ABC and Screen Australia announce new drama series Les Norton starring Rebel Wilson

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia have today announced production funding for a new 10-part drama series Les Norton, based on the best-selling novels by Robert G. Barrett. The series is a Roadshow Rough Diamond production with Sonar Entertainment handling international distribution. 

Set in 1985, the series will follow the exploits of Les Norton, a country bloke from outback Queensland. On the run from a troubled past, he blows into Sydney where he lands a job as a bouncer at a notorious illegal casino in Kings Cross. A classic fish out of water who’s desperate to get home, he soon finds himself seduced by the city’s illicit charms and dragged into a web of underground criminality. 

International comedy star Rebel Wilson (Isn’t It Romantic, Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids) and audience and critic favourite David Wenham (Romper Stomper, Wake in Fright, Top of the Lake) headline an exciting cast who’ll bring 1980s Kings Cross to life, with the series’ eponymous hero to be played by up-and-coming actor Alexander Bertrand (Australian Gangster, Hyde & Seek).

Les Norton will be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker, Proof), Fadia Abboud (Australian Gangster), David Caesar (Dead Lucky, Underbelly) and Morgan O’Neill (Drift, Solo). It has been created for television by Morgan O’Neill, working alongside writers Christopher Lee (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo), Samantha Winston (Wentworth), Shanti Gudgeon (Wolf Creek), Malcolm Knox (Romper Stomper), and Jessica Tuckwell.

It will be produced by Daniel Edwards and John Edwards from production company Roadshow Rough Diamond, who produced 2017 drama series Romper Stomper and the upcoming series Australian Gangster. ABC Head of Drama, Comedy & Indigenous Sally Riley will work as Executive Producer with Andrew Gregory; Deeper Water Films’ John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz; and John Singleton and Jack Singleton.

“Les and his reprobate mates are caught up in a Sydney that was at its most debauched in the ‘80s, and the show’s blackly hilarious as a consequence,” John Edwards said.

ABC’s Sally Riley says: “We are over the moon that Les Norton has lured such a stellar cast and creative team to bring the novels to life. Les Norton is shaping up to be an enviable addition to the ABC’s 2019 drama slate”.

Head of Content at Screen Australia, Sally Caplan said: “Les Norton is an affable character that has proven popular with audiences in the best-selling book series. What excites me about this TV adaptation is that the creative team have included a slew of new female roles to go head on with the male characters established in the books.”

Create NSW Acting Director of Screen Investment, Engagement & Attraction Sally Regan said, “This adaptation of Robert G. Barrett’s classic Aussie larrikin character will undoubtedly bring a smile to a wide audience across the country. Backed by a strong production team, Robert’s popular books are perfect for screen adaptation and we look forward to seeing Les’ ‘fish out of water’ escapades unfold.”

Source: Screen Australia


Bumble launches ‘Filters’ feature across Bumble Bizz, BFF and Date

Bumble, the female-first connection platform that empowers women to make the first move in dating, friendship and professional networking, has launched a new feature today for its 46 million users worldwide. 

The new feature, titled “Filters”, enables users to customise their experience by matching with others based on their personal interests and preferences. 

“Filters” are now available across Bumble Bizz, Bumble BFF and Bumble Date. The new feature was introduced to give Bumble users a greater level of control in how they use the app and will help them save time as they connect only with users who share similar interests or goals. 

“We’ve been working internally and with our users to create just the right mix of filters that allow for deeper, more meaningful connections and we’re very pleased with what we’ve developed,” said Alexandra Williamson, Bumble Chief of Brand.

“Whether you’re looking for a new job in media, a new mum friend or a date with a Sagittarius who loves live music, Bumble Filters enable you to tailor your experience in a way that ultimately gives you more control of the kinds of relationships you’re looking to build.”

Each set of filters has been designed to enhance each of Bumble’s three modes. For example, Bumble Bizz users can now filter by industry or if they’re looking for a job, mentor or collaborator. In Bumble BFF, users can easily look for friends who are new to town, or into fitness, photography, and so many other interests. In Bumble Date, users can filter by star sign, lifestyle choices, relationship type and much more.

Michelle Battersby, Country Lead for Bumble Australia, said “Bumble Filters is a way to ensure our users are getting the best possible experience from our platform. We see Filters as being of particular benefit for our Bizz users, who can now narrow down their options to see only connections that are relevant for their specific career goals or aspirations.”

“The Filters feature has launched at the perfect time for Australian Bizz users who may be using Bumble to look for new opportunities. We know that January is a time for reflection, when many people start job hunting after setting fresh goals for the New Year, so wanted to have the feature rolled out in time for this peak period. We look forward to seeing how our users respond to using Filters in the coming weeks.”

Bumble is gifting all users with two free filters in Bumble Bizz, Bumble BFF and Bumble Date from today. Additional filters will be available through Bumble Boost.

Since its launch, Bumble has amassed over 46 million users globally. As one of the fastest growing social connection apps, this has resulted in over 650 million women-led first moves and over 1 billion messages sent.

Locally Bumble has experienced enormous growth since its official launch in Australia in December 2016, with over 1.7 million Australian downloads generated and over 51 million matches made to date.

Bumble is the first app of its kind to bring dating, friend-finding, and career-building to a single platform via Bumble Date, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz. All three Bumble modes are rooted in encouraging empowering connections, respectful conversations and meaningful interactions. Bumble is free and available to download in the App Store and Google Play.

Source: Bumble


Dine Michelin-Star Style on Volcano in 2019

Sicily’s Therasia Resort Sea and Spa on Volcano has announced a ‘hot’ offer for guests to enjoy a degustation dinner prepared by awarded Chef Giuseppe Biuso at the resort’s one Michelin-Star restaurant, Il Cappero, when the resort reopens for the European summer in April 2019.

Set on Volcano, the southernmost of Sicily’s Aeolian Archipelago, Therasia Resort Sea and Spa juts out overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World the resort is home to the renowned Il Cappero serving up the finest traditional Sicilian cuisine with spectacular views towards the faraglioni of neighbouring Lipari.

This offer is available from April 2019 and includes a 5-course dinner per person in Il Cappero (beverages excluded) along with a host of other inclusions:

1 Relaxing massage per person (50 minutes, not for children)
1 Dinner (per person) served at “Il Cappero” 1 Michelin star Restaurant: 5 course Tasting Menu (beverage excluded)
Service charge and VAT
Buffet breakfast served at “L’Arcipelago” restaurant with sea-view terrace
Terrace solarium
Outdoor pool with hydro-massage and waterfall
Beach/pool towels
Indoor warm-water pool, Kneipp route and hydro-massage in the Spa centre
WI-FI internet connection in public areas and in the rooms
Daily shuttle service on arrival and departure, at fixed hours to/from the centre
Minibar (soft drinks)
Unattended car park
Check-in time at 2.00pm
Check-out time at 11.00am

Prices from $436 per night. Subject to availability and conditions apply.

For bookings and more information about Therasia Resort Sea and Spa contact The Unique Tourism Collection on 02 9211 6590 or email sally.mckay@uniquetourism.com or jonica@uniquetourism.com.

Source: Therasia Resort Sea and Spa


Producer guru Michael Cassel hosts fab Christmas drinks

Leading Australian theatrical Producer, Michael Cassel, hosted his annual festive drinks after, yet again, another successful year in the big wide world of musical theatre.

The man behind successful productions like Beautiful: The Carole King story, Kinky Boots and of course next years huge blockbuster – Harry Potter – Michael’s group is also taking on the international producing world in a big way.

The high-profile crowd included some of the countries leading theatre and entertainment names including:

Lisa Wilkinson
David Campbell
Ryan Phelan
Simon Burke
Sami Lukis
Tim Davies
James Thane
Brian Walsh
Blainey North
Lucy Turnbull
Rod McGeoch
Kate Fitzpatrick
Susie Elelman
Tim Chappel

And then musical theatre stars like Mat Vervis (Helpmann winner), Lucy Maunder, Alina Edmonds, Barry Conrad and Marcus Corowa.


Lavish lingerie from Dita Von Teese

Global lingerie success story, the Dita Von Teese lingerie line founded in Australia has launched at David Jones online and at select boutiques across the country.

Known for its distinct high quality and luxurious finishes, plus size ranging and 1950’s style cues the Dita Von Teese lingerie line is a collaboration with Dita Von Teese and Aussie lingerie experts Helen Anderson and Lara Brockhurst of Anderson Brockhurst Enterprises.

The line is designed to flatter feminine curves and caters for a wide range of sizes with selected bra styles available up to an E-cup and briefs up to a size 20. With a unique point of difference to other more traditional lingerie brands on the market. Hands on with every collection, Dita Von Teese designs the range in tandem with Anderson Brockhurst to be seen not just worn.

“I wanted to design pieces that are tributes to my vintage obsessions, to make them beautiful and functional, while modernising them for everyday wear. I’ve had a long-time fascination with the 1950’s era,” Dita Von Teese said.

“Size range was one of the first things I asked when I was approached to create this collection. It was important to me to accomplish the task of making these beautiful things in sizes that can make any woman feel sexy and glamorous, and I’m very proud that we have been able to do that, while keeping prices affordable,” says Dita Von Teese.

Managing Director and Co Founder of Anderson Brockhurst Enterprises Helen Anderson says she’s thrilled to see the Dita Von Teese line available in David Jones.

“The Dita Von Teese line continues to receive such a wonderful reception in the UK, Europe and the US and it’s great to have the support of our premium Australian retailer David Jones. David Jones is a perfect environment for the Dita Von Teese brand,” she said.

The launch of the Dita Von Teese collection at David Jones coincides with the launch of Anderson Brockhurst’s other luxury line Sainted Sisters lingerie designed as a “wear to be seen” collection also stocked online and at select David Jones stores. You can shop the new range online at www.saintedsisters.com

Source: Dita Von Teese