Sarah Jessica Parker’s Divorce co-star defends ‘kind’ actress after Kim Cattrall take-down

Updated February 13, 2018 14:43:16

Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker has been praised by actress Molly Shannon, days after being labelled “cruel” by former colleague Kim Cattrall.

Shannon said she felt lucky to work with Parker on the HBO comedy Divorce and described her as “genuinely supportive and kind”.

Her comments came after Cattrall — who played Samantha Jones alongside Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City during the ’90s — took to Instagram to label the actress a “hypocrite”.

Shannon, however, painted a different picture of Parker during an interview with Entertainment Tonight at New York Fashion Week on Saturday.

“I didn’t read about that,” Shannon said, regarding Cattrall’s post.

“But I know, for me, Sarah is just so supportive and so wonderful and we just get along so well.

“It doesn’t really feel like work because we have so much in common, and she loves funny women and is just so genuinely supportive and kind, and, like, a girls’ girl.”

Although it is believed the relationship between Parker and Cattrall has been strained for years, their feud was made public this week after Parker offered condolences following the sudden death of Cattrall’s brother.

“I can’t begin to know how her family is managing such a loss,” Parker said in a red carpet interview.

Cattrall responded on Instagram, saying she did not need Parker’s support and accused her of exploiting her family’s tragedy.

Christopher Cattrall, 55, was found dead last week after going missing from his home in Lacombe in Canada on January 30.

Topics: arts-and-entertainment, television, film-movies, united-states

First posted February 13, 2018 14:18:29

Helpful advice for children starting high school

Posted February 07, 2018 07:00:02

When you start high school you’re suddenly one of the youngest, smallest, newest kids in school all over again.

That journey is captured in the series My Year 7 Life on ABC ME that follows 16 students around Australia, documenting their lives as they transition into high school and begin puberty.

Karla Burt, a producer on the series, said watching the children adjust brings a lot of insight into what young teens are going through.

“It is a fundamental stage of life,” she said.

“The transition between Year 6 and Year 7 is one of the biggest jumps in a child’s life.”

In the spirit of lending a hand to the latest generation of students, we asked ABC Radio Hobart’s listeners for their advice on how to handle the change.

Stay in school and keep up maths

Ms Burt said a common theme from the children in the series was a feeling of being swamped by the jump in school work, especially the level of homework.

“The kids were overwhelmed with the amount of homework they got straight up,” she said.

Jim: “Take your approach to mathematics more seriously. Something that I have now fixed but it held me back for some years.”

Sharon: “Keep going … I have never stopped thinking ‘what if?'”

Johnny: “Don’t try to make people laugh at the expense of your education.”

Don’t wear yellow socks and get the right uniform

Year 7 and the start of puberty can be an awkward time with plenty of embarrassment.

“They are at the age where they’re trying to find out who they are,” Ms Burt said.

“They are asking: ‘Am I normal? Where do I fit in?'”

Those social faux pas, mostly imagined, sometimes cruelly ridiculed, are hard things to negotiate.

Marcus: “I turned up to the first day of school…wearing a pair of long green and yellow tartan shorts followed by high-knee yellow walk socks, black shoes, a yellow short-sleeved shirt and a short tie. I looked like a complete prat.”

Peter: “Don’t take your Power Rangers lunchbox to school.”

Rod: “Don’t wear a Deloraine Primary School tie on first day of Grade 7, especially if you are the smallest kid in school already.”

Mary: “Don’t let your mum anywhere near your fringe and your hair.”

Be yourself and don’t panic

Perhaps the most important bit of advice for Year 7s, and everyone, is just to be themselves and remember that high school is not the be-all and end-all of their lives.

Anna: “Just be yourself. You can’t be anyone else but yourself. I am different, I’ve always been different and I never fitted in … People will find you, likeminded people.”

Claire: “Don’t be intimidated by the egotistical cool crowd; be proud, damn proud of your individuality.”

Midge: “Stay calm and remember that there is life after high school.”

Matthew: “The only thing in this world you have control over is your actions, so do the best you can and learn to accept the rest.”

Bonnie: “Don’t believe it when they tell you at 14 that you have to decide what you want to be when you grow up.”

You can watch My Year 7 Life on ABC iView.

Topics: secondary-schools, children, family-and-children, human-interest, people, television, hobart-7000

Kylie Jenner apologises to fans after giving birth to baby girl

Posted February 05, 2018 11:27:53

US reality TV star Kylie Jenner has announced the birth of her child with rapper Travis Scott, after months of rumours surrounding her pregnancy.

The 20-year-old Jenner said in an Instagram post that her “beautiful, healthy baby girl” arrived on February 1 and apologised to fans for keeping her pregnancy a secret.

“I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark through all the assumptions,” Jenner wrote.

“I understand you’re used to me bringing you along on all my journeys.

“My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world.”

She says pregnancy was, “the most beautiful, empowering and life-changing experience”.

Jenner says her daughter is healthy and beautiful.

Jenner’s half-sister Kim Kardashian, 37, and her rapper husband Kanye West announced the birth of their third child on January 16, a girl born to a surrogate.

Jenner’s other half-sister Khloe Kardashian, 33, announced in December she was six months pregnant to her basketball player boyfriend Tristan Thomas.

Jenner, who has parlayed her family’s reality TV show and a 101 million Instagram following into a lucrative cosmetics line, posted a teaser on Instagram to a YouTube video entitled To Our Daughter, that shows her in the delivery room just after giving birth, holding her newborn baby.

The arrival of Jenner’s child quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter in the United States, surpassing #SuperBowlSunday just hours before the start of the big game.

Soon after Jenner made the announcement, her mother Kris and sisters Kendall, Kim and Khloe all posted messages of love and support on social media.

AP/ Reuters

Topics: arts-and-entertainment, television, pregnancy-and-childbirth, united-states

Jacqui Lambie for Bachelorette? These famous faces could spice up reality TV

Posted February 04, 2018 06:00:00

If Sophie Monk volunteering herself as last year’s Bachelorette was a step forward in Australia’s reality TV culture, then Jacqui Lambie would be a quantum leap.

Lambie made a throwaway line about the show to Tom Ballard on Tonightly this week and Weekend Today had fun with the idea in 2015.

If the rise of “I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here” tells us anything, it’s that watching ordinary people humiliate themselves is stale — now we want relatively famous people humiliating themselves.

But Lambie is just the start. Innovative casting could spice up some of our reality favourites. Here’s how.

Masterchef

Masterchef is the home of the inspirational food journey — we tune in to see people overcome adversity, put tragic pasts behind them, dedicate smooth terrines to their dead grandmothers, and generally bring themselves redemption through food.

But think how much time we could save, if we knew the backstories already and could get straight to the tear-stained tiramisu.

The obvious candidate for the kitchen is Kevin Rudd.

The man who tore Labor apart could rehabilitate his image with a few tasty stews and semifreddos.

Imagine the poignant moment when, faced with elimination, his famously cold facade cracks as he admits through tears that his quest to open an artisanal veal cafe in rural Queensland means everything to him.

To give Kevin someone to play off, throw Tony Abbott in there too.

There’s a man searching seriously for a purpose in life, and croquembouche could be it.

The strings have never swelled like they will for Abbott’s against-the-odds victory in a sudden-death Eton Mess contest.

It’ll be a fantastic gateway to him releasing a line of branded sauces, too.

The Bachelor

Sure, the ladies side of the franchise is taken care of with Jacqui Lambie, but who should step up to be the object of desire for the women of Australia?

It’s easy to say Shane Warne, but he seems better suited to being one of the contestants vying for Jacqui’s hand, alongside Sam Newman and the Collaroy Over-35s rugby league squad.

The Bachelor, on the other hand, needs to be a man of enormous charisma, combined with quiet dignity, and rippling musculature. You see where I’m going with this: Ray Meagher.

Over the last three decades of playing the beloved Alf Stewart in Home and Away, Meagher has proven himself the alpha-male of this nation.

Men want to be him, women want to be with him.

His collection of catchphrases — including “stone the flamin’ crows!”, “bloody kids!” and “I’m TV’s Ray Meagher!” — will make for great TV.

You can already imagine the magic when a lucky lady snuggles up to Alf in the hot-air balloon, sipping from a couple of cold cans, enjoying a pie.

The only snag might be the possibility that he’s already married. But if he is, that can be worked out in contract negotiations.

Survivor

Survivor offers participants the chance to prove themselves in the harshest conditions they’ve ever known.

Every season’s cast requires a good mix of the physically strong, the devious, the attractive-when-semi-nude, and the weird and off-putting.

The Hemsworth brothers fulfil at least two of those criteria, while the devious requirement could be filled by political staffers — why not former-political-Svengali Peta Credlin and current Pauline-Hanson-wrangler James Ashby?

Miranda Kerr is attractive and off-putting, Salim Mehajer strong and devious, and I’m pretty sure Sophie Monk is all four.

Then there’d be David Boon as the quiet one nobody notices until he’s suddenly in the final three. Oh, and Dick Smith. Just to be cruel.

Married At First Sight

This fascinating social experiment, discovering exactly what happens when a television producer abandons all pretence at decency, has already begun its 2018 season. But the format is becoming tedious: who cares whether two people we don’t know get fake-married or not?

If they retool it with an eye to innovative casting, great things are possible. How could you resist tuning in to see the wedding of Matt Preston to Michelle Bridges? Imagine the sparks that would fly when Margaret Court is forced to marry Magda Szubanski!

Don’t you want to see Delta Goodrem and Clive Palmer settling down to navigate the joys and challenges of married life?

The Block

The Block is a dangerous place to be — all those unstable walls and precariously placed roofing material — the perfect setting for a group of sleep-deprived contestants dealing with relationship crises.

The contestants should be those we most want to throw into danger and/or those we’d like to see screaming at their partner about toilet seats.

I give you the new teams for Australia’s premier renovation contest:

Kyle and Jackie O; David and Lisa Oldfield; Pete Evans and Manu Feildel; Mark Latham and Alan Jones; and of course the entire Channel Nine cricket commentary team.

Ben Pobjie is a writer and comedian.

Topics: television, lifestyle-and-leisure, australia

‘Time capsule’ web series celebrates characters of Melbourne’s west

Posted February 02, 2018 12:28:48

A new series of short web documentaries celebrates the characters who define Melbourne’s western suburbs.

We Are West has so far featured little-known locals as well as household names such as furniture retailer Franco Cozzo and youth worker Les Twentyman.

Local filmmaker Laurens Goud moved to Williamstown with his mother he was 11 years old and now lives in Altona.

“I didn’t move too far,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne‘s Richelle Hunt.

He said the idea for the web series came from local businessman Marty Rankin.

“[He] came to us and said, ‘I want to make a time capsule of the way that the west is’,” Mr Goud recalled.

Together they came up with a plan to produce a series of short documentaries featuring “some of the characters that are famous, and even some of the stories that are less famous”.

“We’re not all going to be around forever, so if we don’t go about capturing the way that the west is now, we won’t be able to remember what it was.”

Famous and not-so-famous

The series started in November with a video telling the little-known story of Peter and Lola Anderson from community group Friends of Cruickshank Park.

“[They’re] an adorable pair who put in a lot of work to make Cruickshank Park what it is today,” Mr Goud said.

He said the Yarraville park was “an amazing resource for the west”.

“I walked my dog there so many times without any idea about the amount of work that went into creating that.”

The series returned this year with a video featuring high-profile youth worker Twentyman, before releasing its most recent episode on the furniture king Cozzo.

The Italian immigrant is famous locally for his television commercials and love of baroque furniture.

Mr Goud described Mr Cozzo as “genuine” and said he was “one of the most amazing people to meet”.

“We actually just walked in [to the furniture store] and he was at the back of the store in his office,” Mr Goud said.

“We said, ‘We’re doing this series, love to talk to you’, and off we went.

“We could have cut a much longer story there; he wasn’t afraid to talk, as you could imagine.”

In the video Mr Cozzo talks about the early days of his business, and says the inner western suburb is “better than Toorak”.

“I will say, ‘West is the best’.”

‘Genuine’ stories for social media

Mr Goud said with the first few episodes the producers were testing to see if there was an audience on Facebook for these sorts of local stories.

“Social media, there’s so much action and people jumping up and down for attention,” he said.

“We sort of thought: ‘We think that there’s an audience for genuine stories, for real people, but let’s go out and find out if that’s the case’.

“If we have people watching and enjoying what we’re trying to do, then we’ll keep making the stories.”

Topics: documentary, internet-culture, social-media, television, community-and-society, people, human-interest, footscray-3011, williamstown-3016, braybrook-3019, altona-3018, melbourne-3000

Craig McLachlan files for defamation against ABC, Fairfax

Updated February 02, 2018 07:22:23

Actor Craig McLachlan has filed defamation proceedings against the ABC and Fairfax Media, which reported on allegations he sexually harassed several former colleagues.

Victoria Police is currently investigating allegations McLachlan committed multiple sexual offences while performing in the Rocky Horror Show in 2014.

A joint ABC/Fairfax investigation revealed three women from the 2014 production claimed McLachlan took advantage of his raunchy role as Dr Frank-N-Furter to indecently assault, intimidate and harass them, both on and off stage.

McLachlan has denied the allegations, describing them as baseless.

The Gold-Logie-winning actor has engaged barrister Stuart Littlemore QC and lodged a statement of claim in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

The action came after the producers of the Doctor Blake Mysteries cleared McLachlan of separate claims that he sexually harassed his co-workers, but admitted the show’s workplace culture was “bawdy and crude” and may have offended some cast and crew members.

Two weeks ago, production company December Media hired a workplace consultant, Fiona Bigelli, to investigate claims of sexual misconduct on the set of the top-rating TV show.

December Media said in a statement that Ms Bigelli had interviewed a “sufficiently large number” of people who worked on Season 5 of the production, and had produced a confidential report.

“But there were no findings of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or workplace bullying by Craig McLachlan or any other person on Doctor Blake,” the statement said.

“People highlighted the fact that Doctor Blake’s workplace culture has consisted of, amongst other things, a workplace humour which has been described by many as sexual, lewd, bawdy, ‘Benny-Hill-esque’ and crude and that some of the behaviour relating to this humour may be offensive to people, regardless of the fact no formal complaints have been received.

“While December Media has all appropriate policies and procedures in place with respect to workplace behaviour, the report does recommend some improvements to be in line with world-best practice.

“We intend to implement these improved practices and share them with the rest of our industry”.

Topics: television, television-broadcasting, law-crime-and-justice, sexual-offences, australia

First posted February 02, 2018 07:16:49

Tomic takes a swipe at Hewitt, compares Tennis Australia to FIFA Federation

Updated February 01, 2018 00:37:22

After cutting his reality TV stint short and copping a spray from former team member Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic says he is determined to play for Australia again and prove his doubters wrong, but not before the “whole situation with Tennis Australia” is addressed.

On Tuesday, Davis Cup captain Hewitt said he doubted Tomic would represent his country again after the former world number 17 said Australia could not win without him.

“I don’t care what Lleyton said. I never lost to him,” Tomic told Network Ten’s The Project.

“The important thing is that there’s a reason why I played Davis Cup for Australia at the youngest age in history and there’s a reason why my record stands that good.

“I stand by my call. They know they can’t win without me and I know they can’t win without me. It’s a tough situation.”

The controversial 25-year-old cut short his reality TV stint on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here after just three nights, citing depression.

Tomic, ranked 168 after a forgettable year on tour, is confident he can return to the world’s top 20, dismissing suggestions he is mentally fragile.

“No, no, no. I wasn’t like that,” he said.

“I got to top 16, 17 in the world, in one of the biggest sports in the world. You can’t get to where I got to if you’re not mentally strong.”

However, he acknowledged a Davis Cup return would be tough, again claiming corruption inside Tennis Australia.

“I’m not happy with that whole situation with Tennis Australia. Until that sort of clears and until a few of the problems come out,” Tomic said.

“We’ve seen it with the FIFA Federation, and stuff, how they were corrupt.

“And I know it’s in there, and I’m yet to address all the issues there, but maybe in the coming future I can speak about it.”

“I would love nothing [more] than coming back to playing Davis Cup but that stuff has to be addressed.

“It’s up to them to fix … but we have a few wrong people in that organisation and I hope that can change and the best players can be playing Davis cup again.”

Tomic vowed to resume tennis training as soon as he returned to Australia, saying he regretted his TV stint and “I only became depressed when I got in” the African jungle.

A leading sports psychologist said Tomic must seek professional help to turn his life around and had a chance to follow Nick Kyrgios’ road to redemption.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

“I think something has happened,” Jeff Bond, who worked with Pat Cash before his 1987 Wimbledon triumph, said.

“Whether it was something that occurred on the show or the criticism he has received from people like Lleyton — it can be the most innocuous thing that will cause someone to turn the corner in their lives.

“Same thing with Kyrgios. Suddenly, he seemed to find a better direction, then received positive reinforcement [from the public] and continued to do it.

“Maybe Bernard will do the same thing.”

But Mr Bond warned Tomic would find himself back in the same dark place if he did not speak to a professional, especially after citing depression on the TV show.

“I am generally concerned when anyone says they are depressed,” he said.

“I hope he seeks out a professional to run his thinking by and get some objective feedback, someone he trusts so he can take advantage of this new approach.”

Readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Topics: tennis, arts-and-entertainment, television, australia

First posted January 31, 2018 23:20:53