney.

Sharon has been watching in alarm as flood waters surged through Queensland and in Northern NSW and in particular Tenterfield where members of her family live. On Wednesday she reckoned she could wait no longer and decided to head home and  see if she could help out in the devastated flood areas.

Sharon may be pleased with a newspaper article that will greet her upon arrival. The Eastern Suburb's social bible, Latte Life has commented on her appearance at the Black & White charity luncheon for Christian the Lion's John Rendall in November last year.

Demure !
According to the tabloid : "thumbs up to a demure "Shazza" at BW  Women's  Luncheon , if she hadn't been with Mr Monte we may not have recognised her."
Demure ?. We present a couple of snaps of Sharon from the lunch. 

Meanwhile Frank Monte is spending a few more days in Acapulco before he heads to Italy. Monte has an appointment with the powerful AntiMafia Commission in Rome which investigates "organised crime of the Mafia type" and the dreaded Camorra and Ndrhangeta clans.
When the Shuttle managed to get Monte on the telephone today we asked him if his Rome visit was in connection with new claims by Italian  investigative reporter Gianluigi Nuzzi that Gianni Versace was murdered by the mafia.

"I can't discuss anything with you " said Monte. "excuse me, I have to take another call " he said before hanging up !

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Will the Shuttle Prove Lucky for Collette Dinnigan & Kate Middleton?

In 1979 the Shuttle's resident psychic adviser Mandy Miami was looking for a new British designer to showcase at the New York nite spot she was managing-the Mudd Club. She chose an up and coming young couple David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her British Invasion Fashion Show that scored the Emanuels a front page story in the prestige Woman's Wear Daily.

The Emanuel wedding dress
 And she predicted an amazing success for the 2 designers and that one shining moment was in store for them very soon- one of their designs  "will be seen throughout the entire world like no other has ever before".

In 1981 Princess Diana wed HRH Prince Charles in a now famous Emanuel wedding dress, watched on live TV by billions of people around the world.

Miranda Kerr in Collette Dinnigan

On Tuesday evening the Shuttle attended the opening of Collette Dinnigan's new Woollahra boutique. The news had just broken of the engagement of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Collette is one of Kate's favourite designers and Kate is a regular at her London store. Today Ms Dinnigan fielded phone calls from media outlets around the world asking for her advice on Kate's wedding dress.

In Vogue UK she is running at odds 16/1 along with Alice Temperley another favourite, that the future Queen will wear one of her designs on her wedding day.

However the chances of Kate choosing a non-British wedding dress designer are pretty slim. The British media would rip her to shreds if she wore a foreign design-even a colonial one. But Collette does a nice line in beautiful Christening gowns for that inevitable Royal baby that will be with us in a year or so !

Society maven Marie Sutton , the woman who managed to gazump the entire world by getting Princess Diana to attend the Victor Chang dinner in Sydney in 1995 as her last official charity function tells the Shuttle her phone began ringing at 5am this morning and hasn't stopped.
"They're calling from all over the world" she says "radio stations and newspapers in London and America. I even had a TV station in South Africa wanting to send a film crew to interview me".

"There's not much I can tell them" she says. " I've never met Kate and last spoke to William on the telephone 3 years ago".

In the meantime she is busy filling a table for the Black & White Committee charity lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel on the 30th November.

The special guest is John Rendall of 'Christian The Lion' fame. He's  just returned from hosting a safari in Kenya and will be giving a talk at the lunch on life in an antique shop on the Kings Road, Chelsea with the lion cub he purchased at Harrods in the 1970s.

And there's a slide show. The pictures were recently exhibited at the prestige Saatchi Gallery in London.

To purchase tickets to the Black & White lunch contact them on (02) 9327 5698 or email

Ask to sit on Marie's table and she'll tell you all about Princess Diana !

For those who have forgotten about the Christian saga-here is the youtube video that went viral worldwide. Get the Kleenex out.....