MATCHED AND DISPATCHED.
FORMER Perfect Match co-host Debbie Newsome is about to make a comback to
the world of game shows, but this time as a contestant, not a sidekick. In yet
another celebration of 40 years of Australian television, the Nine Network's
Sale of the Century recently taped a celebrity challenge - to be screened from
Monday - featuring a host of old (or older) TV faces. Among them will be the
likes of the cigar-toting Ugly Dave Gray, and Lucky Grills (alias
``Bargearse") but they'll be offset by some younger talent in Ms Newsome, and
special guest Gary Coleman, the stumpy funny kid from the early `80s American
sitcom Diff'rent Strokes.
Speaking with Metropolitan yesterday, Ms Newsome proudly informed us that
although she didn't win her heat, she shrugged off her lifelong fear of
appearing on Sale to notch up a credible performance. But a contestant she will
stay. Although she speaks highly of Sale host Nicki Buckley, Ms Newsome says
she has no desire to reprise her sidekick role. Parenting and her singing act
on the Sydney club circuit will keep her busy for some time yet.
TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND.
ROBERT HAUPT, this paper's much-celebrated and now, since his death in New
York last week, sadly missed former foreign correspondent, seems to have left
lasting impressions on colleagues all over the world. At the weekend cartoonist
Bruce Petty reminisced about Haupt's polyglottal performance at a faraway
airport that won the admiration of the entire, multicultural waiting lounge.
Another colleague of Haupt, political editor Niki Savva, has her own tribute to
``Haupt was in Moscow when I went there as Washington correspondent to cover
the last Bush-Gorbachev summit in 1991. Another journalist and I went to
Haupt's place for dinner. All he had, he put on the table - caviar and vodka.
Dinner went for many hours.
Needless to say we were legless by the end. But sober or not, Moscow was not
the sort of place you could ring for a cab, or find one on the kerbside.
``Haupt took us out on to the street as dawn was about to break and hailed a
truck. He said trucks rattled around the city all hours of the night
delivering black-market goods, and told us not to worry, it was perfectly safe.
He instructed the driver, in Russian, to take us back to our hotel, which he
did. Next morning, I found a Shostakovich CD that Haupt had been playing during
dinner, and which I had admired. He had slipped it into my bag without a word.
It was only one of several acts of generosity over the years from a lovely
PLEASE indulge us in one more tidbit from Sunday's wedding of Labor MP
Andrew Theophanous to his archeologist bride Dr Kathryn Eriksson. A spy tells
us that at one stage in the proceedings all the guests, which included a
heavyweight selection of Labor's leading lights (we're aware this may sound
like an oxymoron to some ... ), lined up on the right-hand side of the church
to pay their respects to the bridal party. One face in the queue was that of
Laurie Brereton, former Minister for Industrial Relations and Transport
mishaps, and a key figure in the legendary NSW Right faction of the ALP. In his
sights was Dr Andrew Theophanous, member of the rival Victorian Left faction.
As he approached his target he muttered: ``This is a picture the NSW Right
would die for ...", and he lunged forward and kissed Dr T. on both cheeks.
Brings a tear to the eye, doesn't it?
THE TOWN HALL LEADS.
METROPOLITAN has an update on the Parliament House-Leeds Town Hall
conundrum. A former Leeds fellow, Mr Graham Baker, (born there in 1948 and
emigtrated here in 1972) has kindly consulted an ancient tome his family
brought out here called Annals of Yorkshire. In it are intricate details about
the planning and construction of the town hall - but we're afraid there are
still some unanswered questions as to who copied the plans from whom, or if in
fact the startling similarities between Leeds Town Hall and our own Parliament
House are pure coincidence.
On New Year's Day 1851, Leeds council decided to build a new town hall, and
council granted 22,000 pounds for the project.
By the end of 1852, judging of plans was complete and the winning architect,
Cuthbert Brodrick from Hull, was announced.
On 17 July 1853 the first stone was laid by the mayor, John Hope Shaw, esq.
But, in another spooky coincidence, in September of that year, the council
declined to grant a further 7000 pounds for the erection of a tower. Unlike
their Victorian counterparts, however, the Leeds folk somehow (it's not
recorded) went ahead with the tower at the time. All the dramas over, the
inauguration of the building was performed by Queen Victoria in September 1858.
So even though their town hall took longer to come to fruition, it seems it
was indeed conceived before our seat of government (which opened in 1856), and
that the idea for such a magnificent Victorian design was originally theirs.
Of course, historians and the like are invited to beg to differ ...
``IT FEELS like someone has ripped my heart out," former Olympian Duncan
Armstrong has told Woman's Day. He's referring to the loss of his gold medal,
the one he snared in Seoul in 1988. The medal - which he fears may be traded on
the black market for thousands of dollars, or smuggled overseas - went
missing from a newspaper office in Sydney (and it wasn't one of ours ...) just
days before the Atlanta Games. Armstrong had left the medal with a journalist
writing for an Australian newspaper so it could be photographed. And he says
that, despite the journalist's promise to protect it with his life, the
medal's now missing. It hasn't been seen since the reporter gave it to the mail
boy to send to Armstrong's sister in Queensland.
But this isn't a case of the gold disc being mislaid. While Armstrong hasn't
had any leads yet - despite the best efforts of police in two states - a
Brisbane clairvoyant has confirmed for him the medal was not lost but stolen
UH OH. Yet another soapie star is about to assault our ears by meddling with
music. Home and Away`s Nick Freedman is chasing stardom as frontman for a
grunge band called Lurch - but he's adamant he's not trying to cash in on his
TV fame to springboard on to the music charts. In fact, the 27-year-old actor
dismisses such suggestions as ``silly prejudices". ``I'm up against silly
prejudices that say you can only be recognised creatively in one field - which
is usually just a manufactured image anyway. But Lurch's music is bigger than
nonsense like that.
" And don't forget the all important word ``than" in that last sentence
ON THIS DAY ... NEXT YEAR.
The ACTU has denied claims by member unions that it is ``gutless" and
``wimping out" after it accepted partial responsibility for the disappointing
performance by the Australian Women's Basketball Team in the Pacific
Championships. The ACTU said it accepted that talk of the possibility of
limited industrial action may have affected the morale of Aussie sporting
heroes here and abroad. The ACTU has also accepted responsibility for all
economic and social problems anywhere at any time since the rise of the
Sumerian city-state, including design flaws in a number of new-season
hatchbacks, the band Redgum, and the existence of the emotion ``sadness".
``Fortunately, just when things were blackest, the war broke out." Joseph
Heller (1923- ).
HUSSEIN TOPPLES CLINTON.
SADDAM HUSSEIN toppled the Public Eye last week with a score of 723 points
and a margin of 74 over Bill Clinton. Howard's Pacific trip reduced his usual
exposure, putting him in third place with 522 points, 193 clear of Benjamin
Netanyahu. The week saw: Jeff Kennett applaud the success of Tabcorp and its
boss Ross Wilson; Senator Richard Alston being less than circumspect about the
Telstra sale; Pete Sampras win admiration for his quarter-final performance in
the US Open; Joseph Gutnick reaffirm his support for the Melbourne Football
Club; Gary Ablett forced to play his last game of the season for free, and;
Jennie George face pressure as the ACTU boss.
THIS WEEK LAST WEEK
1 Saddam Hussein, Iraqi President -
2 Bill Clinton, US President 1
3 John Howard, PM 2
4 Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli PM -
5 Jeff Kennett, Premier 7
6 Richard Alston, Minister for Communications -
7 Pete Sampras, US tennis player -
8 Yasser Arafat, Palestinian President -
9 Gary Ablett, footballer -
10 Kim Beazley, Opposition Leader -
11 Jennie George, ACTU president 20
12 Joseph Gutnick, businessman 4
13 Tony Lockett, footballer 5
14 Mark Philippoussis, tennis player -
15 Dick Morris, former Clinton strategist 10
16 Boris Yeltsin, Russian President -
17 Mal Colston, Senate deputy-president -
18 Steffi Graf, German tennis player -
19 Alexander Lebed, Russian Defence Minister 13
20 Bob Dole, US presidential candidate 12
-- PJBray Research: Based on a count of appearances in
last week's Age, Herald Sun and Australian