Canberra Confidential: Blink and you’ll miss it

Canberra Confidential

HERE’S a statistically incredible picture of “CityNews” arts editor Helen Musa and the inimitable Peter Robinson, who co-hosted the Canberra Critics Circle awards night at CMAG.

The revelation is not that they are sleeping standing up (that in itself would be a statistical achievement), but that snapper Silas Brown’s innocent social shot caught them blinking perfectly at the self-same nanosecond. Brown, a man not easily excited by statistics, broke under unrelenting questioning to admit that, of the five squillion social shots he’s taken in his career, this was one of kind.

 Young hearts run free

NEW member for Brindabella, Liberal Andrew Wall, pictured, was waxing with all due humility in a community newsletter about how honored he was to be elected to the Assembly, blah, blah. Then he wrote: “I am currently the youngest member of the Assembly at 28. I hope to bring a youthful perspective to the debate.”

Hang on, how old is fellow Libster, second-termer and, until now, boy wonder Alistair Coe? He’s 28, too (born January 9, 1984). Turns out that Wall is correct, he’s five months, two weeks and six days younger than Coe. Not that this should give Wall the edge on youthful views – Giulia Jones is not exactly ancient at 32, and Liberal Leader Zed Seselja is 35. That’s nearly 24 per cent per cent of the Assembly’s voices under 35.

 Travellin’ man

FORMER Assembly Speaker Greg Cornwell has visited 114 countries (115 if he includes the Isle of Man, but he’s wavering on that one), which comfortably got him into the Travelers’ Century Club – an international club of almost 2000 people who have visited 100 or more countries.

“CC” caught up with him leaving the Travelmakers office in Civic after lining up an impending three new stamps for his crowded passport.

Though a proud TCC member, Cornwell is at odds with what the club loosely defines as a country. It includes not only sovereign states, but also certain territories, exclaves and island groups to give a total of 321 “countries”. The ex-politician will have none of it, arguing the number is 193 – or 194, should he deign to embrace the Manx nation.

 Makes you go hmmm

1. THE ratepayers of Canberra are getting a little less Christmas – the much-loved municipal Christmas tree in Civic Square is shorter this year.

Fewer days on display that is. Last year it was lit on Friday, December 2 giving the town the benefit of 23 days to Christmas. This year, the lights are on from December 7, which means the bureaucratic tightwads are getting away with 18 days.

2. APROS of nothing, the most-searched female celebrities through Yahoo!7 this year are Kim Kardashian and Scarlett Johansson. In the males, Brad Pitt and John Travolta were the tops. Tennis stars were the most searched athletes, with Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal all making the top 10 searched athletes.

Just can’t do it

THE chinless wonders at the incredibly shrinking Canberra daily paper just couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge the “CityNews” contribution to supporting local arts.

In a page three story trumpeting Street Theatre director Caroline Stacey’s much-deserved award as the “CityNews” Artist of the Year, they weren’t big enough to give us a mention.

And why? Because “The Canberra Times” shamefully left the award high and dry four years ago, citing budget constraints and welshing on the pitiful prize money of $500, despite the staggering cashflow and huge profits its Sydney-based owners take from our city. Small, proud and locally owned, we stepped in to help the Canberra Critics Circle keep it going and doubled the annual prizemoney.

And they wonder why our community is turning away from them.

Bond in Canberra

JAMES Bond was in Canberra last week. That’s right, actor Daniel Craig and his Bond girls broke their global swing promoting the new film “Skyfall” (four stars from “CityNews” reviewer Dougal Macdonald), to star at a soiree at the British High Commission was the serious whisper “CC” was given separately over restaurant tables by otherwise sensible people called David and Brian. Alas, it wasn’t entirely true. British high commissioner and Bond tragic, Paul Madden, threw a red-carpet, cocktails-and-canapes do up at Westminster House. Entering guests were snapped beside his resplendent Jaguar, replated 007 courtesy of Richard Rolfe, and later spirited by bus to Manuka for a private screening of “Skyfall”.

Don’t cry for me…

WHEN is a town crier not a town crier? That’s a question that has beleaguered “CC” for a year now since an insistent Chief Minister Katy Gallagher phoned “CityNews” to disown town crier Alan Moyse, the subject of a cover 12 months ago and a man who clearly believes his coat, hat, bell and big mouth were officially blessed by Ms Gallagher. She says he took a commercial radio prank too seriously. He did, all the way to gaining membership to the Ancient and Honorable Guild of Town Criers.

Blessed or not, Alan’s going to be barking for Canberra CBD Ltd’s upcoming (and innovative) “Christmas Carnival in the City”, which runs December 10-21.


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