Back: Nick Giannopolous and Vince Colossimo. Photo: Janie Barrett
It defined a generation of wogs, yours truly included. Now a new breed can see what it was like growing up wog-style, when it wasn't cool to have stinky salami sandwiches wafting out of your lunch box while Vegemite was the norm (yes, mum, I'm still recovering).
Brace yourself for the return of Wogboys. Nick Giannopoulos and Vince Colosimo, with Alex Dimitriades and Frank Lotito, are reuniting for a return Melbourne and Sydney season of their hit stage comedy in January and February of next year, with tickets on sale tomorrow. Gloriously pregnant Mary Coustas, who famously played much loved Effie, won't be back, but the boys are casting a wog girl as we speak.
''It's been 15 years since we've been on stage together and we've done a hell of a lot since then. I've made three films, he's done about 20 - so I think it's about going back and doing something we haven't done for a while and as actors rediscovering that for ourselves,'' Giannopolous told S. ''Films and TV for me is a comfort zone, you can redo it and make mistakes, you have make-up girls, you sit around a set - but a stage show is two hours of giving your all to people who have paid good money to see you. If you're onstage in front of 1500 at The Enmore, it's that adrenalin kicker. I miss that. I need that back in my life.
In the fast lane: Stephanie Rice. Photo: Dan Hilburn
''I need that fear factor!''
Giannopoulos says it was only after he was approached by producers he realised how much he has missed being on stage, and the chance to find a new audience really excites the pair. Colosimo's 10-year-old-daughter Lucia is dying to see the show, her dad says.
''She loves Wogboy, and she can't believe I used to get teased at school for being Italian, so it's interesting for her to pick up on who we are and where we've come from,'' says the actor, currently filming as Tony Mokbel in the latest Underbelly instalment.
Action: Nicole Trunfio is in line for big-screen roles.
Giannopoulos only agreed to write the show if he could take a different tack - he chose to look back at the mid-'90s from the present.
''Think, there were no iPhones, no Facebook, no Twitter. It was a time when you met a girl and you had to call her family on the landline and hope her father passed on the message. There's a whole generation of kids out there who don't know that era. Talk to an 18-year-old and they're like 'really? you played CDs?' So that's what was fun about going back and looking at the script again. It's that innocent age when we were starting to define ourselves as wogs, and the freshness comes from what we've learnt since.''
Holy See: Cardinal George Pell and artist Charles Billich.
Big Apple crossroads
With her own personally set deadline on whether to re-enter the pool looming, Stephanie Rice has equipped herself with some serious artillery to make the big decision before the year is out.
Brand Rice has sought the advice of her Celebrity Apprentice mentor, Mark Bouris, for business guidance and has locked herself in for a five-day course with mind power guru Anthony Robbins in New York, where she is headed to make her final decision about whether she will return to the sport that netted her three Olympic golds.
Riding high: Magdalena Roze. Photo: Caroline McCredie
''I haven't made any announcement and I gave myself to the end of the year to take a good amount of time and the opportunity to recover my shoulder, move to Sydney and see what happened, but I'm still in the same place I was eight months ago on whether I'll return to the pool,'' she said at Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool on Wednesday, where she was introduced as ambassador for sportwear outfit Russell Athletic. ''So while I feel like I'm in a really good place finally in terms of everything else and at peace with who I am and where I'm going regardless of swimming - and I'm really excited about my business and about the next step - going to New York will be the turning point for me in one way or another on swimming.''
Rice sees it as a chance to take time of out of her comfort zone, but also as a holiday and catch-up with her global swimming network. She insists all her international sporting friends are female, though, and says there's zip happening on the social front: ''My social life is so boring - I read all this stuff about it and think it sounds much more fascinating than the reality!''
Her alliance with Russell Athletic is part of her expansion into the boardroom - from apprentice winner to CEO - with hopes next year for her own sporting wear line.
''I do really try and be quite involved with companies and charities I work with. I'd rather do two things really well than 40 things and just be there. I'll get to design my own stuff - it's been my dream since I was 15 to have my own fashion label,'' says the impressive 25-year-old, who dumped her manager recently. It helps when you have a financial wizard at your fingertips.
''I catch up with Mark [Bouris] a few times a year, and he's a fantastic businessman with so much to offer me. I can bounce ideas off him and he explains them in a way I can understand, so he's been fantastic.
''I'd rather work for myself than someone else, I've always had that mindset. With swimming I had a great coach, my family and friends all working for one goal, and now I'm trying to find these people for the next phase in my life.''
Trunfio: movies next
Watch out Megan Gale. Perth-born supermodel Nicole Trunfio, who admits she is often asked to channel Sophia Loren in modelling shoots, has just completed a leading role in a silent Italian film project, which will be out next month. She'll fly back to Milan for the launch, and is being courted to star in more films as well as signing up with RGM Artists here.
''I shot with a big Italian director a week ago in Milan, which I'm not allowed to speak about, but you'll know about it in a month,'' she said at the Wednesday night launch of the 14th Lavazza Italian Film Festival, where she was an ambassador. Other guests who watched the premiere of Italy's official selection for the 2014 Academy Awards, Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty [La Grande Bellezza], included Salvatore Coco, Richard Roxburgh and his Italian actress wife Silvia Colloca.
Trunfio admits her Italian is pretty potty-mouthed: ''Everyone has been saying this is going to be big in Italy and that I should learn to speak Italian. But although I can speak a little, all I know how to do is how to scream at a man that I'm really angry at. I could play a crazy Italian wife yelling at her husband,'' she laughs, as she rolls into a stream of swear words - ''bruto'', ''stronso'', ''vaffanculu''. ''It's actually really rough, probably the worst things you can say in Italian, and my dad is horrified I know those things. I picked it up at school,'' Trunfio says.
Portrait of a pope
He is the draughtsman whose eye and pencil clearly have no discretion. Artist Charles Billich, whose gallery is in The Rocks, has portraits in some of the most famous bedrooms around the world. From the Playboy Mansion of Hugh Hefner to Sydney's most notorious including John Ibrahim, Billich's commercial works are fast becoming a who's who, including royal connections, adorning His Majesty King George V Tupou's Palace in Tonga.
S can now reveal Billich will likely add the honour of painting the current pope, Pope Francis, to those VVIPS who have sat for his discerning eye. And while his works are famously sensual, this is one subject who will definitely not be dis-robing for the artist.
Chatting to his fifth wife, Christa, from London, S has learnt the eccentric Charles is currently staying in the Domus Australia Oratorio Rome at The Vatican where he is visiting with the Pope and the Croatian president to present his sketches of the holy father.
According to Christa, at the time of print, a decision was being made on whether Billich will be given the honour of providing an official Vatican portrait. Billich's portrait of Pope John Paul II is already hung at the Vatican Museum.
''It's very, very exciting,'' she said.
''He is also flying to London this weekend for an exhibition in La Galleria in Pall Mall where members of the Rolling Stones and others are expected to visit on opening night.''
As the weather heats up, so does the career of Channel Ten meteorologist Magdalena Roze. Taking a fresh approach to the usually frantically ambitious career-driven blondes throwing themselves unbecomingly on the social circuit, Roze oozes laid-back charm and genuine niceness. Walking the Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Walk, Roze - who has just announced a spot on 2DayFm as well as upcoming Ten brekky show Wake Up and morning show Studio 10 - is taking it all in her stride. ''I'm just cruisy, I try not to get too worked up about work things and just enjoy my life, what will be will be,'' she says.
It's been her passion project for several years, so nice to see Gracie Otto's film, The Last Impresario, a doco on iconic and eccentric British film producer Michael White, premieres today in the UK with a guest list that includes Kate Moss, Michael White and Jeremy Irons. The film poster (see right) is in the same vein as traditional film posters. Clearly, an ode to her subject.
Calligrapher-jeweller-winemaker Samantha Wills has joined forces with global jewellery retailer Plukka for her first foray into fine jewels and their launch into the Aussie market. There is a private viewing and trunk show on Monday week, hosted by model Michelle Walsh.