The Diary: Entertainers arrive with their own agendas

Beyonce pairs up with Barnados; Sheeran here for some reason.

Beyonce is in town. Photo / AP
Beyonce is in town. Photo / AP

When it rains, it pours. And so we welcome two more pop stars to our erratic spring weather this week: Beyonce, who takes to the stage tonight at Vector Arena for four consecutive nights; and Ed Sheeran, who is here on secret assignment, apparently.

The 22-year-old British singer-songwriter, who moved to Nashville on the advice of pal Taylor Swift, is in the country. But for what, we're not sure. His label, Warner Music, told The Diary they had "no idea" he was in New Zealand until they read it on Twitter.

"This was not an organised trip by us, so he's not here doing any promo work for his music. His visit is so secret. He could be here on holiday, or maybe a personal commitment," a rep said.

Ed Sheeran is on a the other on a secret mission. Photo / AP
Ed Sheeran is on a the other on a secret mission. Photo / AP

The A Team singer took to Twitter to, sort of, clarify: "In kiwi land making music for kiwi things. Great days work, roll on tomorrow".

The tweets have fuelled speculation he could be producing music for Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, although a rep for Wingnut Films told The Diary, "That's the first we've heard of it".

The pair met in March when Sheeran toured here. Jackson took him to dinner and gave him a sword from The Hobbit prop department, and Sheeran presented the director with a guitar for his daughter.

Beyonce is feeling benevolent, too. The superstar, who jetted in from Paris where she had a date night with hubby Jay-Z, has partnered with Barnados. She is asking fans to donate clothing at her Auckland concerts to support families in need.

Right royal licence
How much money was teen star Lorde paid by Korean giant Samsung for her hit song Royals to use in their new ad to flog the Galaxy Note 3 Smartphone and Galaxy Gear? She has yet to sign a publishing deal, but she's already landed her first global synch licence, Billboard noted.

Samsung's highly produced, multi-million-dollar advertisement features FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi walking around a slum in a tailored suit while street kids sing Royals.

Ironically, the song, which criticises needless consumption and ostentatious displays of materialism in pop music, plugs the multinational conglomerate's most expensive smartphone. Not that Lorde is complaining. It would have netted the overnight sensation a tidy sum. All the while illustrating the paradox that is the pop music business.

Samsung has snapped up Royals by Lorde for their new smartphone ad. Photo / AP
Samsung has snapped up Royals by Lorde for their new smartphone ad. Photo / AP

More cooking fills the void
Farewell then Jamie Oliver and your 15 minute meals, which did little to help 3 News and the ratings dive following the exodus of that sand-and-surf soap. The BBC's Celebrity MasterChef has stepped in to fill the void at 5.30pm, and TV3 execs have all digits crossed viewers will be more receptive to a cookery competition with British wannabes, somebodies and nobodies.

Next week, the network will celebrate its new season launch and an announcement will be made - finally - on what Paul Henry's new television show will entail. I'm told to expect "a big revelation". Let's hope the programme delivers, which I'm sure it will. TV3 wouldn't want another plunge on their news mitts.

Key doles out the sake
I'm not sure why, exactly, a party planner's Rollodex of "celebrities" largely consists these days of TV anchors and autocue newsreaders, but so it was at the grand opening of SkyCity's new Japanese restaurant, Masu, on Saturday night that I found TV3's Mike McRoberts holding up the bar with a wriggle of TV One lovelies: Wendy Petrie, Simon Dallow, Jesse Mulligan, Toni Street and Rawdon Christie.

There were, of course, the usual rent-a-crowd schlebs, too.

But on the star front, the lavish opening night bash was rather lacking. Luckily Nigel Morrison, SkyCity's charismatic chief executive, put Prime Minister John Key in charge of the sake.

Key, still flying high from trips to Balmoral, Bali and Brunei, played bartender. He opened the ceremonial sake bowl and was tasked with ladling out the booze. Only, he seldom stopped.

"It's only 14 per cent proof," he told revellers, who took little persuading on a refill.

Clearly enjoying himself, Key sipped from the ladle - often. Until Bronagh (who is turning 50 in three weeks yet looks amazingly youthful) stepped in with a wifely warning: "That's your last drink."

John Key does the honours at Masu, with Simon Dallow and owner Nic Watt.
John Key does the honours at Masu, with Simon Dallow and owner Nic Watt.

Enter Paul Henry, fashionably late, and ensconced the PM in the corner with secret banter and a few glasses of Man O'War merlot.

Henry, whose new book comes out on Friday, had briefly escaped his daughter Bella's 21st birthday bash, which was taking place next door at the SkyCity Grand Hotel.

"It's a princess party," he told The Diary. "It's only fairy bread, chipolatas and a chocolate fountain." He persuaded the Keys to return with him, making them the most famous gatecrashers since Tareq and Michaele Salahi met Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, Alex Swney, who really needs a haircut, was sharing news about his kids. He told us he'd dropped them off to the One Direction concert because his wife was away. Only, he'd got the wrong night and the kids were stranded at Vector Arena.

There was a clanger, too, for Dallow, who was at the party with his girlfriend but reluctant to have his picture taken. His was a case of mistaken identity.

"Do you know the blonde over there?" he asked The Diary, pointing to a flaxen whippet at the bar. "She said she's from Metro magazine and asked me how Seven Sharp is going! She's mixed me up with Mulligan!" The prospect of sharing an anchor desk with his ex-wife prompted chortles.

- NZ Herald

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