The Diary: Shorty stars dressing down for the Nines

The Diary's eclectic crowd of guests have a ball at Eden Park.

Pantless pair Cameron Jones, left, and Tyler Read of Shortland Street  tried a bit of Risky Business in The Diary's box at the Nines. Photo / Greg Bowker
Pantless pair Cameron Jones, left, and Tyler Read of Shortland Street tried a bit of Risky Business in The Diary's box at the Nines. Photo / Greg Bowker

They have legions of fans around the country but Shortland Street stars Cameron Jones, 23, and Tyler Read, 22, drew a few more admirers at the NRL Auckland Nines on Saturday when they arrived at The Diary's private corporate box wearing no pants. Just tightie-whities. The winks and glances of appreciation were ample.

Jones and Read, who play Dallas Adams and Evan Cooper on the TV soap, channelled Tom Cruise from 80s movie Risky Business wearing pink shirts, white tube socks, white briefs and a helluva lot of chutzpah.

"We thought we'd get into the spirit of things and dress up, like they do at the Sevens," Jones said.

To avoid any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions the lads padded up in two pairs of briefs.

The pair were among 40 guests invited to The Diary's private suite which saw an eclectic array of TV stars, musicians, politicians, media personalities and league legends rub salubrious shoulders over the weekend.

Denise L'Estrange-Corbet with a lot on her plate. Photo / Greg Bowker
Denise L'Estrange-Corbet with a lot on her plate. Photo / Greg Bowker

Guest Scribe later performed onstage at Western Springs with David Dallas, opening for Eminem in front of more than 50,000 people.

Fashion designer Denise L'Estrange-Corbet played Mum, sending him off from our suite with a packed napkin of fluffy pink lamingtons for sustenance.

The NRL Nines competition drew an unprecedented 90,000 fans over two days, with more than 7000 Aussies crossing the ditch for a seat at Eden Park. Alcohol intake was carefully policed and fans came with a great attitude. Everyone is hailing the event as a huge success for the city, though Mayor Len Brown must be feeling rattled after the belittling reception he received. Brown opened the competition on Saturday to a cacophony of booing around the stadium. It was mortifying, especially with visiting Aussies in attendance and live international TV coverage.

The mayor's media advisers believed the rugby league crowd were a safe bet, given his South Auckland connection, but the loud lampooning perhaps illustrates even his core constituency are over him. Questions need to be asked now if Brown is the best face to promote Auckland and the council at major events.

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A representative for Brown said: "There was a bit of booing but that's not an entirely uncharacteristic response from a stadium sports crowd, who are there to watch sport, not listen to politicians."

RadioLive host Duncan Garner, a guest at the Diary box, says: "Auckland has awoken from its slumber and produced a world-class international event." Praise should be heaped on the NRL, Eden Park, Ateed and Duco event management bosses David Higgins and Dean Lonergan, the brains behind the competition. Garner says a knighthood is deserved. Arise Sir Dean?

Sir Don McKinnon and his wife Clare de Lore were guests of The Diary. So too, were Cabinet ministers Judith Collins and Paula Bennett. TV3 news boss Mark Jennings was there, and his hotshot reporter Rebecca Wright, who picked Paul Henry over John Campbell and jumped ship to late-night news.

Warriors co-owner Eric Watson "horses" around with fans at Eden Park.
Warriors co-owner Eric Watson "horses" around with fans at Eden Park.

Edge radio hosts Jay-Jay Feeney and Dominic Harvey also enjoyed Diary hospitality, as did controversial Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater. Kim Dotcom and his wife Mona were invited too. Dotcom said he'd come if arch nemesis Slater was there, but evidently had a change of heart. He frolicked, instead, in his Coatesville pool with his kiddies.

Labour MP Clare Curran, a frequent visitor to the Dotcom mansion, showed undue concern on Twitter that opposition MPs hadn't been invited to The Diary's corporate box. They had - though no one from the ABC club. New Act Party leader Jamie Whyte and his popular wife Zainab were invited; they'd been partying at Splore earlier in the day.

Designer Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, the face of World fashion brand, illustrated unashamedly how little she knows about league, turning to legendary Wendell Sailor and saying: "So love, what do you do?". Let's just say the big man (who talks of himself in the third person) was bemused. His ego got smashed.

League legends Gorden Tallis and Andrew Johns were happy to mingle with Diary guests (clueless or otherwise) and pose for pics. They were particularly enamoured of Shorty St star Teuila Blakely, who was accompanied to the private suite by Oscar Kightley (on Saturday) and Madeleine Sami (on Sunday).

The stunning 39-year-old mum is rumoured to be dating 22-year-old Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell, who's the same age as her son, Jared. Go, girlfriend.

Her co-star Frankie Adams was a guest of The Diary, too, with her cricket star boyfriend Tipene Friday.

Frankie Adams and Tipene Friday enjoy the Auckland Nines. Photo / Greg Bowker
Frankie Adams and Tipene Friday enjoy the Auckland Nines. Photo / Greg Bowker

Paula Bennett was chief cheerleader in the box, leading the rowdy bunch of strays in chants for the hometown favourites. However, the Warriors couldn't go the distance.

That didn't stop co-owner Eric Watson getting into the spirit of the game. He horsed around with fans outside the gates. "Gutted the boys didn't make the final. Great leadership by [captain] Shaun Johnson," Watson tweeted. "I've no doubt the Auckland 9's are only going to get better."

- NZ Herald

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