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The Age


Author: Peter Wilmoth is ill
Date: 23/07/1999
Words: 1000
          Publication: The Age
Section: Today
Page: 6
The two sides of Peter Costello

The Federal Treasurer is showing his true colors north and south of the border. Not content with being the No.1 ticket holder for Essendon, Costello was this week presented with a jumper from the Sharks rugby league team in Sydney's south.

Far from being a public-relations exercise, Costello has donned the blue, black and white of the Sharks because his wife Tanya was born in the Sutherland shire and he has an interest in the game, the club said. "He is a down-to-earth guy who likes his sport," said Daniel Lane, media manager for the Sharks. "We are really happy he is on board."

Costello is expected to be sporting the No.1 jumper, which is the fullback position on the field, at upcoming Sharks matches - and hopefully the grand final, as the Sharks are at the top of the ladder. "The significance of the No.1 jersey is that he is our number one man in Canberra," said Lane.

As a Sharks supporter Costello will be joining supermodel Elle McPherson in promoting the Sharks but has not yet won Elle's level of popularity at the club. "Elle is still definitely our No.1 fan," said Lane.

Essendon chief executive officer Peter Jackson said yesterday that it would take more than Elle McPherson to drag Costello away from his first love, the Bombers. "He rang me to say that he would be receiving a jumper from the Sharks but that I had need not worry that he was shifting his allegiances," said Jackson.

"Peter has been a mad Bombers supporter since childbirth and has been afforded the recognition for the role he plays as an ambassador for

the club."

Singo-style slang

Sydney adman John Singleton bought into the Melbourne-based Lonely Planet guidebooks empire this month, and although his share of the backpacker bible may be small, the latest phrase book from the publishing house has a distinct Singo feel.

Released in the UK yesterday, the phrase book includes a guide to English slang that is guaranteed to get any tourist talking up a blue streak.

The guide says: "Large numbers of British people drape their entire discourse around f----, with the occasional wanker or bastard thrown in for color."

Among phrases explained for the traveller are "dog's bollocks", which is listed as meaning fantastic, "pillock" for idiot or fool and "skanky" for dirty or smelly.

Singo, who is known for his ocker charm and larrikin wit, has a "minor, minority" interest in the travel publishing group, said Anna Bolger, publicity manager at Lonely Planet. The figure was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald at around 13 per cent, which would add about $50 million to Singo's wallet.

Howard's way

Raised eyebrows at Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday, normally the preserve of lesser legal luminaries, such as suburban barristers and juniors cutting their teeth. But representing Melbourne City Councillor Joanna Pace against charges of multiple voting in the March council election was none other than Tony Howard QC, former head of Alan Bond's legal team in his memory-impaired hearings some five years ago. Howard's time is estimated to cost at least $5000 a day, which does not leave much room to move within Cr Pace's municipal allowance of $18,000 a year.

War paint

Revenge is a dish best eaten cold, the saying goes. But betrayed lovers and angry spouses sometimes don't wait for the fury to cool. One story doing the rounds lately concerns a former TV reporter caught in a compromising situation by his high-profile wife. She promptly paid him back by leaping into the arms of one of his alleged friends for what Private Eye quite correctly calls "Ugandan discussions". The "friend" was happy with his part in the triangle ... right up until our TV man turned up with a can of housepaint and a brush - and proceeded to paint the other chap's much-loved and very expensive car. It's an ill wind that blows no one any good ... but Berger Breeze?

Not just another pigeon target

NELSON turned a blind eye and the pigeons observed an uneasy ceasefire as a life-sized figure of a hairless Christ took its place on an empty plinth in London's Trafalgar Square earlier this week.

Mark Wallinger, the first of three artists given the chance to fill a plinth that has stood vacant for 150 years, was soon empathising with his subject - the cowed Christ dragged before the mob by Pontius Pilate with hands bound behind his back. Muscular Christians were queuing up to mock the pale, shaven-headed figure in a loincloth,

which Wallinger had cast with self-conscious symbolism in marble dust and resin.

"If that's Jesus Christ, it's a bloody miracle," said Colin Duggan, from Acton, west London, who had waited up all night for the statue to be put in place. "You couldn't put your faith in someone like that, he's as weak as a kitten. What kind of savior is he to someone like her," he added, pointing to a homeless girl sleeping on a bench.

John Godwin, another doubter, said: "His smallness just shows what little meaning Christianity has in the world today. He's a typically broken, lily-livered, Anglican Jesus."

The churches, however, were united in their praise for this "ordinary, man-in-the-street" Jesus. "Profoundly moving," was the verdict of Richard Chartres, the bishop of London, who found in his naked supplication, and the barbed-wire crown of thorns, echoes of the concentration camps and the "horrors of this terrible century".

The fact that Wallinger's Jesus is so overshadowed by the monuments around him endeared him to waitress Tracey Tang, 23.

"I just want to go up there and give him a hug. I never notice the other statues in the square - they're just target practice for pigeons - but he looks so vulnerable you just want to take him home. Seen from the side, it's just amazing. And the closer you get the more young and beautiful he gets."

Ecce Homo - Behold the Man - is the first of three sculptures that will occupy the plinth during the next two years.

Opening night slather

The opening night 48th Melbourne International Film Festival turned into a John Polson testimonial before his debut directing effort, Siam Sunset, even hit the screen. The Premier, Jeff Kennett, gave the actor-director a huge rap in his opening speech, calling Polson a role model to young Australians wanting to enter the film industry. John Wood, star of Blue Heelers, recalled how a younger Polson, who played alongside a younger Wood in episodes of Rafferty's Rules, had come a long way. "When I met John then, I wouldn't have thought he had the potential, but here he is," said Wood at the after-party in the Hotel Sofitel. Even prankster John Safran couldn't muster up a cleverly chosen bad word for the film opening the festival. Safran told The Backpage that party-goers had been let down in the finger food stakes, which didn't compare to the Boy From Oz bash. "There were like pyramids of smoked salmon everywhere," he said. And the man of the night, Polson, was pleased with the reception of what some have called yet another quirky Australian comedy set in the outback on a bus. "It does have a wacky element to it, but it is deeper than that," he said. "People have told me that they have got something out of it, that it moved them, which is great."


if you don't mind, then it doesn't matter


"Acting in the fresh air is a bit peculiar and it makes you feel daft to be talking to someone who is not even there."

Ewan McGregor explaining what it was like making Star Wars.


To get ready for Tom and Nicole in Eyes Wide Shut, the most talked-about sex scene in film history, take a look at entertainment site, E! Online, which has polled its critics and experts to come up with a list of the 10 most memorable sex scenes in the movies.

1. William Hurt and Kathleen Turner in Body Heat

2. Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham

3. Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly in Bound

4. Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate

5. Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity

6. Robert Downey and Heather Graham in Two Girls and a Guy

7. Jacqueline Bisset in Rich and Famous

8. Denise Richards, Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon in Wild Things

9. James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life

10. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in Don't Look Now

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