LIFE AT THE TOP
* A taste of the top: Some people would give anything to satisfy a strange
This morning Suzanne Dougall will be handed the keys to the
Inter-continental Hotel as she becomes general manager for the day.
Dougall, who has just opened a deportment and grooming school, was the
highest bidder at the hotel's Summer Cotillion Charity Ball last year. She
bid$3,500 for the privilege of taking temporary power.
Her day will include meeting hotel executives; inspecting the laundry, a
new sheet-folding machine and the cellar; a caviar and champagne tasting session
to decide which brands to serve; and the big event - a charity dinner for 100
guests who are each paying $180 a ticket, with proceeds going to the Prince of
Wales Children's Hospital.
The invited guests include Morris West, Ken and Judy Done, Lady Fairfax,
and property developer Barry Loiterton, who happens to be appearing on 60
Minutes on Sunday.
* Move over, Mr Carey, here comes the academic: Ross Fitzgerald is
probably the most publicity conscious academic in the country. Even this column
has fallen victim of the historian from Griffith University, Queensland, whose
novel Pushed From the Wings will be released here soon.
The book, and All About Anthrax, which he also wrote, have received
interesting and rather positive reviews in England. Time Out said of Anthrax:
"Fitzgerald's writing ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime. Some of his
attempts at satire are so disgusting they would shame a toilet wall, but when
the satire works it is hilarious."
The Observer's Howard Jacobson goes so far as to suggest the books as
alternative summer reading to Booker prize winner Peter Carey. "The mind, no
less than the body, needs a holiday ... Australia is best, offering unfamiliar
experiences ... but no, I don't mean Oscar and Lucinda. You've already read
that. And the last thing you need is the aggrandisement of sensitive emotion.
"I recommend Ross Fitzgerald," he says.
* Talent spotting, soap scouting, etc: Hollywood's Tony Shepherd, 31,
the"vice-president talent" of Aaron Spelling Productions (he's also the
great-grandson of movie mogul Louis B. Mayer), lost no time casting his eye over
local talent upon his arrival in Sydney.
Officially, as we mentioned last week, he's here to give acting seminars
at the Belvoir Street Theatre, starting on Monday.
But no sooner had he jetted in yesterday than he was lunching at a North
Sydney Japanese nosherie with Amanda Newman-Phillips (Narelle from Home and
Away) and agent Martin Bedford.
Was Shepherd really on a talent hunt, we wondered, or was he secretly
after a bit part in a good old Aussie soap? We're told the threesome discussed
only their dietary likes and dislikes. But keep smiling.
Bedford says Shepherd will be auditioning in Australia, adding that
Newman-Phillips may soon replace Kylie as Number One (as a soap opera star, not
a pop star) in the UK. Home and Away is now only second to Neighbours in the UK
ratings. And to think they've lost the Ashes, too.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
* Not your average charity gig: This may be a first in the world of heavy
metal music. If not, it may help change the opinion of those who have always
associated heavy metal with violence and drugs.
Seven metal bands play a benefit show this weekend for 15-year-old cystic
fibrosis sufferer Damian Hevey, who is in England with his family awaiting a
desperately-needed heart-lung transplant.
He comes from Parramatta, is a devoted fan of Mortal Sin and as a result,
very well-known to the band's lead singer, Mat Maurer. Maurer initiated the
benefit gig, titled Metal From the Heart, when Damian went to England earlier
this year. The money will help with his family's living costs.
Other bands playing at Saturday's concert at the Enmore Theatre include
Hobb's Angel of Death, Psychotic Turnbuckles, Mass Appeal, Massive Appendage and
RUMOURS OF THE DAY
* A hypothetical, of sorts: We're told that there have been some very
pained faces backstage at the Opera House.
It seems that the State Government's determination to throw open top
public service jobs may mean that some long-serving Opera House bosses will find
themselves reapplying for their own perches. The idea must be viewed at
Bennelong Point as outrageous as suggesting that Joan Sutherland audition for a
place in The Australian Opera.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE NERD KIND
* You're my kind of gal - all three of you: Sylvester Stallone has
revealed that his ideal woman is a cross between Mother Theresa, Madame Curie
and Irma La Douce - "a little bit of everything". Dare we imagine such a person?
In an American television interview the bulk from Rambo said he wasn't
trying to avoid romantic commitments because of his failed marriage to Brigitte
Nielsen; he just hadn't found the right girl.
And he appreciates "the fair sex" because women "have a vast understanding
of the way I think".
"They are, by chemical composition, more emotional, so they tend to be a
little bit more compassionate, very work-oriented.
"I think women strive very hard to show that they certainly can carry on
any endeavour that a man can. So I only benefit by being surrounded by these
kinds of people." What benefits - his ego?
Stallone says he has pretty much recovered from his divorce and will make
the commitment "if that comes along".
"I mean, 'cause what really, what else is there?"