Real war stories from the Fall of Singapore to El Alamein and the Kokoda Track

I have always loved books, and have been writing reviews for publication since 1966 when I was the editor of The Villanovan, the Villanova University newspaper in the US. I was also the literary editor of The Australian in the early 1980s for two years, and have reviewed books for decades. I am only mentioning … Continue reading Real war stories from the Fall of Singapore to El Alamein and the Kokoda Track

Comic duo Laurel and Hardy’s moments to remember: Tales of Hollywood stranger than fiction

Laurel and Hardy were two of my favourite comedians. Every year on Thanksgiving, a US TV network played one of their old films. We laughed at their jokes and slapstick, with perfect timing and the sheepish face of Stan Laurel and the exasperated reactions of Oliver Hardy providing moments to remember. What brought back that … Continue reading Comic duo Laurel and Hardy’s moments to remember: Tales of Hollywood stranger than fiction

A journalist’s memoirs: From minefields to Mandela

“Welcome to the world of BLEEP.” That was a former executive producer calling to congratulate me on being appointed supervising producer of the Channel Nine Sunday Program in the mid-90s. Yes, the missing word is rude and banned from most conversations, even frowned upon by social media outlets. But the congratulatory call was also close … Continue reading A journalist’s memoirs: From minefields to Mandela

The Buttons: Speechless but never at a loss for words

It’s taken me a while to read Speechless, a lovely book about speechwriting by James Button, Walkley Award-winning journalist and author and son of John, a senator and a former minister in the Labor Governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. It’s not only a story about speeches but a father and son relationship, the … Continue reading The Buttons: Speechless but never at a loss for words

A producer’s diary: The night the People’s Princess died

Matt White was a show business legend, from his days on Fleet Street after his stint in World War II in the Intelligence Service and later on The Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph in Sydney. He wrote about films and television and movie stars, many of whom were his friends. Matt was also a … Continue reading A producer’s diary: The night the People’s Princess died

Scaramucci does his last fandango for the White House

Anthony Scaramucci is being divorced by his wife, was fired by the president and is now reportedly dead. Okay, rumours of his death have been greatly exaggerated as Mark Twain once said, but it’s been that kind of a week for the sacked White House communications director. The New York financier was removed from his … Continue reading Scaramucci does his last fandango for the White House

Winless in Sydney: Fears of a winter of discontent for the Swans

Shades of 1993. My favourite Australian Football League (AFL) team, the Sydney Swans, have lost their first four matches of the year, the most since that dire season of 1993 when the team set a record of 26 straight defeats. Last night, the Swans lost by 26 points to the West Coast Eagles in Perth, … Continue reading Winless in Sydney: Fears of a winter of discontent for the Swans