March 18, 2015

Top News Stories –

30 Years of Neighbours –

On 18 March 1985, Neighbours was first broadcast in Australia. Thirty years on it’s still going strong and broadcast to more than 50 countries around the world.
Kylie-Minogue Kylie Minogue

Boris’ Dad bets on him being next PM –
Boris Johnson’s father has bet £20 on his son becoming the next prime minister. Stanley Johnson, 74, said his son is the “best man for the job” and predicted he would beat other rivals to become the next Tory leader. Bookies would have to pay out if the London Mayor entered Number 10 after Mr Cameron steps doing – potentially as early as 2017 – following an election victory next May. “Next Prime Minster After Cameron. Boris Johnson. 5/1,” read the betting slip seen by The Sun. [Daily Telegraph]
Boris_Johnson_FT_2013Boris Johnson

Video of the Day –

Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite.

List of the day –

12 Megastars who started off in Neighbours [Daily Telegraph]

1.      RUSSELL CROWE – That’s right, you might have forgotten that long before he was an Oscar-winning gladiator or (the extremely miserable) Javert, Russell Crowe was mullet-toting youth Kenny Larkin in four episodes back in 1987.
2.      MARGOT ROBBIE – Margot Robbie’s career has gone from strength to strength since 2013’s About Time and The Wolf of Wall Street, but before all that she was Donna Freedman for three years from 2008, where storylines explored her bisexuality, finding out the identity of her biological father and later, the devastating death of her newlywed husband Ringo in a motorcycle accident.
3.      LIAM HEMSWORTH – We know him now as Gale from The Hunger Games franchise, and maybe The Expendables 2, and probably also from his teen-dream on-again-off-again relationship (and brief engagement) with Miley Cyrus… But back in Australia from 2007-2008, Hemsworth was Josh Taylor, the love interest for Bridget Parker. He was left paraplegic after a surfing accident and met her during recovery at the Erinsborough pool.
4.      CHRIS HEMSWORTH – You’d definitely struggle to remember big brother Chris’s brief promenade down Ramsay Street, but he was there, in 2002, for one episode, helping Steph to report a robber. He was more prominent in rival soap Home and Away, but now, obviously, he’s Marvel’s Thor, and has ditched the stripy shirts for a more figure-hugging shining-armour-and-chainmail number.
5.      JESSE SPENCER – Now known best from starring in House, where he played Dr Robert Chase alongside Hugh Laurie from 2004-2012, Jesse Spencer started off as Billy, the youngest member of the Kennedy clan. From 1994-2000 Billy was a teenage heartthrob, lifeguard, pirate radio DJ (along with best pal Toadie) and long-term love interest of Anne Wilkinson.
6.      NATALIE IMBRUGLIA – When she was 16 (in 1992), the Torn singer spent two years playing  Beth Brennan, who came to Ramsay Street for a fresh start, away from her abusive stepfather. Imbruglia has since said that she felt uncomfortable during her audition for the soap, when she was asked to parade around in a bikini.
7.      KYLIE MINOGUE – Here she is, Neighbours’s most well-publicised export. Tomboy mechanic Charlene was actually only on the show for two years from 1986-88, but her relationship with Jason Donovan’s Scott Robinson is fondly remembered.
8.      JASON DONOVAN – Hubby Scott Robinson stuck it out on Ramsay Street for one year after Charlene moved to Brisbane on a mechanics apprenticeship before following her and living happily ever after (we think). In real life, he also followed Minogue – her pop career anyway – and they released the duet “Especially for You” together in 1988.
9.      HOLLY VALANCE – From 1999-2002, Holly Valance was the feisty Flick Scully, whose storylines mainly focused on ill-fated romances. After she left the soap, she released the number one single “Kiss Kiss”, an undeniable Noughties classic. “Down Boy” and “Naughty Girl” were next, but her music career trailed off a bit after that. “It was a really tough slog and I had a good go at it,” she said. Since then she’s appeared in Prison Break, Taken, and of course the obligatory Strictly Come Dancing in 2011 in the UK, where she came fourth (Jason Donovan beat her to a spot in the final and came third).
10.     GUY PEARCE – He’s been in Lawless, Prometheus, LA Confidential, The King’s Speech, and Iron Man 3, but in 496 episodes from 1986-1989 Guy Pearce was Mike Young, the nice young boy who, along with his mother, lived in fear of his abusive father, before training to become a maths teacher and then crossing the line with one of his pupils… In the soap, he was bezzies with Charlene and Scott, but in real life he’s pals with Hugh Jackman and Leonardo DiCaprio.
11.     NATALIE BASSINGTHWAIGHTE – Natalie Bassingthwaighte was repeatedly nominated for the “best bitch” Inside Soap Award for her role from 2003-7 as Izzy Hoyland, who broke up Karl and Susan Kennedy’s marriage. She’s since had a successful pop career with her band Rogue Traders and has hosted So You Think You Can Dance Australia, judged X Factor Australia and has starred in a few Hollywood horror movies.
12.     CRAIG MCLACHLAN – Craig McLachlan was the popular Henry Ramsay on the soap from 1987-89, and had an international pop career afterwards, releasing songs “I Need You Baby (Mona)”, “Amanda”, and “One Reason Why”.

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Other News Stories –

Armed conflicts and attacks
Business and economy
Disasters and accidents
International relations
  • Kraft Foods Group Inc. recalls more than 6.5 million 7.25-ounce (0.2-kilogram) boxes of its macaroni and cheese after customers reported finding small pieces of metal inside. The recalled products were shipped nationwide in the U.S. as well as to some countries in South America and the Caribbean. (Bloomberg via MSN)
  • A study in the medical journal The Lancet states that babies who are breastfed were more likely to have higher IQs, spend more time in school, and end up in higher-paying jobs. (Quartz via MSN) (The Lancet)

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