License article

Drama for Murdoch with new TV series

THE media mogul forced to eat humble pie, Rupert Murdoch, has provided inspiration for playwright David Williamson to pen his life story for the Melbourne Theatre Company, but that's not the only dramatisation of the News Corporation chief that's under way. Writer Bob Ellis is penning a TV version with the working title the News of the World with collaborator Stephen Ramsay. It was originally about Murdoch's takeover of The Wall Street Journal but the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the British tabloid spurred them to change course. Media website Mumbrella reports that the writers received funding from Screen Australia to create a telemovie and mini-series. When I mentioned the Williamson play to Ellis, he said: ''That's pretty irritating. How do you do it as a play? It's impossible.'' The telemovie hasn't been snapped up by a TV network but Ellis isn't fazed, saying it was ''an international story, not just an Australian'' one. ''Eventually the story will be as hot as any story on the Kennedy dynasty.'' If the telemovie leads to a mini-series, Ellis has had an offer from Bruce Beresford to direct it. The Ellis treatment will be fascinating as he zeros in on Murdoch and his ''philistine'' view of the world.

Women born to take the lead

THERE was brief respite from ''misogynists and nut jobs'' attacking Julia Gillard but then conservative lobbyist Grahame Morris had a bovine moment by calling ABC presenter Leigh Sales a ''cow''. Excellent timing that the Committee for Economic Development of Australia had a chat-fest for its Women in Leadership series at the Park Hyatt and the topic was ''Leadership and Culture: Breaking down the barriers''. Rising to the occasion was the federal member for Higgins, Kelly O'Dwyer, former Victoria Police chief commissioner Christine Nixon, Family Court justice Linda Dessau and Melbourne University Publishing chief Louise Adler. A formidable quartet, that's for sure, to convince the nutty misogynists to keep their bygone opinions to themselves.

Facing up to even more Warne

THE guessing game continues as to whether Shane Warne is selling his renovated Brighton mansion for up to $20 million, giving him a tidy profit from the $9 million he bought it for three years ago. There is no doubt that the loved one of Elizabeth Hurley is extending his social media reach after launching the Official Shane Warne page on Facebook, another ''perve page'' on ''Stalkbook'' for his 870,000 Twitter followers to share in his world and feel like they're part of the romance. The spin king's devoted PA, Helen Nolan, has spread the word to her friends that anyone who ''likes'' the page is in the running to meet the great man before one of his summer cricket matches as captain of the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash. Warne and Hurley have reportedly made an offer on a $9 million, 13-bedroom Georgian estate in the English countryside, hinting at a possible move away from prying eyes here to even more prying eyes in the land of tabloid paparazzi.

Instant trip to the Hamptons

MUSCLING in on fashion parade trends is retailer Harris Scarfe by bringing a taste of ''Hamptons Chic'' to its spring/summer launch at Middle Park's Sand Bar Beach Cafe. We say muscle because model Toby Roberts, partner of Simone Callahan - Warnie's ex - is on the cover of the catalogue wearing a polo top and cargo pants with a ''comfortable waist zip fly'', but one gift idea for dad on Father's Day. Roberts and Callahan were absent from the gathering but the store's marketing and creative manager, Chris Kontos, assembled a quorum of lifestylers who nibbled on fish and chips wrapped in pages from the catalogue. Did anyone score Roberts encasing their fish bites? The ''face'' of Caulfield racing carnival, Jesinta Campbell, was dressed by the retailer, one that targets the budget-conscious shopper. Guests enjoying the beachy theme saved thousands on a long-haul flight to the Hamptons.