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'Underbelly' a hit but Kiwi accent misses mark

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Everyone, and I mean everyone, is raving about Anna Hutchison's pert breasts and their frequent airing on Wednesday night's Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities episode. Anna and her recently viewed rack are our new favourite celebrity couple.

And the Aussies are lapping her up even more. Galleries of photos dedicated to the Kiwi blonde have appeared on various news websites. Next, they'll be claiming her as their own.

They are not, however, claiming to know our accent. Sydney's Daily Telegraph declared yesterday that Matthew Newton may be playing New Zealand drug lord Terry Clark, but his accent is "a bit too fush and chips for Kiwi linguists' liking."

They're right, of course. Andy Gibson, a language expert at Auckland University of Technology described Newton's portrayal as sounding "like the stereotype of how Australians think we sound, not how we actually sound."

The accent debate only fuels the friendly rivalry between the two countries, and further promotes the hit show which has had huge ratings on TV3.

And it's made our little Anna the new pin-up with a Madonna complex. Her risqué role is practically bordering on soft porn. Debate broke out in Australia last month, when the series began airing, over the prolonged nudity of Hutchison's character in the gangland drama. The M-rated show runs at primetime 8:30pm and Aussie critics argued it isn't appropriate in the family friendly time-slot.

It screens at the same time over the pond, but Kiwi critics haven't appeared to have been quite so vocal about the gratuitous nudity. It's hard to know whether that's an indication that Kiwis aren't averse to sex scenes, or whether it's a reflection on our hardened critics, though I'm sure Andy Shaw would have a word or ten to say about it.

Hutchison plays Clark's girlfriend Allison Dines, a 22-year-old kindergarten teacher-turned drug trafficker from Rotorua. She was philosophical about the frequent nude scenes. "The role called for nudity, so you just do it... I'm a professional," she told the Telegraph.

Though what her actor boyfriend Jason Smith (who played Robbie on Home and Away) made of the soft porn scenes, is another story altogether.

This second series of Underbelly follows the heroin and marijuana trades in Sydney and Melbourne during the 1970s and 80s.

Speaking of the 70s, here are photos from the Cleo Bachelor of the Year finals at Auckland nightspot Boogie Wonderland. Photo GalleryClick here to view

Rachel Glucina

Pictured: Matthew Newton (left) as Terry Clark and Anna Hutchison as Alison Dine in a scene from Underbelly. Photo / Supplied

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