Burning the candle
On Sunday night, The Voice and Today Extra host Sonia Kruger is set to emcee her first Vision Australia'sCarols by Candlelight, a seat vacated by Lisa Wilkinson when she jumped ship to Ten. But there's no sour grapes between the pair - quite the opposite - with plans already in place for a glass of bubbly in the new year.
Kruger, who will share the duties with her weekday co-host David Campbell, told The Goss that Wilkinson, a 10-year Carols veteran, had sent her supportive messages after the news was announced.
Set to sparkle ... Sonia Kruger will host Carols by Candlelight for the first time on Sunday. Photo: Supplied
"We've been texting each other and the plan is to have a glass of champagne in the new year. Lisa literally lives about five minutes away from me. We will no doubt head to the [beach] ... and have a good old catch up," Kruger said.
Scoring the Carols gig also means Kruger got out of making Christmas for her family, and will fly to the Gold Coast early on Monday to join her brother's brood for the festivities.
As a mum to two-year-old Maggie, Kruger, 52, confessed to having to hide her daughter's presents.
Beach buddies ... Lisa Wilkinson. Photo: Christopher Pearce
"I want her to understand the spirit of giving. [Children] are like present-seeking missiles. Their little eyes, they're watching you," she said.
Kruger said she agonised over what to wear for the gig, in front of 200,000 people at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
"I texted Alex Perry and said, 'help' ... he sent over four amazing dresses, including a red ball gown ... He's never getting it back," she joked.
Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight will air on Channel Nine, Sunday 8pm.
'I texted Alex Perry and said, 'help'.
Skin in the game
You're probably wondering what nudity has to do with rowing but when it's for charity, it's all above deck. Over the past week, the UK Warwick Rowers team has been in Sydney recruiting local oarsmen for its 2019 calendar. The calendar, which began in 2009, now regularly raises a six-figure sum that is shared among causes that help eradicate homophobia, and promote "straight allies" in sport. The calendar's founder, Angus Malcolm, said the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the legalisation of same-sex marriage made Australia the perfect place for its first overseas shoot. If you think you have what it takes, head to warwickrowers.org. And feel free to CC your applications to your columnist.
Members of the Warwick Rowers at Circular Quay last week in a shoot for their 2019 nude calendar. Photo: Angus Malcolm
Over and out
Amid the flood of end-of-year emails that lobbed into our inbox, one particular missive caught our attention. Rebecca Harding, partner of Hamish and Andy's lanky larrikin Andy Lee, emailed her contacts on Thursday to say she was leaving her job at a boutique Melbourne public relations agency. "After an incredible year-and-a-half, I've decided pursue a few of my own projects in 2018," Harding wrote. Alongside her gig at the agency, Harding has appeared in campaigns for Just Jeans and Voodoo hosiery. Incidentally, Lee's partner in crime, Hamish Blake, fell for his wife, beauty writer Zoe Foster, after the pair teamed up to write a dating book in 2009. Maybe Lee and Harding have a joint project on the cards that could similarly help seal the deal.
Joint venture? Andy Lee and Rebecca Harding. Photo: Daniel Pockett
Follow Melissa Singer on Instagram, @melly_singer. Amy Croffey is on leave.