Ruby and Romeo may be treading a rocky road in Summer Bay, but their real-life alter egos couldn’t be happier- so much so that they’re getting married! Rebecca Breeds and Luke Mitchell have become engaged after a relationship that began about three years ago. Luke, 27 proposed to 24 year old Rebecca while holidaying in Hayman Island, Queensland and Luke calls it the ‘most difficult thing’ he has ever done his life. Adding that he had the element of surprise, he reveals he didn’t tell anyone what he was planning- not even his parents! While there’s no date set yet, the pair aren’t planning a long engagement. Congratulations!
Former Packed to the Rafters stars Jessica Marais and James Stewart have become first time parents, welcoming their baby daughter Scout Edie Stewart into the world. James and Jess are currently engaged and are planning to move to America next month where Jess is making a name for herself in drama series Magic City. James recently quit Channel 7’s Packed to the Rafters to help care for baby Scout.
It’s been a long wait but Channel 9 finally premieres its new family drama Tricky Business on Monday. The series centres on the Christie family- a group of debt workers trying to balance their complex job with their personal lives. With a cast including Shane Bourne (City Homicide), Gigi Edgley (Rescue: Special Ops) and Lincoln Lewis (Home & Away). Jim and Claire Christie (Bourne and Deborah Byrne) have retired and passed on the family business to their daughter Kate (Edgley) who has a crumbling marriage with Rick (Kip Gamblin) as well as a teenage daughter Emma (Odessa Young).
The promotional ads have shown similiarities to Packed to the Rafters on Channel 7 but Tricky Business castmembers say that’s where the similarities end.
"I think people are saying that because of the success of Rafters - they think we’re trying to do a version." Kip Gamblin says. But you can’t deny the ads of perfectly trimmed hedges and sunny skies show a fair resemblance to Rafters. Channel 7 didn’t invent the concept of family dramas, but Tricky Business would have done well to make themselves stand out against their rival and set a different standard.
Tricky Business also features Antony Starr, who is best known for playing twins Jethro and Van in the kiwi favourite Outrageous Fortune and who was last seen as Charlie in RUSH. Starr plays Matt, the ‘bad boy’ of the series who comes between Rick and Kate. Also making a name for herself is Sophie Hensser, who played Freya in Home and Away a few years ago. Hensser was last seen in the stage production Silent Disco and is now hitting the screen to play free spirited Lily Christie, the youngest family member.
Critics are labelling the drama ‘cute’ while Gamblin says it has a ‘darker side’. Channel 9 is hoping they have a winner on their hands after searching for a family drama series for some time.
Tricky Business starts on Monday, 9.30 Channel 9
James Stewart, AKA hunky tradie Jake is the latest to leave the shiny 7 drama. James is expecting his first baby with his fiancee Jessica Marais after they originally met on the set of Rafters and he’s now handing in his resignation and moving to America where Jessica has been making waves in Hollywood filming drama series Magic City. James is the sixth actor to leave Packed to the Rafters in just five seasons- an overwhelming number for a show that has been one of the most popular dramas to come out of Australia. Jessica McNamee (Sammy), Zoe Ventoura (Mel), Jessica Marais (Rachel) Hugh Sheridan (Ben) and now James have all departed the series in recent years. So, what does the future hold for Packed to the Rafters? A 7 spokeswoman has remained optimistic and maintains the show is doing ‘superbly’ and confirmed it would return in 2013 with some sparkly new castmembers. She also said as long as matriarchs Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson remain in the show.
James Stewart is leaving Packed to the Rafters in preparation for his baby with Jessica Marais
For anyone wondering what the song is used in promo ads for The Voice Australia and Home and Away (for the 9th May 2012), it’s called Different Worlds by Jes Hudak. Absolutely beautiful song!
It seems an odd coupling, but Shaun Micallef (Thank God You’re Here, Talkin’ Bout YourGeneration) and Kat Stewart (Tangled,Offspring) are pairing up to play a married couple in a new television series on Channel Ten. Shaun and Kat will be playing Charlie and Nicole, a husband and wife team who run a crime scene cleaning business and happen to solve the crimes before the coppers do. Shaun has created the 13 part series with Jason Stephens, the series’ executive producer. Production begins in August in Melbourne.
Former Packed to the Rafters' star Jessica Marais may have signed on to play a drag queen in an upcoming ABC telemovie. The telemovie is about transgender television personality Carlotta (born Richard Byron) and her rise to fame in King's Cross. Currently there has been no confirmation from Jessica or her management. Carlotta is also remaining tight-lipped, saying she 'wasn't allowed to talk about it yet'. Carlotta may not be a household name, but in the 1960s she was on the soap opera Number 96 and was reportedly the inspiration for the lead role in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.
Could Jessica Marais be playing Carlotta?
Downton Abbey, Wild Boys, Titanic, Underbelly Razor, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries… it seems impossible to turn on a TV without seeing a period television series at the moment and a new ABC drama has starts production on Monday. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab stars some of Australia’s finest talents and is based on the 1886 best-seller by Fergus Hume. Some of the names announced for the project include John Waters (All Saints, Offspring), Shane Jacobsen (Kenny, Beaconsfield) and Brett Climo (Killing Time). The new series has also turned out to be somewhat of an Underbelly Razor reunion, with Chelsie Preston-Crayford, Anna McGahan and Felix Williamson scoring roles.
As much as I love period pieces (and I seriously do love them), I’m hoping this new genre doesn’t die the same painful death the cop/hospital dramas have died over the years. There tends to be a habit of jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to succcessful genres of television shows, and soon everyone’s jumping and down to make one. This can be the kiss of death for shows of that caliber and it can be years before another successful one can be made- if made at all. With this sudden crowd of period television shows being made, does this mean it’s only a matter of time before the genre is tired, overdone and eventually thrown out?
Also coming to screens is a screen adaptation of Vale Valhalla, the novel written by Joy Chambers. The story centres on three families between the 1890s right up to the Great War of 1914-1918. Wild Boys actor Jeremy Sims is directing the mini-series and says Vale Valhalla is ‘driven by action, tragedy and romance’. The producers say they intend to gather a cast of world-renowned actors and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) is at the top of their wish list.
The Wrath of the Period Dramas- Too much too soon?
Exciting news for Wolverine fans- the new blockbuster movie is coming to Sydney! The government has invested $12.8million in the production which is to be filmed at Sydney’s Fox Studios. For the first two weeks Wolverine will be in Japan before arriving in Sydney where production will begin in August. Good news for Hugh Jackman fans!
Australian playwright Stephen Sewell has had years and years of success on stage with his acclaimed plays so it’s little wonder he is now moving his talents to the screen. Sewell will be directing Babylon, a film adaptation of his novel of the same name. Jaggi.Shute, a Sydney production company, has acquired the rights to the story and is currently in funding talks with various agencies. Stephen says this new project is ‘a dream come true’.
Any aspiring models or fashion lovers I’ve got a show you will adore. ABC2 has started showing The Model Agency, a British documentary about Premier- one of the number one modelling agencies in the world. The first episode screened last week and followed the drama of Premier when one of their star models pulled out of Fashion Week at the last minute due to jetlag and homesickness. It’s a very interesting series and absolutely worth a look!
The Model Agency screens Wednesday nights 8.30pm followed by encore screenings at 11.25pm on Thursdays, on ABC2
If you live in Sydney, today is your last chance to get in on the 2012 Big Brother action. Sydney auditions are taking place at Penrith Panthers throughout today. The rest of the dates are as follows:
Hobart- 1st May, Mercure Hobart
Adelaide- 3rd May, Adelaide Showground
Melbourne- 5th and 6th May, Sidney Myer Music Bowl
They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
(Source: thawn, via candeycate)