Coronation bill a king's ransom
TONGA'S KING His Majesty George Tupou V will be crowned in two weeks. And while he might be the ruler of a small island nation, the coronation is going to be a very big deal.
His is the last Polynesian monarchy with a dynasty stretching back 1000 years.
Mick Jagger and Elton John are expected to attend, along with heads of state and their representatives, including the Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Tonga's hopes of getting a top British royal will not be realised though, as London has confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester's attendance.
With people flying in from all over the world, tiny Nuku'alofa will be full to overflowing with up to 5000 guests, some of whom will be staying on boats moored in the harbour because all the accommodation is booked out.
The 60-year-old bachelor, known as G5 to his friends, is, they tell me, a really great man. They say the Oxford graduate can converse on any topic you like, intelligently and in depth, and that he is very caring and very cool, belying his media image.
The coronation is costing $NZ3 million which includes $570,000 on princely robes from London and $50,000 on a newly minted gold sceptre, said to be similar to the Queen's. The expense is equivalent to a third of New Zealand's annual aid to Tonga.
Organisers say they expect to more than recover the money thanks to business that is brought in by the event.
Aja's assets are sagging
AN AMERICAN website called candykirby.com seems to disagree with New Zealand manufacturer Fayreform on what constitutes great breasts.
Last year the company had Aja Rock on its list of finalists for the Best Kiwi Breasts award - but Candy seems far less enthusiastic. Posting a disturbing photograph of Aja with Tommy Lee taken at LA music festival Coachella (it first appeared in New Idea), Candy has written:
"I believe I speak for everyone when I say, what on earth happened here? Is this woman starring in the long-awaited movie sequel, Mutant Ninja Titties? Uncomfortably close proximity to a fondue flame left her breasts resembling the melted marshmallows? An unfortunate side effect of Three Mile Island? And, even more important, why on earth is she making us look at them?
Among the comments were the following:
"I've read about this happening. Her breast implants stayed where they put them while her real ***'s sagged like God intended. Yet another thing your doctors didn't tell you."
"On first glance I thought, `Heather Locklear looks like she's been on a three-year bender'. Then `wait, is that Brit Brit?' Who is that fantastic pile of beauty? Charming! She needs her own reality show!"
"I believe the technical term is Contour Irregularity, better known as Dented Titty Syndrome."
"Do you think it could have been caused by a nuclear reactor accident we haven't been told about? Damn you George Bush and your lies!"
Aja would appreciate the second comment as she is keen to enjoy a career in television.
Hallet, Helen, Helsinki - just the ticket
BARELY CREDIBLE but nonetheless true: New Zealand architect and author of such tomes as Hitler Was a British Agent, Greg Hallet, right, copped a traffic ticket for driving over the centre line. But he wrote in and got off! His grounds for his appeal were "Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, KGB agent, graduate of St Petersburg Tavistock, former St Petersburg prostitute and contract killer, tried to have me murdered on 2 April 2002." Greg goes on, in his police statement, to say that`: "The proposed fines are a breach of the Declaration of Helsinki attempting to kill a citizen then fining them to fund the murder attempt." So if Helen tries to top you and you then get some sort of fine, it's a breach of an international declaration. Marvellous.
TV3 news flash
AFTER NINE years together, power media couple Duncan Garner, and Mihingarangi Forbes have separated.
Both stalwarts of TV3, Mihi is a reporter with Campbell Live and 3 News and political editor Duncan is as close to being a celebrity as a reporter can get (how many other reporters are complimented on their choice of suit by the US president, as happened to Garner on a visit to Washington last year?). The pair are still good friends and their split was amicable, which is great news for their two little girls.
Charlotte's new man
CHARLOTTE DAWSON must have been ready to go public with her new romance because there's no way in the world she would have taken her new man down to Sydney's paparazzi runway aka the Woolloomooloo Wharf in front of lunchtime crowds last Friday, if she wasn't ready to get snapped.
His name is Judd Wild. He's a 32-year-old stuntman (he's recently finished filming on the Hugh Jackman blockbuster Wolverine) and, true to form, he is much younger (nine years) and shorter than Charlotte. She's very happy but it's not a big deal serious relationship. She's just come out of one of those and isn't looking for another but having said that, you never really know with affairs of the heart.
That's not Charlotte's only good news. Having soared back to stardom in Oz with Australia's Next Top Model and then her own spin-off show, Runway to LA, Charlotte has now landed her next Foxtel gig. It's a show called Sting and its all so hush-hush that she doesn't know anything about it.
SPORTS CAFE is now into its 11th season after a three-year absence from our screens.
All Blacks big man Ali Williams was in the audience at the taping of the first episode this week with his lady Casey Green and they thought it was one of the funniest episodes ever.
The scene-stealing Roller Girls, who go by the names of "Mongrel" and "Pieces of Hate" (see them on this week's About Town cover) had Ellis dubbing himself "Gargoyle" and poor Ric Salizzo as "Manatee", possibly because he has big brown eyes.
Wift of glam
WIFT (Women in Film and Television) is holding its annual awards night on August 11, at SkyCity, Auckland. The place will be glowing with celebrities and there'll be industry manicurists and make-up artists to glam you up. Tickets are $55 from www.wiftauckland.org.nz/wift-nz-awards-2008
Anna bloods new show
WE WILL be seeing a bit of Anna Paquin soon as she is now doing publicity for her new TV series True Blood, about the co-existence of vampires and humans in a small Louisiana town. Anna plays a telepathic waitress who falls in love with one of the vampires. In real life it has long been rumoured she is dating Macauley Culkin's brother, actor Kieran Culkin, although she has never confirmed it.
A lovely flight of fancy
IT'S A running joke on hit comedy series Flight of the Conchords that Jemaine Clements doesn't get the girls and it seems to be the same off screen. Says Jemaine: "Drew Barrymore came up to Bret [Mckenzie] once and said she watched the show. Kirsten Dunst came up to Bret too... Tim Robbins came up to me once... oh and David Duchovny..."
There's still hope for chick-pulling though, onscreen and off. The duo are now working on their second series, which could feature Jennifer Aniston, whose team called to say how much she likes the show. Now let's forget that Jennifer is loved up with singer John Meyer and fantasise that she and Jemaine might get together.
Sunday Star Times