This week’s Hollywood gossip

No-one is recognised as knowing more about Hollywood and celebrities than David Hartnell MNZM. He’s not only spent a lifetime reporting on Hollywood’s trivia, gossip and scandals, but he counts many celebrities among his personal friends. Every Monday morning David will give you an exclusive weekly update on the gossip, scandals and trivia of Hollywood’s elite.

David is an award-winning broadcaster and columnist and he is also the patron of The Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Inc.

Her Majesty The Queen, awarded David the Insignia of a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (formerly an MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2011 for his recognition for his services to entertainment.

In 2012 he was made an Ambassador of St. James Saviours, the trust formed to save the iconic Auckland theatre. In 2014 he was made an Ambassador to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

In 2016 he was made Patron of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians. In late 2017 he was awarded the prestigious VAC Presidents Medallion from The Variety Artists Club of New Zealand. The medallion acknowledged his lifetime commitment towards excellence in the entertainment world both here in New Zealand and Internationally.

Visit David’s Website

Under a spell – David Hartnell’s First Love,‘ in the NZ Woman’s Weekly.  View the article here on David’s website.


Monday 8th April 2019

I’M not one to gossip but…………Oscar winner Shirley Jones has just turned 85 and she still looks magnificent. She starred in classic musicals Oklahoma, The Music Man and Carousel. Don’t forget she also drove a bus around in the early 70s on the TV series The Partridge Family.

Shirley was undiscovered when she became the first and only singer to be put under personal contract with the songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein

I have interviewed Shirley a number of times, and she is one of the most delightful celebrities I have ever met. Let me tell you in over 53 years interviewing celebrities she stands out among the very best.

Shirley Jones


This year’s British TV Choice Awards are not going to be held in the Brunei owned Dorchester Hotel in London for the first time after the country introduced death by stoning for gay people this week.

These awards have taken place annually for the last ten years— at the time of going to print they have not announced the new location. Organisers decided unanimously to boycott the hotel this year after an international campaign to avoid hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei kicked off last week.

As soon as the news of Brunei’s new laws broke, George Clooney was the first to call for a boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

George wrote: “Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.”

Yesterday outraged LGBTI people and allies showed up in force to protest at The Dorchester Hotel.

Police lined the doors of the building but the demonstrators managed to break through the barricades to chants of, ‘shame on you’.

Groups representing UK political parties such as the Labour and Green Party took part, as well as the more radical anarchist activists.

Hotel Dorchester*

Paris Jackson (Michael’s daughter) is one of the wealthiest young women in Hollywood, but down to earth Paris has nothing in common with the acquisitive Paris Hilton. She certainly doesn’t seem to lust for jewellery or flash Ferraris. Can you believe for her upcoming 21st birthday all she wants to do is go camping with her boyfriend Gabriel Glenn? A couple of days ago they were spotted at Ralph’s Drug store in Hollywood picking up a few things for their camping trip!

Paris jackson*

Who would have thought? Doris Day turned 97 late last week!

She was one of the biggest movie stars from the 1940s through to the 1960s with roles in movies including Calamity Jane, Pillow Talk, The Pajama Game, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Lullaby of Broadway. In the 1970s, she starred in TV’s The Doris Day Show and recorded hits including Secret Love and Que Sera, Sera.

In 2004 she received a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2006.

Doris Day


Jane Fonda looks amazing on the cover of British Vogue magazine, it’s hard to believe she’s is 81.

She covers lots of subjects in the Vogue interview, including her love life: “In order for that to happen, I cannot be in a relationship with a man. I had several serious relationships after [husband Ted Turner], but I can’t…is my failing. I realize I can never overcome it. That when I’m with a man, I give up myself.”

She also talked about battling cancer: “I’ve had a lot of cancer. I was a sun-worshipper. When I have a day off, I frequently go to my skin doctor and have things cut off me by a surgeon….[At the 2016 Golden Globes] I get out of the car and I have the strange white dress with all the ruffles? That’s because I’d just had a mastectomy and I had to cover my bandages…It’s an ongoing process. So there’s that.”

Jane Fonda 2


Angelina Jolie, 43, says she would never ever become a politician, the humanitarian told People magazine. “[But] right now I am looking to others for leadership.”

She also said about her activism, “If you look across the world, there are far too many women and girls who are not only not seeing progress, their rights are slipping away from them.”

She wants brand new laws drawn up as soon as possible, but that’s not al:l “We also have to enforce them. So one of the things we are putting forward now is a proposal for a permanent international body to investigate war crimes, including mass rape and other sexual and gender-based violence.”

“The second UN mission I went on, to Cambodia, I met two women from England and France, Katie and Mimi, who were working with UNHCR.” Angelina talked about how she has made lifelong friends during her missions. “We have all been friends ever since, for coming up on twenty years now. I feel very blessed in my work to have the opportunity to meet so many extraordinary people who spend their lives dedicated to others.”

Angelina 2


American singer/entertainer Pink is hitting back hard at the trolls over a photo of her young son. She posted a photo of her with her two kids, Jameson, 2, and seven year old Willow but she didn’t realise Jameson had removed his beach diaper.

When she did she immediately deleted the picture and reposted it, but blurred out her son’s private area.  In the caption of the photo, she wrote, “There’s something seriously wrong with a lot of you out there. Going off about my baby’s penis? About circumcision??? Are you for real? As any normal mother at the beach, I didn’t even notice he took off his swim diaper.” She continued, “I deleted it because you’re all f*cking disgusting. And now I’m turning off my comments and shaking my head at the state of social media and keyboard warriors, and the negativity that you bring to other people’s lives. There is something seriously wrong with a lot of you out there.”

Pink 1


This month’s April cover of Vogue Australia features a stunning picture of 37-year-old Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman on its cover.

In the interview the Oscar-winning actress shared her thoughts: On taking her family to Australia for the shoot: On the Times Up Movement: On her career – past, present, and future it’s a great interview and well worth a read.

Vogue 3*

The 51-year-old music icon Celine Dion has an exciting new role beyond her powerful voice, she is about to become the new face of L’Oreal as their global spokesperson. Resilient, self-confident, unapologetic, generous and humble, she is the ultimate symbol of female empowerment and a true woman of worth,” the brand declares of the partnership. “I’m at a stage in my life where I’m excited to use my voice to empower others to feel beautiful, confident, and to learn to embrace themselves,” Celine said of her new role.

Celene 1


British actor Stephen Merchant, 44, 6 ft 7 in (201 cm) is about to play the so-called ‘Grindr killer’ in a new three-part BBC drama. He’s known and loved for his comic roles especially in the TV series The Office. Now he’s taking on his darkest character to date in The Barking Murders, where he star as British convicted rapist and killer Stephen Port.

During 2014-2015, Stephen date-raped and killed four young men he met on gay dating apps. The bodies of Gabriel Kovari, Jack Taylor, Daniel Whitworth, and Anthony Walgate were all found near Port’s flat in Barking, east London.

Stephen received a life sentence in November 2016.

Stephen Merchant*

You may or may not know that Meghan Markle grew up on the set of the 90’s TV series Married With Children! Last year Meghan told Esquire magazine that her father Thomas Markle worked on the show as a camera operator and lighting director for ten years. She said that every day after school she would came to the set in her Catholic school uniform and do her homework while my father worked on the production. The show was rather raunchy in parts for its day, some would say even perverse place to grow up around for a young girl. Meghan said that her father shielded her from the filming of the naughtier moments on the show. This makes Meghan’s estrangement from her father even sadder, since they were obviously once so close…


Until next week my lips are sealed!
David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019


Monday 1st April 2019

I’M not one to gossip but………… Over the years of writing celebrity column’s many books have landed on my desk, and this month was no exception. It was the life story of the late Jackie Trent who completed the book just before her death in March of 2015. Jackie wrote the words to so many songs like Colour my Word, Close to You, Don’t Sleep in the Subway and the words to the Aussie soapie Neighbours, to name but a few. Her memoir is peppered with charming anecdotes, of the people she has worked with. Trust me, the list reads like a who’s who, of both American and British show business icons. Unfortunately, Jackie never toured New Zealand, but she did a great number of tours in Australia.

Jackie Trent

I recently caught up with one of her closest friends Rex McClenaghan, who told me about Jackie’s New Zealand connection.

“I first worked with Jackie and Tony Hatch on their first trip to Australia at the height of their careers at the legendary night club Chequer’s, in Sydney. Since then we remained friends until her death. We reconnected when Jackie and Tony came back to live in Australia for 10 years and become Australian citizens, that’s when she wrote the lyrics to the TV Soap Neighbour’s and Tony the Music. I spent time with her in Menorca a year prior to her death. When I returned to NZ we used to chat at least three times a week on Skype while her bio was being written. When you read her story you’ll see just how immensely talented she was as a singer and songwriter, having penned the lyrics to many of Petula Clarks hits. And worked with many of the great stars in the world, writing songs for people Like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr, who took them to NY for their meeting and singing with Elvis in Germany and Ella Fitzgerald these and many more gems are told in her story in the book. Through my connections, there was initially NZ involvement with the early stages of the bio. Ben Wilcock the pianist, he was working with Jackie on music for her last set of lyrics for her purposed tour to NZ before she took ill. Ben was to be her musical Director for the tour.”

Check the book out here on Amazon.

Tony Rex Jackie 001Rex, Jackie & Tony in the dressing room at Chequer’s night club in 1969 in Sydney.


American comedian the late Don Rickles will be making a posthumous appearance in the movie Toy Story 4. Movie director Josh Cooley confirmed that the late comedian, who died in 2017 at the age of 90, will still voice the iconic Mr. Potato Head in the upcoming movie sequel.  Don voiced the character in all of the previous three movies, including the 1995 original. It is unclear as to whether Don recorded any preliminary dialogue prior to his death or if his contribution will stem from his work over the first three films. But fans of the movie series will be pleased to know that his familiar voice will still be heard from that wise-cracking spud for another generation of fans.

Toy Story 4 is set to hit theaters on June 21st.

Don Rickles


Can you believe that Warren Beatty turned 82 last week!

warren beatty


Well has  Queen Elizabeth “disowned” and “booted” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family? I think not!  That’s the premise of a cover headline and major story in the gossip magazine the National Enquirer. I’m often asked how these US gossip magazines get away with these absurd stories and headlines. The answer is simply because they can, and they do and always get away with it.

It also blazer’s a story that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been “banished to Malta”,  the Queen has supposedly said that she and the Royal family are “fed-up” with them and their “behaviour,” “disregard for protocol,” and “tension” with Prince William and Kate Middleton.



I couldn’t help but think Jussie Smollett had a smug look on his face when all that evidence was piling up that he had filed a fake police report about a hate crime against him. At first, everyone felt very sorry for him including me.  It was even mentioned that maybe he might have mental problems. Obviously not, I think he has terrible EGO problems. He got what he wanted, and that was a ton of international publicity. In the end though, it was not sympathetic. The fact that he won’t be prosecuted was a shock at first – but in reality his only crime was completely wasting the time of the Chicago police department. He hired a group of expensive Hollywood lawyers to “influence” the right people and it probably cost him a heap of money. It’s the idea that he thinks he got away with this and seems to enjoy the idea of being a hate crime victim, this is something that really and truly grates with me.



Diana Ross turned 75 last week; she is still using part of a contract that was written up way back when she was with the Supremes.

All her American and Canadian contracts clearly state that there must be a snow plough available at all times, no matter what season. Apparently many years ago, she and the Supremes where travelling in the winter months somewhere in the USA to perform.  They were stopped from getting to the venue due to heavy snow, hence then and now and forever after, the Snow Plough remains in all her contracts worldwide.

Diana Ross


Last year, Minnie Mouse was awarded her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Now Minnie’s got her very own Instagram account, not bad for a 90-year-old! Go follow Minnie on Instagram @MinnieMouse!


Comic Relief 2019 Four Weddings & a Funeral sequel for Red Nose Day in the UK!


Actor Robert De Niro once had it written into his contract (and it’s still there today) that he would get to see the rushes of his films in order to cherry pick his favourite moments of his own performance, which would then be passed on to the director and editor.

Robert Redford heard about this he thought it was a great idea and had a demand written into his contact – only Robert rarely attended the rushes screenings himself. To watch his rushes he would send his personal stylist on his behalf. Of course the purpose of these screenings wasn’t to pick out Robert’s best performances. His stylist was there too check that the lighting and camera angles made him look younger (after all he was born in 1936) and didn’t made his hairpiece too obvious.

Robert Redford


Hollywood flash back!

In September 1990 a British journalist who worked for the Daily Mail newspaper very quickly found out that the British Police failed to see any humour in his attempt to play a prank on Hollywood actress Zsa Zsa Gabor as she arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport. The reporter dressed up as an American policeman to meet Zsa Zsa, he hoped to pose for pictures with Zsa Zsa in a joke reference to her run-in earlier that year when she slapped a Beverley Hills cop. The journalist completely failed to take into account the action of Heathrow security officers, who were already keyed up because of fears at attacks by Iraqi terrorists.  As soon as the airport security spotted the fake American cop they pushed him up against a wall, his imitation Magnum pistol was seized and he was taken to the cells for questioning. Zsa Zsa arrived off her L.A. flight totally unaware of the prank.

Zsa Zsa Gabor


For the first time Sir Elton John has shown the cover of his 320 page long autobiography book, which will be launch in October called Me Elton John.

Sir Elton said: “I’m not prone to being a nostalgic person. I’m often accused of only looking forward to my next gig or creative project.” “It’s come as quite a surprise how cathartic I am finding the process of writing my memoirs. As I look back, I realise what a crazy life I have had the extreme privilege of living.”

Elton John


Cats 1


JUST TWO WEEKS UNTIL TOUR BEGINS | MANY DATES SOLD OUTBlenheim |Christchurch | Ashburton| Oamaru| Dunedin| Invercargill|
Whangarei| Kerikeri | Auckland| Hamilton| Gisborne| Tauranga | Napier
Wellington| Palmerston North| New Plymouth

This talented cast will include actors and singers from Australia and New Zealand, under the direction of former Shortland St star Geraldine Brophy and choreography by Dancing with the Stars winner, Stefano Olivieri.

Cast have extensive backgrounds in musical theatre, stage and television through to live concerts with stars such as Adele.

This re-imagined production will, spectacularly, feature a set inspired by Christchurch post-earthquake.
Set in a dilapidated Victorian theatre with fallen roof dome, open to the elements, it’s a dangerous, precarious place fit for a ritual and transformed by the moon. The song script offers hope for “another chance” and is filled with emotion and whimsy.

Many dates on this tour have now sold out and others have limited seats available. Fans of this Andrew Lloyd Webber masterpiece are urged to act quickly to avoid disappointment. See below for tour details.

Producer Ben McDonald says the cast represents some of Australia and New Zealand’s finest talents.

“The production of CATS is a darker, more sensual and spitty show,” says McDonald. “We have purrs but scratch, reveal ugly sides and exquisite beauty. We are manky in our magnificence. Our task is to re-imagine faith, hope and charity… feline and human, for the pleasure of our audience.”

CATS is based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as “the Jellicle choice” and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

Playing the coveted role of Grizabella – made famous by Elaine Paige – is one of New Zealand’s most experienced stage actresses, Eilish Moran. She has appeared in more than 70 productions at Chrischurch’s prestigious Court Theatre as well as on television and in film, her recent credits including TV3’s Hope and Wire and the short film Run Rabbit directed by Robyn Paterson.

Old Deuteronomy, the kind leader of the Jellicle Tribe, will be played by Australian triple threat Brendan Lovett whose career spans film, television and stage. He has appeared in supporting roles in films that have won Best Feature at both The New York International Film Festival and The London International Film Festival as well as being nominated himself for Best supporting Actor at the London International Film Festival. On stage he has worked in Australia and The UK as well as touring extensively throughout Europe in both “straight” and “musical” theatre.

In-demand New Zealand actor Phil Grieve makes a welcome return to the stage as Bustopher Jones, the distinguished, aristocratic tomcat whose lifestyle has made him round and plump! Grieve was last seen on stage in Auckland at Pop-up Globe, playing pivotal roles in seasons of Othello and Much Ado About Nothing. He is also well known for his film work, with credits including Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit.

Playing the fiery, unkempt criminal Macavity is Christian Girardi, an Australian dance and theatre performer who has recently returned from the States where he’s been working for Disney, while in the role of the magical Mr. Mistoffelees is Joel Houwen whose stage credits include the Sydney Theatre Awards, Opera Australia’s The Nose at the Sydney Opera House, and most recently, making his Broadway Stage debut in Red Bucket Follies.

This fabulous cast also includes Jake Tyler as Munkustrap (Adele Live Concert); Sabrina Martin as Demeter; Ailis Oliver Kirby as Bombalurina; Rose Pickard as Jemima; Sophie Morris as Jellylorum (Sophie in Mamma Mia!, Sandy in Grease: The Arena Spectacular Live); Shaan Kloet as Rumpleteazer; Jane Strickland as Victoria; Greg Jarema as Rum Tum Tugger; Cole Johnstone as Mungojerrie; Jeremy Hinman as Shimbleshanks; Steven Ray as Gus.

As of 2018, CATS is the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history, and was the longest running Broadway show in history from 1997 until 2006 when it was surpassed by The Phantom of the Opera.


Cats tour of NZ – 2019

April12BlenheimASB Theatre7:30pmTicketek
13ChristchurchTown Hall8pmTicketek
14ChristchurchTown Hall4pm & 8pmTicketek
15AshburtonEvent Centre7:30pmTicketdirectSOLD OUT
16OamaruOpera House7:30pmTicketdirect
17DunedinRegent Theatre7:30pmTicketdirect
18InvercargillCivic Theatre7:30pmTicketdirect
23WhangareiForum North7:30pmTicketekSOLD OUT
24KerikeriTurner Centre7:30pmThe CentreSOLD OUT
26AucklandBMC7:30pmTicketmasterSOLD OUT
29GisborneMemorial Theatre7:30pmTicketdirectSOLD OUT
30TaurangaBaycourt Theatre7:30pmTicketekSOLD OUT
May1TaurangaBaycourt Theatre7:30pmTicketek
2NapierMunicipal Theatre7:30pmTicketekSOLD OUT
3WellingtonMFC7:30pmTicketmasterSOLD OUT
4P NorthRegent Theatre7:30pmTicketdirect
5New PlymouthTSB Showplace4pm & 8pmTicketek








Pre-sale | for details

“Marc Martel is a vocal doppelganger for the Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.”

NY Times

“It’s hard to find someone who can sing like Freddie Mercury and I’m not sure the movie would have happened if we didn’t have Marc.”

Graham King, Producer, – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Film Journal International

“Martel’s vocal resemblance to Mercury is striking.”
Rolling Stone

With the extraordinary success of the Oscar-nominated and record-breaking biopic Bohemian Rhapsody the timing could not be better for Queen fans to experience the incredible talent of Marc Martel.

Marc Martel, who provided vocals for Bohemian Rhapsody, is returning in August to NZ with the Ultimate Queen Celebration.

No stranger to fronting Queen projects, Marc Martel was handpicked by Roger Taylor and Brian May to front their official Queen tribute in 2012. Martel launched his own The Ultimate Queen Celebration project in March 2017.

Now, having provided vocals for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, completing a hugely successfully tour of New Zealand, continuing to perform to sold out concerts across the world, and creating an online sensation with his one take live recordings of Queen hits –  Marc is ready to return with his band to deliver a huge rock spectacular for Queen fans.

It will be the closest you will get to hear the original Queen sound.

Don’t take our word for it, YouTube Marc Martel and be prepared to be stunned!



…………….Until next week my lips are sealed! 

David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019


Monday 18th March 2019

I’M not one to gossip but………… Petula Clark at 86, is about to star in London’s West End in the stage production of Mary Poppins. Petula has been singing for over eight years starting as a child star in the UK, her first West End show was 22 years ago. She will not be playing Mary Poppins; she’ll play the Bird Woman. The show opens at the Prince Edward Theatre in October.

Dame Joan Collins does occasional guest spots on shows like American Horror Story and Hawaii Five-O. Of course, Joan is working on another book of some kind she won’t say what it’s going to be about- to date she’s churned out 18 publications already. I admire Dame Joan she sure is a survivor in this business we call show.

TV’s Roseanne Barr has a big mouth and always has heaps to say. Now she’s speaking out loudly in a new profile about the cancellation of her show Roseanne, she blames partially on her co-star Sara Gilbert.

After Roseanne‘s tweet about Valerie Jarrett, Sara tweeted that the remarks were “abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.” Within thirty minutes after Sara‘s tweet went out the show was canned by the ABC TV network. In an interview with the American Washington Post Roseanne said: “She destroyed the show and my life with that tweet.” “She will never get enough until she consumes my liver with a fine Chianti.”

In a quick fire response to Roseanne’s remarks, Sara told The Washington Post, “While I’m extremely disappointed and heartbroken over the dissolution of the original show, she will always be family, and I will always love Roseanne.”

Fans of the late Liberace who would have turned 100 on May 16th, will celebrate his 100 birthday in Las Vegas! Born Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born in 1919, in West Allis, Wisconsin, his middle name was taken from one of his mother’s favorite film stars—Rudolph Valentino. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of times in Las Vegas, and you may be surprised to know that away from the camera’s he was very down to earth and humble. Liberace dresses just like you and I, but his stage costumes were something else he always referred to them as his work outfit.

Bill Whitfield who claims he was Michael Jackson‘s ex-security guard for two years was recently on the podcast “ Hidden Truth Show with Jim Breslo” Bill insists that his client was absolutely, positively, 100& heterosexual. And he knows that because that not only did they discuss ladies plenty of times, but he even tried to set Michael up with a lady on the street once. After listening to the clip on Hidden Truth Show, I think this guy like all the rest is just cashing in on Michael Jackson, have a listen and see what you think.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt both look very retro on the poster of their latest Quentin Tarantino movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  Along with Leonardo and Brad, the film features a star-studded cast including, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning and the late Luke Perry. The movie follows a faded TV actor and his stunt double who embark on making a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles. The movie is released end of July.

Believe it or not, but this past weekend marked 20 years since Ricky Martin‘s breakout hit, Livin’ La Vida Loca, was released. Hey where did those 20 years go?

I award Julianne Moore’s honesty full marks in admitting she was FIRED from the Oscar nominated Melissa McCarthy role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Good for Julianne for being honest, most Hollywood actors have huge ego and would never have talked about being fired from a movie. Her so called “creative differences” was the fact that Julianne wanted to wear a prosthetic nose to more closely resemble the real-life character! The director felt a fake nose would be far too distracting from her character.

Kit Harington the 32-year-old Game of Thrones star is on the cover of Variety’s latest issue. He talks about a number of things including, what to expect from Game of Thrones’ final season: On his meteoric rise to mega-fame, insecurity, and seeking therapy:

Here’s what he said about the last season’s Game of Thrones arduous nine-month shoot, and the cast’s slightly strained relationships: “[The shoot was] in extreme weather and just in heavy fucking costumes. I was there the whole time this year. I felt a bit like people were coming in and out, and Jon Snow was just f***ing there the whole time. You have these in-jokes, and these relationships that thrive for eight years. That’s a long time for those jokes to be going, and they never felt old or tired. In the last season, I was like, these are getting tired now. And I think they got tired because we could see the end coming. That’s a way of emotionally detaching from something: relationships very slightly starting to strain, just on the edges, just frayed. Now everyone loves each other again.”

I have always enjoyed Michael Keaton’s, 67, acting ability, he throws himself fully into the role he is doing at the time.
I was amazed to hear him say on Ellen’s show that he once tried his hand at being a stand-up comic. Infact he started out as a comedian in New York but decided to shift his focus.


…………….Until next week my lips are sealed!

David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019


Monday 11th March 2019

I’M not one to gossip but…………My old mate Ray Woolf is launching his autobiography titled “Hey Woolfie Welcome to the World” co-written by Roger Booth on the 29th March between 4 and 6 at the Ellen Melville Hall in Auckland City. Ray will be performing and I will be doing an interview with Ray at the event, this is a great chance to meet Ray and get a signed copy of his book. By the way this is a free event – boy that doesn’t happen much in this day and age. Ray’s book is a marvellous read about a man who came to New Zealand from the UK as a teenager and became one of our iconic and much loved Kiwi entertainers. I give the book 8 out of ten stars.

RAY WOOLF Poster A3 Copy


So many of us grew up watching Lucille Ball on TV, with her hit comedy series I Love Lucy. But did you know she used poppers before her death in 1989?


ZealandoBook Copy
Yours truly, Jon Zealando and Bernard Reid at the book launch.

This week I attended the launch of Bernard Reid’s book titled “Jon Zealando A Magical Legend” at a meeting of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magician’s.

I was delighted that a book has been published about the life and time of New Zealand’s iconic magician Jon Zealando. The book has been extremely well written by fellow magician Bernard Reid. Bernard is a meticulous author with his facts and figures and his writing style is a delight to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would award it seven out of ten stars.

The book is published by Bernard Reid – the typeset, layout and design is by Nichola Prokop, NOKNOK design Studio. It is available to order online at $40, all you have to do is register your email address with  and the appropriate information will immediately be emailed to you.


It is amazing that American politics have now seized the Broadway Spotlight and the Broadway stage. Well I guess it was only a matter of time before someone wrote a Broadway show about Hillary and Bill Clinton. The show will star to award-winning actors, John Lithgo and Laurie Metcalf.



Scarlett Johansson looks stunning on the cover the April Vogue magazine. The issue celebrates female talent from 14 countries around the world. She shares the cover with South Korean actress Doona Bae and Indian actress Deepika Padukone.

Among other things in the issue, the actresses opened up on the new atmosphere in the post #MeToo entertainment industry. One said, “A space has opened up, and people are saying what they want. Women talk to one another more about collaborating. There is, in a way there hasn’t been before, a sense of connective tissue.”



Petula Clark, 86, has been a singing sensation for eight decades. She’s heading to London’s West End to perform eight times a week in the stage production Mary Poppins; this will be her first time in a West End show for 22 years. She will play the Bird Woman in the West End award-winning musical, which returns to the Prince Edward Theatre in October.


Headline on the US gossip magazine The Globe, screams that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston secretly elope to Mexico and had a secret marriage   “Brad & Jen Say ‘I Do’ Again!”

The story goes on to say that Angelina Jolie is furious about the supposed marriage. An insider (there’s always one) tells the magazine that Jolie is accusing her estranged husband of “bigamy” since they aren’t legally divorced yet, and she wants to get the “ultimate revenge” by putting him “behind bars.”



Hugh Jackman, 50, is returning to Broadway to star in The Music Man in October next year, and my bet is he will win a Tony award for the role. Hugh won a Tony Award for his Broadway debut as Peter Allen in 2003′s The Boy From Oz.

“The first musical I was ever a part of was the phenomenal The Music Man. The year was 1983, and I was at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia. I was one of the travelling salesmen, and I think I can actually (almost) remember that unforgettable opening number! That was probably the moment when the magic of theater was born in me,” Hugh said in a statement. “The idea of bringing The Music Man back to Broadway has been lurking in the back of my brain for a long time, maybe even for 35 years, and when Scott Rudin called me with that very idea, I was floored. To finally be doing this is a huge thrill.”

Hugh will do two shows in Auckland later this year with his one-man show The Man The Music.

Hugh 1


WAR HORSE opens at the Civic, Auckland, on 21 June

The multi award-winning play WAR HORSE is adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story of a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey, set against the backdrop of the First World War. The powerfully moving and imaginative drama features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company.

The National Theatre’s stage spectacular features an intricately hand-crafted 50kg life-sized puppet in the lead role of Joey.
A puppeteer outside the body controls where Joey’s head points and manipulates the ears using bicycle-brake-like levers, while a harness inside the frame connects to the other two puppeteers to let their movements give the equine star realistic gestures.

Presenter of WAR HORSE and CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall MBE, says “Joey is undoubtedly the star of the show. Instantly you believe you are watching a real horse, and get a sense of his personality. The fact that three people can make something as mechanical as a puppet exude emotion is a testament to brilliant puppet-making and their extraordinary skills. The whole effect is spine-tingling!”

WAR HORSE opens at The Civic, Auckland, on 21 June for a strictly limited season. Tickets are selling fast so fans of theatre as well as fans of renowned author Sir Michael Morpurgo … in fact anyone who has a heart … are urged to secure their tickets for this highly talked-about theatrical event.



Strictly limited season

New Zealand, prepare to rock! Tickets for the Broadway and West End smash-hit musical, School of Rock go on sale tomorrow Thursday, 14 March, at 9am via Ticketmaster.

Since opening on Broadway to critical acclaim in 2015, School of Rock has been playing to packed houses and captivating audiences across the US, London’s West End, Melbourne and currently Shanghai.

School of Rock opens at The Civic, Auckland, this September for a strictly limited season. Groupies, rockers, school nerds – anyone with a pulse – are urged to get in quick to secure the best seats at this epic show.

School of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star forced to earn some extra cash by posing as a teacher at a prestigious prep school. But Dewey isn’t going to teach his straight-laced students algebra or arithmetic. Oh no, these kids are going to learn what it takes to become the most awesome rock ‘n’ roll band of all time!

Now he just needs to get his students to the Battle of the Bands, dodging strict teachers and pushy parents on the way to teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock.

With a new score from Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by three-time Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater, and book by Downton Abbey‘s Academy Award-winning Julian Fellowes, School of Rock features an award-winning cast of 19 adults as well an incredible kids ensemble, rocking out live.

The cast is led by two of Australia’s finest theatre performers: Brent Hill (Best Male Actor in a Musical at Sydney Theatre Awards) as the cheeky yet charismatic Dewey Finn; and Amy Lehpamer (Beautiful, The Sound of Music) playing opposite him as the strict, conservative high school principal Rosalie Mullins. Together with a rotating cast of 24 kids who play the 12 children in Dewey’s class, audiences will be completely blown away when they hear the kids play their musical instruments live in this high-voltage show.

Based on the hit movie, School of Rock – The Musical made its world premiere in December 2015 at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, smashing box office records, garnering rave reviews and earning four Tony Award nominations. The West End production opened in November 2016 at the New London Theatre, winning both the 2017 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, and the 2017 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical. An extensive US national tour was launched in September 2017. It’s been blowing minds in Melbourne this summer and has just been unleashed on Shanghai.

Produced by Paramount Pictures, the 2003 film was directed by Richard Linklater and starred Jack Black in a career-defining performance, and went on to gross more than $130 million worldwide.

Click here for more details | #SchoolofRockNZ

‘The most enjoyable few hours money can buy’
The Daily Telegraph

‘A triumph for Andrew Lloyd Webber as the king of hit musicals’
Daily Mirror

The show’s producers GWB Entertainment say: “GWB is thrilled to be working with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group to bring one of the greatest new feel-good musicals that has been taking the West End and Broadway by storm to New Zealand. Get ready to rock in September!”

‘You won’t leave without a smile on your face and your kids will love you forever’

‘This is a triumph and guaranteed to uplift in almost every way’

‘A big-hearted show. Loud and cheeky, a feel-good experience with a hint of
anarchic wildness’

School of Rock will ‘stick it to the man’ and blow the roof off
The Civic this September.

Until next week my lips are sealed! 

David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019


Monday 11th March 2019

I’M not one to gossip but…………Are Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton preparing for a wedding and a surrogate baby? Screams the headline of this week National Enquire magazine! Personally I think the main headline should have been what they claim as a “World Exclusive” Freddie Mercury’s Secret Son Found. I’m sure this is another fake news headline story, when you read the story it really has no truth or substance to it. By hey headlines like this, keep the National Enquirer the top selling gossip magazine.


Believe it or not it has been 30 years since the seminal romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally first hit the big screen.

It starred Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher was in the movie in one her most memorable screen roles.

On April 11 Billy and Meg will reunite for a gala screening of the movie which will kick off the four-day TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.


I have always thought that what they pay American TV talk show host is appsolutely obscene, this list below proves my point. Here is a list of some of them and how much they make. Keep in mind that these fees are in US dollars.

James Corden (The World’s Best)SALARY: $350,000 per episode Ryan Seacrest (American Idol) SALARY: $12 million, Conan O’Brien (Conan) SALARY: $12 million, David Letterman (Netflix Show) SALARY: $2 million per episode, totaling $12 million per year, Ryan Seacrest (Live with Kelly & Ryan) SALARY: $15 million this is on top of his American Idol fee, Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live) SALARY: $15 million, Stephen Colbert (Late Show with Stephen Colbert) SALARY: $15 million, Jimmy Fallon (Tonight Show) SALARY: $16 million, Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen) SALARY: $50 million.



Comedian Russell Brand, 43, certainly raises eyebrows in The UK Great Celebrity Bake Off  for Stand Up to Cancer. Russell decides he’ll bake a vagina biscuit for judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood on the Channel 4 show. Paul Hollywood says: “I have never heard of a biscuit quite like it.” Hey and what do you know, Russell won the prize.


American actress Whoopi Goldberg, 63, says she is very thankfully in recovery after being diagnosed with pneumonia in both lungs. She gave an update on her health in the following video message.

“Hey, yes, it’s me. I am here. I am up and moving around — not as fast as I’d like to be, but I am okay. I’m not dead,” she explained. “Yes, I came very close to leaving the earth. Good news, I didn’t. Thank you for all of your good wishes, all of the wonderful things that people have been saying. Even people who aren’t huge fans of mine have actually been saying nice thing about me.”


Taylor Swift, 29, graces the cover of April’s Elle magazine; she shares a lot of her personal thoughts in the interview. She talks about her biggest fear after the Manchester Arena bombing and the Vegas concert shooting. She also speaks about overcoming bulling and on accepting her body.


Will Smith is going to play Venus and Serena Williams’ father/coach Richard Williams in an upcoming movie titled King Richard. Will is one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood.  He’s no sooner out of one movie role, and then he’s into the next.

A dash of Hollywood nostalgia!

Madonna’s four-letter outburst in 1990, prompted toothpaste makers MacLeans to send her a box of their new Active Mouth guard to her London suite. The message reads. We hope this might help you clean up your act! Macleans, whose motto is “Cleans Even The Foulest Of Mouths” they never got a reply from Madonna.


Salma Hayek looks stunning on the cover of Town & Country’s April issue; it’s hard to believe that she is 52. In her interview she talks openly about plastic surgery and insists that she has never had any. On her friends and fans who were shocked when she married Francois Henri Pinault, and why she keeps things private in her relationship.


The Hollies, 10cc and The Sweet

 For the first time live in New Zealand

 Tickets on sale this Sunday, 10 March

FRONTM3N – Peter Howarth, Mick Wilson and Pete Lincoln – the voices of three of the world’s best-loved bands The Hollies, 10cc and The Sweet today announce a tour of New Zealand this November.

The three friends perform the classic hits of these iconic bands including The Air That I Breathe & He Ain’t Heavy; Sweet’s Love Is Like Oxygen, Fox On The Run & Ballroom Blitz, and 10cc’s I’m Not In Love & Dreadlock Holiday, Sailor’s Girls, Girls, Girls as well as the Cliff Richard classics Carrie, Devil Woman & Move It and more.

With three guitars and three amazing voices, audiences in Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington are in for an unforgettable night of entertainment.
This tour showcases the exceptional combined talents of three superb musicians, in the intimate atmosphere of an exclusive acoustic concert, filled with music, stories and humour.

Tickets went on sale this Sunday, 10 March. Check out for details.

crowds and performing live in front of millions from the Brandenburg Gate on the German ZDF Network’s New Year’s Eve Welcome 2018 TV show. Their Live In Berlin DVD spent 8 weeks on the German Music DVD top 30, peaking at #2, and achieved the #1 position in Amazon’s Music DVD chart.

The three began their friendship in the early 90s when they worked together in Sir Cliff Richard’s band. Since then, their remarkable careers have taken many twists and turns and include such names as Lionel Ritchie, Kylie Minogue, Jeff Lynne, Gary Barlow, Cher, Ellie Goulding, Tina Turner, Sailor and Shakin’ Stevens . . . to name but a few.

Audiences delight in the fresh acoustic interpretations of hit songs that everyone knows and loves, each with its own story of the musical journey of the three musicians; a real up-close and personal experience. As well as all their own band hits, the playlist will include a few other choice songs from artists such as Roy Orbison and ELO, along with some original material from the boys’ own catalogue and their debut album, and you have the perfect evening’s entertainment.

Don’t miss FRONTM3N on this amazing musical journey with their first exclusive NZ shows!


Until next week my lips are sealed!

David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019


Monday 4th March 2019

I’M not one to gossip but…………There are always plenty of surprises at the Oscars, but here is one you may have missed. The American drag superstar Shangela Laquifa Wadley made history on the night as she is thought to be the first drag queen to ever walk down the Oscars red carpet.  So why was she there? Well she had a small role in the movie A Star Is Born. When interviews on the red carpet (see clip below) she said ‘I hope that means something to somebody out there, because it sure does mean something to me’. Shangela is a seasoned RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor, on the night she wore a one off designer gown by New York City-based designer Diego Montoya.



Remember the TV series The Munsters back in the 60’s? Remember the blond bombshell that played the Munsters family niece Marilyn, her real name was Beverly Owen. Unfortunately she recently died at the age of 82, after battling ovarian cancer.  Beverly only starred in the first series of the show; she then left the show and married the show’s producer Jon Stone.


I’m sure you have all read by now that Katherine Helmond a seven-time Emmy-nominated actress, who played the extremely funny Jessica Tate on the TV send up series Soap, has passed away last week at the age of 89. She also played Mona in the TV series Who’s The Boss. Katherine is survived by her husband, David Christian, whom she married 57 years ago.

Danny Pintauro who played her grandson on the TV series Who’s The Boss who tweeted this lovely message .

We lost one of the most genuine and kind people I have ever known. There’s not a single person who can say otherwise – she was always smiling, full of heart, and had the best advice. I couldn’t have asked for a better grandmother and I will miss her so dearly.



Last year Woody Allen signed a four-movie deal with Amazon for $68 million (US). Then they reneged on the deal, and now Woody is suing them for every cent. In the mean time he has convinced a Spanish  movie studio to finance a new movie, which he’s filming now in Spain.


Glenn Close is what I call a class act! She handled her seventh Oscar loss with both style and grace at this year’s Oscar’s.  I’m sure she will again be up for another Oscar next year, as Glenn will recreate her Tony Award-winning stage role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard in a feature film version of the musical.

Paramount Studios has signed Tony-winning choreographer Rob Ashford, to direct the big-screen musical adaptation of the screen classic Sunset Boulevard.

In 1993 in Los Angeles Glenn starred as Norma in the stage musical, which was its American premiere. Then she recreated the role on Broadway in 1994, winning her third Tony Award. She reprised the part to rave reviews in a 2016 revival that played both London and New York.

I had the pleasure of seeing her in the L.A. production and she was absolutely amazing I can’t wait to see her in the big screen version.




The longest-running show in the world comes to New Zealand in 2019
Written by the Grande Dame of murder mysteries, AGATHA CHRISTIE

‘A truly entertaining classic’ – The Sunday Times, UK

Monday, 29 October: The West End’s legendary murder mystery drama THE MOUSETRAP is the longest-running show, of any kind, in the world. Written by the best-selling novelist of all time (Death on the Nile, Miss Marple, Poirot) and the ‘Queen of Crime’, Dame Agatha Christie, THE MOUSETRAP has kept audiences guessing for six decades.

Now the ‘whodunit’ masterpiece will tour New Zealand for the first time ever, playing in Auckland at the ASB Waterfront Theatre from 2nd April 2019, in Christchurch at the Theatre Royal from 24th April May 2019, before its final season in Wellington at the Opera House from 8th May 2019.

In her own inimitable style, Dame Agatha Christie has created an atmosphere of shuddering suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner.

Newly opened guesthouse, Monkswell Manor, is snowed in and amongst the seemingly ordinary gathering of guests, a killer lurks.… Having already killed once, the murderer strikes again. The tension is razor sharp: everyone is a suspect; everyone a potential victim. One by one the characters reveal their pasts, and a complex web of deceit and suspicion emerges. But who will be next, and who is the killer?

Christie’s classic ‘whodunit’ opened in London’s West End in November 1952 and has since played over 27,500 performances. THE MOUSETRAP is the longest running stage production in the world and after almost 66 years, continues to delight audiences to this day at London’s St. Martin’s Theatre. Originally written by Agatha Christie as a radio play titled Three Blind Mice and broadcast in 1947, Christie then adapted the radio play for a short story of the same name before again rewriting for the stage as THE MOUSETRAP.

THE MOUSETRAP has never been adapted for film. Christie did not expect the play to run for more than a few months and stipulated that no film of THE MOUSETRAP be made until six months after the West End production closed. As the show is about to enter its 67th year and continues its historic London run a film adaptation looks unlikely.

During the play’s phenomenal run there have been no fewer than 474 actors and actresses appearing in the play – including Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim in the original cast – as well as 279 understudies, 116 miles of shirts have been ironed, over 415 tons of ice cream sold, and an estimated 10 million people have been riveted by this gripping tale.

Award-winning director Alan Swerdlow says “THE MOUSETRAP has remained popular for so long because it is so well constructed, with a terrific twist quite unlike Dame Agatha Christie’s other works. It was one of the first murder mysteries really to explore the psychology and motivations of the killer. And it is both thrilling and fun – the audience has a great time working out who the next victim is going to be and who the killer is. Dame Agatha keeps on surprising us!”

The play is set in 1952, when it was originally staged. “That is part of its charm,” says Mr Swerdlow. “The spirit of Britain in the early 1950s informs so much of the play – the attitudes, the speech patterns, the mores.”

Producer James Cundall, CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, says “It is a real honour and a thrill to bring this legendary play to New Zealand for its debut. THE MOUSETRAP is a masterful piece of theatre, full of mystery, suspense and high drama – an absolute classic in the genre of whodunits. It is one of those plays that EVERYONE should see.”

‘One of the most skilfully written murder mysteries ever produced.’
– New York Times

THE MOUSETRAP is produced in New Zealand by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in association with Pieter Toerien.

Tickets for THE MOUSETRAP are on sale now. Check out for more details.

ASB Waterfront Theatre
From Tuesday, 2 April
Show times: Tuesday – Friday 7.30pm; Saturday 2.30 & 7.30pm; Sunday 1pm & 5pm
Tickets from $89.90

Isaac Theatre Royal
From Wednesday, 24 April
Show times: Tuesday – Friday 7.30pm; Saturday 2.30 & 7.30pm; Sunday 1pm & 5pm
Tickets from $89.90

Wellington Opera House
From Wednesday, 8 May
Show times: Tuesday – Friday 7.30pm; Saturday 2.30 & 7.30pm; Sunday 1pm & 5pm
Tickets from $89.90


A  French hairdresser who was doing the hair styles on one of Chanel’s shows during Karl Lagerfeld’s reign was having a meeting with Karl on what hair styles he required for his collection of gowns for the catwalk’s look. To the surprise of the hairdresser half way through Karl explaining his grand vision, he fell asleep. The hairdresser didn’t know what to do, so he asked the others at the meet what should they do now? Nobody seemed fazed at Karl nodding off they simply said, “We wait.”

So everyone sat in silence for 40 minutes waiting for Karl to emerge from his Nana nap, whereupon he picked things back up exactly where he left off.

The Chinese government have put a stop to the Chinese fans of the Oscar-winning Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody being screen in their country. But they have now back tracked and will show the movie on general release removing any vision or reference to Freddie’s bisexuality and drug use; this is according to the Hollywood Reporter trade magazine. The movie will be released there later this month.


Cate Blanchett looks great on the cover if the Interview magazine, she was interviewed by Julia Roberts. She talks about trying to raise her kids to be vegetarians, about her husband’s nickname for her and on roles she turns down.

Hollywood nostalgia.

Many of the gold age stars of Hollywood have to thank the beauty queen business for their start in the movies. The following titles brought these girls to the notice of the Hollywood studios from the forties to the mid sixties.

Lauren Bacall: PicturedMiss Greenwich Village 1942
Joan Blondell:Miss Dallas 1929
Anita Bryant:Miss Oklahoma 1959
Dyan Cannon:Miss West Seattle 1957
Claudia Cardinale:The Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunis 1956
Jeanne Crain:Miss Long Beach 1941
Yvonne de Carlo:Miss Venice Beach 1941
Donna Douglas:Miss New Orleans 1957
Anita Ekberg:Miss Sweden 1951
Zsa Zsa Gabor:Miss Hungary 1936 (but disqualified when they found out she was under sixteen years of age)
Shirley Jones:Miss Pittsburgh 1951
Sylvia Kristel:Miss TV Europe 1973
Dorothy Lamour:Miss New Orleans 1931
Gina Lollobrigida:Miss Italy 1946
Sophia Loren:Princess of the Sea 1948 and Miss Elegance 1950
Jayne Mansfield:Miss Photoflash 1952
Vera Miles:Miss Kansas 1948
Kim Novak:Miss Deepfreeze 1953
Debbie Reynolds:Miss Burbank 1948
Cybill Shepherd:Miss Teenage Memphis 1966
Elke Sommer:Miss Viareggio 1959
Raquel Welch:Miss Photographic 1953, when she was just thirteen
Moesha star Sheryl Lee

Miss Black Teenage New York in 1973.


The Man. The Music. The Show.

Today, Academy Award® nominated, Golden Globe, Grammy and Tony Award-winning performer, Hugh Jackman, announced the New Zealand leg of his The Man. The Music.
The Show. WORLD TOUR this September.

Produced by TEG DAINTY the tour will see Jackman perform hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7.

Making a very special guest appearance on the New Zealand tour is actress and singer Keala Settle who will perform the Academy Award® nominated and Golden Globe Award winning song “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman and more.

Tickets for Hugh Jackman’s The Man. The Music. The Show. New Zealand dates go on sale: Thursday, March 7 from 12 noon at For further information on tickets and on sale times visit

President and CEO of TEG DAINTY, Paul Dainty said today “I am thrilled that Hugh is bringing his world tour and new to New Zealand audiences. Fans can expect to hear some of his greatest successes from stage and screen, including songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and other Broadway shows.”

The Grammy Award winning The Greatest Showman soundtrack has broken sales records the world over and earned the title of 2018’s best-selling album in the world. The album has reached multi-platinum status in multiple countries including Australia, the UK and America.

Hugh Jackman has made an impression on audiences of all ages with his multi-hyphenate career persona, as successful on stage in front of live crowds as he is on film. From his award-winning turn on Broadway as the 1970s singer/songwriter Peter Allen, to his metal claw-wielding Wolverine in the blockbuster X-Men franchise, Jackman has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time.

Jackman garnered his first Academy Award® nomination, for Best Actor, for his performance in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables, based on the popular stage show created from Victor Hugo’s famous novel of the same name.

Jackman’s standout performance as protagonist Jean Valjean also earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, as well as Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations, for both Best Ensemble and Best Male Actor in a Leading Role, and a BAFTA Award nomination. Most recently, he was nominated for his role as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman.

Actress and singer Keala Settle is the breakout star of 20th Century Fox’s, The Greatest Showman, alongside Hugh Jackman. The Hawaii native’s performance of the film’s Oscar-nominated song “This Is Me” became an explosive anthem of self-acceptance, propelling the soundtrack to the top of the charts worldwide. Her performance at the 2018 Academy Awards brought the entire audience to their feet with a performance that The New York Times applauded as “commanding” and a perfect summation of “what became the themes of the night – diversity, empowerment, [and] inclusion.”

The Man. The Music. The Show. national tour dates are:
AUCKLAND: 2 SHOWS – Fri September 6 at 8pm & Sat Sept 7 at 2pm | Spark Arena
Tickets for The Man. The Music. The Show. go on sale on Thursday, March 7 from 12 noon at

Check www.tegdainty/hughjackman and for more tour information.

Do not buy from unauthorised resale scalper websites. You risk buying invalid or fraudulent tickets.


Until next week my lips are sealed! 

David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019


Monday 25th February 2019

I’M not one to gossip but………… As Patron of both the Brotherhood of Auckland Magician’s, and the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand. I was delighted to see that a book has just been published about the life and time of New Zealand’s iconic magician Jon Zealando, called Jon Zealando A Magical Legend. The book has been extremely well written by fellow magician Bernard Reid. Bernard is a meticulous author with his facts and figures and his writing style is a delight to read. I throughly enjoyed the book and would award it seven out of ten stars. This week I caught up with Bernard and chatted with him about his latest book.

Jon Zealando

How long did it take to write the book?

Exactly one year from January 2018 to January 2019 but in that time it went through numerous rewrites as additional information was forthcoming. This, of course did not include the months of research which preceded the first draft.

When did your interest in magic start?

Some 70 years ago when I was seven years old although it didn’t become an obsession until I saw Sorcar in His Majesty’s Theatre in 1953 when I was 12 years old.

Why is it important for a book on Jon Zealando life to be published?

Every era produces one exponent, in every field of endeavor that rises above the rank and file to become iconic or legendary. Magic is no exception and since the founding of the country in the 1840s there have been four performers who have reached the legendary status. First was New Zealand’s first professional magician, surprisingly a woman, Jennie Anderson. At the end of the 19th century she was followed by Thomas Driver who worked under the name of Robert Kudarz who based his show on exposing spiritualism for what it was, fraudulent. He died in 1923 just as the next iconic performer was becoming famous, Edgar Benyon. Edgar passed away in 1978 by which time Jon had established himself as the best known and most influential magician in the country. His rise to this stature was a story that had to be told while he was still with us.

How much research did you have to do for the book?

An amazing amount as Jon had a long list of associates and friends all of whom had to be contacted. Sadly of his peers many had passed on and many did not respond to my pleas for input. Those that did respond have all been acknowledged and read like a veritable “Who’s Who” of the 1970/1980s entertainment scene. Fortunately there existed recording of various events like the three hour Jon Zealando Roast of 1998 and various news items from TV in the archives of New Zealand Broadcasting.

Magically Yours

Here is Bernard’s introduction to the book.

Every field of human endeavour has had practitioners who have risen above the rank and file to become iconic or legendary masters of their profession.

The performance art of magic is no exception and for the first hundred years of magic in New Zealand from the minstrel shows of the 1840s through to the end of vaudeville in the 1940s three performers rose to legendary status. Each from a different era. The first was New Zealand’s first professional magician, surprisingly a female, Jennie Anderson, (1855-1875) who had a very short life and a tragic death but left a lasting imprint on the history of magic in the Dominion.

Thomas Drive, (1857-1922) who performed under his real name and also under the nom de theatre of Robert Kudarz toured the country a number of times with his illusion show and received inordinate amounts of press coverage with his incessant feuds and exposés of the frauds perpetrated by spiritualistic séances. Single-handedly he drove a number of charlatans, who claimed psychic powers, out of the country. Edgar Benyon (1901-1978) who won a Fullers’ talent quest in 1918 and went on to become a household name not only in New Zealand but in Ireland where he toured for a number of years and in England where he played the most prestigious of theatres. Edgar ultimately returned to New Zealand where he made a couple of nation-wide tours before retiring to Queensland, Australia.

In the era following Edgar Benyon no performer has become as well known nation-wide or as influential as Jon Zealando. Ultimately Jon will be listed historically as the legendary or iconic performer of his era.

I felt strongly that Jon’s story had to be told as it is a tale of persistence, dedication and passion.

Jon and I were friends in our early teens bonded by a passion for magic, both of us determined to become professional performers. I didn’t see a future in professional entertainment in New Zealand and so left for overseas where I carved out a successful career, and apart from two or three brief visits to New Zealand, stayed overseas for more than forty years.

Jon saw things differently and through tenacity and resolve became the most recognisable magician in the country, literally a household name. Without a doubt, Jon became the most successful magician of his era.

Whenever I made a visit home I would catch up with Jon and it always seemed as though we had never parted. It gnawed at me that Jon’s story had to be catalogued while he was still with us. Initially he was not cooperative as he didn’t feel he warranted such recognition. Eventually I talked him into turning over to me all his scrapbooks, diaries, press releases and personal papers.

From this mountain of paper which had to be sorted into a chronological sequence I learned far more about Jon than I previously knew and became passionate about recording his story for posterity.

Herewith the ‘Legend of Jon Zealando’.

Bernard Reid

September 2018

The book is published by Bernard Reid – the typeset, layout and design is by Nichola Prokop, NOKNOK design Studio. It is available to order online at $40, all you have to do is register your email address with and the appropriate information will immediately be emailed to you.


Here is the cover of this week’s American Globe gossip magazine, with a huge headline blasted across the front saying Charles Disowns Harry! Yeah right we have heard it all before, it smells of fake news before you even open the magazine. But the cover story I think is far more intresting about is TV’s Martha Stewart’s $25 million (US) fee for her upcoming tell all book on gay affairs, married men, crime and dirty divorce.

Magazine cover


If like me you are a fan of the stage musical Wicked, we will see the musical hit the big screen in 2021. It was supposed to come out this December, but Universal Studios who are making the movie sent out a statement that said ‘unspecified reasons the production is delayed’, and it’s now coming out on 22 December 2021. At the time of writing this, Universal is keeping the entire production under wraps so stay tuned. By the way Marc Platt who bought the musical Into the Woods is producing it; with his touch to the production I’m sure it will be a hit.



Well I guess it had to happen sometime! They are going to make a six hour TV series on the lives of sisters – maybe not so devoted sisters – Jackie Collins and Dame Joan Collins 85. Fable Pictures that made the movie Stan and Ollie will make the series.

The six-hour TV series will be distributed by Sony Pictures Television. When Dame Joan was told the news she responded by saying: ‘‘Jackie would be as excited as I am. I am delighted that such a prestigious team wants to tell our story” Jackie, passed away in 2015 at the age of 77. Dame Joan recently appeared in the TV drama American Horror Story, her character was a firm favourite with the viewers.

Jackie and Joan


RockThe smash-hit rock musical School of Rock is coming to New Zealand.

Strictly limited season

“School’s in…forever!” (Time Out NY) – tune your air guitar
and raise your rock salute!

The smash-hit rock musical School of Rock is coming to New Zealand.

School of Rock opens at The Civic, Auckland, this September for a strictly limited season. Tickets will go on sale to general public on Thursday 14 March. Groupies, rockers, school nerds … anyone with a pulse… are urged to join the waitlist today to get the best seats in the house and a special early bird price. Waitlist here

School of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star forced to earn some extra cash by posing as a teacher at a prestigious prep school. But Dewey isn’t going to teach his straight-laced students algebra or arithmetic, oh no, these kids are going to learn what it takes to become the most awesome rock ‘n’ roll band of all time!

Now he just needs to get his students to the Battle of the Bands, dodging strict teachers and pushy parents on the way to teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock.

With a new score from Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by three-time Tony nominee Glenn Slater, book by Downton Abbey‘s Oscar winning Julian Fellowes, School of Rock features an award winning cast of 19 adults as well an incredible kids ensemble rocking out live.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Executive Producer, Madeleine Lloyd Webber are excited to be bringing the show to New Zealand and describe the musical’s creation. “As a family we sat down to watch the movie of School Of Rock and were immediately struck by how much it resonated with us all. We loved it for its sense of outrageous fun and the story that proves music can really change your life, whatever your age.

“We therefore realised we had the opportunity to share this with the world in the most exciting way of all – as a great new musical.”

Based on the hit movie, School of Rock – The Musical made its world premiere in December 2015 at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, smashing box office records, garnering rave reviews, and earning four Tony nominations. The West End production opened in November 2016 at the New London Theatre, winning both the 2017 Oliver for Outstanding Achievement in Music and the 2017 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical. An extensive US national tour was launched in September 2017. It’s been blowing minds in Melbourne this summer and is about to be unleashed on Shanghai.

Produced by Paramount Pictures, the 2003 film was directed by Richard Linklater and starred Jack Black in a career-defining performance and went on to gross more than $130 million worldwide.

“The most enjoyable few hours money can buy”
The Daily Telegraph

“A triumph for Andrew Lloyd Webber as the king of hit musicals.” DAILY MIRROR

On announcing the New Zealand premiere, the show’s producers GWB Entertainment said: “GWB is thrilled to be working with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group to bring one of the greatest new feel-good musicals, that has been taking the West End and Broadway by storm, to New Zealand. Get ready to rock in September!”

“You won’t leave without a smile on your face and your kids will love you forever.” THE AGE

“This is a triumph and guaranteed to uplift in almost every way.” HERALD SUN

“A big-hearted show. Loud and cheeky, a feel-good experience with a hint of anarchic wildness.” EVENING STANDARD

Suitable for rockers of all ages, School of Rock will ‘stick it to the man’ and blow the roof off The Civic this September.

Monday 11 March, 12 noon: The School of Rock Waitlist presale, join it here
Wednesday 13 March, 9am: Auckland Live presale and 12pm: Ticketmaster presale
Thursday 14 March, 9am: General public on sale.

I lived in London for many year’s back in the 60’s and 70’s, and never went to see the play. So all these years later here it is in New Zealand, I’m really looking forward to seeing it. By the way I have NO idea who does the murder, and I don’t want to find out till the night of the play.


Until next week my lips are sealed!

David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019


Monday 18th February 2019

I’M not one to gossip but………… There is no truth in the rumour that Brad Pitt, 55, and his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston are getting back together again even though he was invited – and turned up at Jennifer’s 50th birthday party.

Both their agents say just don’t jump to any conclusions!

Brad Pitt*

Miss Liza

My partner and I have a Pekinese who is called Miss Liza; she of course is the queen of our house. She was a gift from my sister who breeds Pekinese, now I have to say this breed of dog was not high on my list as we have always had Australian Terriers. But over the years we have fallen in love with Miss Liza she can do no wrong. So I was delighted when a book called Andrew Down Under: The story of an immigrant dog
by New Zealand author Anne Manchester landed on my desk because it was about a Pekinese dog. It was released in November 2018; it states it’s a Junior fiction book for readers 7–13 years. But I really disagree; it is a wonderful read for anyone who loves dogs. There is only one thing wrong with the book, on reading the last page marked 119 I wanted more about this amazing little dog.


Anne Manchester is a delightful woman who lives beside the sea in Eastbourne. Andrew Down Under is her second book about the charismatic Pekinese dog, who arrived in New Zealand with his poppa, Anne’s uncle Colin. The first of Andrew’s adventures was Toughen up, Andrew! Anne works as a magazine editor. She likes acting, tramping Wellington’s hills, cycling with her husband, Sandy, and being a grandmother.

Andrew the Pekinese is a pampered pooch in Palm Springs, USA. He spends his time lounging by the pool, having his fur shampooed and riding in the basket of Colin’s bike. It’s paradise, with the exception of a dangerous
cactus garden and an annoying cat, but Andrew’s almost perfect life is about to change – they’re leaving Palm Springs and crossing thousands of kilometres of ocean to live in New Zealand. What’s more, Andrew has to fly on his own and endure being separated from Colin in quarantine. When he finally arrives at his new home in Wellington, there’s not quite the welcome he was hoping for.

Andrew the Immigrant Dog is the prequel to the immensely readable Toughen Up, Andrew! set on the Wairarapa coast.

Praise for Toughen Up, Andrew!

‘An enjoyable read aloud for both reader and listeners.’
— Barbara Murison

‘Andrew will enchant any reader who is a pet fan.’
— Bob Docherty

Andrew’s New Zealand born owner, the late Colin Webster-Watson is a fascinating character check out his Wikipedia page


‘The New Zealand Legacy Tour’

With Kelvin Cruickshank & TJ Higgs in honour of their mentor the late medium Colin Fry.

I have met and interviewed both Kelvin Cruickshank and the late Colin Fry; both these men were charismatic and extremely nice people. I have yet to meet TJ Higgs, but I have read amazing things about her powers as a medium. TJ comes highly recommended, and has total respect from several of my international contacts in the medium world.

New Zealand is about to find out what happens when, you mix two international superstar mediums together on one stage! New Zealand’s leading medium Kelvin Cruickshank is joining forces with the amazing UK medium TJ Higgs to honour the man that put them both on the map! Colin Fry. What better way to honour his memory than getting these two talents together to do what they do best! Come along to one of the shows to find out what they have in store. Not one but two mediums on stage working together!

Legacy tour

Passing on messages from loved ones who have passed and are in spirit is what Kelvin was put on earth to do. TJ’s passion is bringing peace of mind and resolution to those grieving for their departed, and allowing those in spirit to demonstrate their continued love.

Those attending the New Zealand performances will come away with a new perspective of the afterlife. Kelvin and TJ will both share messages from loved ones and show you how to keep in touch with those who have passed and help you to understand how the afterlife works.

Follow this on Facebook here

Links for the Legacy Tour on sale 9am Friday 7 Dec 2018

5-Jun    Tuesday    Whangarei  ASB Stadium,  97 Western Hills Drive Kensington

27-Jun    Thursday    Papakura   Hawkins Theatre 13 Ray Small Drive, Papakura, Auckland

28-Jun    Friday    Auckland    Bruce Mason Centre, 1 The Promenade, Takapuna Beach, Auckland

29-Jun    Saturday    Auckland Workshop    West Lake School, Forest Hill Northshore Auckland

30-Jun    Sunday    Hamilton   Claudelands, Gate 1, Heaphy Terrace Hamilton

1-Jul    Monday    Rotorua  Novotel, Lake EndTutanekai Street,3010, ROTORUA

2-Jul    Tuesday    Tauranga Baycourt Community and Arts Centre,38 Durham Street Tauranga, 3110

4-Jul    Thursday    Palmerston North   Convention Centre, 354 Main St, Palmerston North, 4410

5-Jul    Friday    Wellington  Cossie Club Upper Hutt, 11 Logan Street, Upper Hutt 5018

6-Jul    Saturday    Blenheim  Marlborough Convention Centre, 42A Alfred Street, Blenhiem   

8-Jul    Monday    Invercargill  Ascot Park Hotel, Corner Tay Street & Racecourse Road

9-Jul    Tuesday    Dunedin   Regent Theatre,17 The Octagon, Dunedin

10-Jul    Wednesday Oamaru Opera House, 94 Thames Street, Oamaru

11-Jul    Thursday    Ashburton   Trust Event Centre Theatre,   211a Wills St, Ashburton

12-Jul    Friday    Christchurch    Aurora Centre,Cnr Greers Rd and Memorial Ave, Burnside, 

13-Jul    Saturday    Christchurch Workshop   Aurora Centre, Cnr Greers Rd and Memorial Ave, Burnside, 

Show Times:

Doors open 6.30pm

Show starts 7pm – 9.30pm

Show Price: $89.00 Service fees will apply

Workshop Times:

Doors open: 8.30am

Break: 12.30pm -1.30pm

Starts 9.00am – 4.30pm

Workshop Price: $195.00 Service fees will apply TJ Higgs and Team

See the Event Finda page


GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is an American non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by LGBT people in the media have have announced they will award the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Sean Hayes, actor, producer and comedian at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

“For many Americans, the TV character of Jack McFarland (on Will & Grace) was one of the first out and proud gay men who they met and cheered for. Sean’s portrayal of Jack changed countless hearts and minds, and increased LGBTQ visibility at a time in history when representation and inclusion were low,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “On screen and off screen, Sean uses his platforms to advance stories and messages that make the world laugh, make the world think, and further acceptance of all.”

Sean Hays


American TV host Andy Cohen and his first baby Benjamin are on the cover of People magazine. Here’s what Andy has to say about his son’s birth:

“I was in the delivery room. I had been hoping that he would have a full head of hair, and he really over delivered. That was the first thing you see, the head of hair coming out. And I was amazed.”

“He was so alert for the first two hours. His eyes were wide open. He didn’t cry; he was just calm. I kind of have no words for it.”

“I worked with an incredible surrogate. She was in California. Surrogacy is illegal in so many states, including New York. I don’t understand why. It’s a voluntary process, obviously. My surrogate just viewed it as; she was giving me the ultimate gift. She gave me life. So I’ll be forever indebted to her.”



Until next week my lips are sealed! 

David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2019