Chatterbox: Now she's Aunty Lucy

Lucy Lawless is heading back to American prime-time. She's been cast in the Warner Brother Network's new series Tarzan as the jungle guy's aunt, a New York publishing magnate named Kathleen Clayton. The new show, which has been described as clone of the Superman-reviving Smallville, has the ape-man captured by his uncle and brought to the concrete jungle of Manhattan. Tarzan is played by former Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel and Lawless will be acting opposite former X-Files co-star Mitch Pileggi, who plays her brother Richard Clayton. Lawless was a late addition to the show and she has also signed a development deal with the network for her own series project aimed to screen in the US late next year. But for now she's Tarzan's aunty, which, is of course better than being a monkey's uncle ...

RACHEL IN 'DENIAL': This week's news that Rachel Hunter has signed up for a Brit version of Sex and the City made us look for who else was in the show. Frankly, the cast reads like the pages of an early 90s lads' mag. The glamour gang include Davinia Taylor (famous for being in Hollyoaks and a friend of Posh Spice), Claire King (famous for being a bitch in Emmerdale and Bad Girls), Dani Behr (famous for TV presenting and dating famous footballers), Naomi Ryan (ex-Coro St) and Victoria Silvstedt (former Miss Sweden and Playboy Playmate Of The Year). Sounds dead classy.

FREAK-OUT, THE SEQUEL: Last time he came to town, the city fathers deemed porn-performance artist Jim Rose too dangerous for our morals to play the Auckland Town Hall.

They banned him, but the Jim Rose Circus - Rose and a collection of freaks - crossed the road to the St James and took full stomach-churning advantage of all the free publicity. Now Rose and his bunch of strange little petals are coming back late next month for a four-centre tour (at Auckland's Sky City Theatre from Oct 31 to Nov 3) which should attract an interesting array of reactions. Rose, who describes the lineup as his dream show, will perform with Mr Lifto, Rubber Boy, Bebe the Circus Queen, Rupeet, the Mexican Transvestites and Canadian porn star Amber Lynne Walker. Sayeth the man, "Things will be happening everywhere ... you'll need a swivel on your neck".

ROCKTOBER REVOLUTION: Expect to hear a whole bunch of overexcited radio jocks preparing for "Rrrrrrocktober!" next month as an unusually large number of acts swagger into town. First it's art-rockers Whirlwind Heat on Oct 4, then blues-punk darlings the White Stripes on Oct 7, garage-beatniks Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on Oct 9 and Aussie pop-rockers Powderfinger on Oct 16. But for those with a higher tolerance for tinnitus and a greater appreciation for local product, the Datsuns and the D4 will make triumphant returns to play New Zealand tours. The Datsuns play the St James on Oct 25 while the D4 play the Control Room on the Oct 18 after headlining the bNet Music Awards next Friday. When's deaf awareness week?

PRESS RELEASE OF THE WEEK: The one headlined "Ten-day countdown to teen queen fervour" and which starts, "In Invercargill and Whangarei, savings book balances are being closely scrutinised. In Bell Block and Hastings, the hammer is hovering over piggy banks. In Albany and Porirua bedrooms have never been so tidy. And in Papanui and Botany Downs, diaries are being synchronised among best friends. What's the big news? The mary-kateandashley brand is coming to a Warehouse store near you." We'll spare you the rest but not the bit which says mary-kateandashley appreciate if the media get their names right as "they prefer not to be named as the Olsen Twins, the Twins or the Girls". Well, stop raiding the piggy banks of Hastings and we might think about it.

BURNING QUESTION: Are the seagulls in Finding Nemo saying "Mate Mate Mate ... " because they're Australian or "Mine, mine, mine" because they're selfish. These are the things which keep us up at nights.

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