Twinkle Twinkle or Celebrities Behaving Badly by Trevor Plumbly

Stars versus Celebrities In pre-TV days (yes I’m that old); the word ‘celebrity’ didn’t really get bandied around as much as it does today. You were either a star, or a support player, or a bit-part actor, or part of the chorus line or, worse still, an extra. These days, with numerous film and TV productions, stars are a bit of an endangered species, while celebrities flourish. But the sad thing about celebrities is that, while stars are forgiven all manner of sins, the lesser lights in show-biz get stuck in a… Read More

A Grandson’s Appeal or He didn’t get it from me by Trevor Plumbly

A Grandson’s Entreaty I knew something was afoot as soon as he came into the room. He’d swapped the storm trooper persona for Little Lord Fauntleroy, and, for a moment, I felt quite sure that all the breakables in the room sighed with relief. He’s nearly 5, his name’s Jude and he’s my grandson. As soon as he said ‘Hi Poppa’, I sensed that this was a serious visit. It wasn’t a ‘Hi Poppa’ leading into a ‘Can I have a chocolate or watch TV’ overture; this was serious enough to stand… Read More

A Sporting Chance by Trevor Plumbly

A Nation Obsessed by Sport International image is pretty important to most countries, especially small ones, and New Zealand is certainly no different in its anxiety to scrub up for foreign approval. Superficially, we shine up pretty well: ‘Godzone’ and all that, a clean, green land occupied by smiling, tattooed Maoris, All Black rugby players and all manner of sportspeople gung-ho to show the world what a tiny country can achieve on the world stage. Medals and titles won are usually accompanied by an ‘against all odds’ reference to our somewhat sparse… Read More

The Gift by Trevor Plumbly

A Summons from Betty Dingle Some years ago, during a TV programme on antiques, I made the comment that an interesting or family story behind an item was its greatest value. Shortly after the show was aired, I received a letter from a viewer asking if I would visit and look at her mother’s desk. Such letters weren’t rare at the time and I generally politely sidestepped them by a phone call or letter requesting photographs. Betty Dingle’s letter was different from the norm; it had a sort of polite instructive tone… Read More

A Death Unnoticed or Neighbourhood What? By Trevor Plumbly

Lonely Death We’re all a bit battle hardened when it comes to the news and I’m certainly no exception; but occasionally the odd story strikes a chord and I get moved to shove it into as many people’s consciences as possible, hence this departure from poking fun at some aspects of life. I read this morning of an elderly man’s body being discovered some six weeks after his death, and I couldn’t shake the feeling of utter sadness. Dying, despite the adventure yarns and Hollywood versions, is still a sad affair for… Read More