The Diary

Rachel Glucina looks at the top events and newsmakers of the day.

The Diary: Williams' nest goes on market as France calls

Open homes start tomorrow with rugby gear on display

Ali Williams and wife Casey are selling their million-dollar Westmere home before moving to France. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Ali Williams and wife Casey are selling their million-dollar Westmere home before moving to France. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Celebrity couple Ali and Casey Williams, who are moving to France, put their three-bedroom Westmere property on the market yesterday through Trade Me. Realtor Andre Bodde told The Diary the sale period may only run for three weeks, "but that won't deter the hundreds of buyers expected to show interest".

The 484sq m property at 81 Warnock St is unusual. It has two dwellings - a self-contained unit and a two-bedroom loft-style house - separated by a pool and spa.

Records show Williams bought the property in 2009 through his Awams Trustee Company for $1.3 million. It has a current CV of $1.21 million, including a land value of $630,000.

The property is going to auction with Barfoot & Thompson on September 18 and Bodde said he is "expecting offers upwards of $1.4 million".

Westmere neighbours include newsreaders Mike McRoberts, whose home is valued at $1.3 million, and Wendy Petrie's $1.72 million digs. Radio broadcasters Marc Ellis, Dominic Harvey and Jay-Jay Feeney also live in the area.

A series of open homes start tomorrow and those curious for a nosy around the rugby star's pad should check out the studio unit that doubles as Ali's home office. All Blacks and Blues paraphernalia line the walls and a Water For Everyone vending machine sits upright in the corner.

Grant's first gay hurdle

Aspiring Labour leader Grant Robertson says "don't let my gay get in the way", but that may be a problem for ex-Labour MP and broadcaster John Tamihere, who's set to interview Robertson on his talkback show at midday today. RadioLive sources told The Diary they're not even sure if Tamihere will show. "Willie [Jackson] will be there, but who knows with John. He can be such a homophobe."

Rik van Dijk, Tamihere's boss, said the broadcaster "is just incredibly conservative" when it comes to sexual orientation, and admits he's made provocative on-air comments in the past about the gay and lesbian community. "I hope JT embraces the interview - or if not, Grant."

A hug's unlikely. But Robertson's sexual persuasion will definitely be on the menu. "I find it fascinating, if not puzzling, as to how Grant can be a grandfather," Tamihere told The Diary, suggestively.

Expect, also, a few digs at Helen Clark, who cold-shouldered the Labour bovver boy in 2005 following critical comments he made about her in an Investigate magazine interview. "We all wonder if Grant is taking instruction from New York," Tamihere said.
Robertson better be taking instruction on how not to storm out on a live radio interview.

From charts to chefs

She has three critically acclaimed albums to her credit, but pop star Annabel Fay is giving the culinary industry a whirl. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter has been doing an internship at the Waiheke Island Yacht Club, the San Francisco pop-up restaurant run by Tony Stewart, and is looking at enrolling in a culinary school in New York next year.

The youngest daughter of Sir Michael Fay, who's been in San Francisco with her family supporting the Kiwis in their quest for the Louis Vuitton Cup, has a popular food blog (Fat Annie), and says she's as passionate about cuisine as she is about music.

"She's definitely not giving up singing," her rep said. "Annabel is just looking into new and different things."

Fay, who is holidaying in Hawaii, is expected to return to San Francisco for the America's Cup next month and continue her culinary training under Stewart.

Friends with freebies

Celebrity sprog Kelly Osbourne is sporting a new pair of sunnies, courtesy of Karen Walker. The child of rock star Ozzie and friend-of-surgery Sharon was flaunting the gold, mirrored specs (Intergalactic; $399) this week in a selfie. The sometime-TV-star took to Instagram to thank the Kiwi designer. "Thank you so much Karen Walker for these amazing new sunglasses I really love them!" It's not the first time Kelly has brandished Kazza.

Osbourne chose a black satin Walker prom dress for the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.

Back to the future

She left Auckland for Los Angeles three months ago to pursue Hollywood projects, but actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, 23, and her husband Jonathan Morrison, 24, a DJ, landscaper and aspiring screenwriter, are back and reportedly living at his parent's home in Orewa, according to Woman's Day magazine.

Paparazzi pics of the pair apparently arguing on the North Shore were splashed across the pages this week. Is the honeymoon over? No, says the Almighty Johnsons star, who took to Twitter on Tuesday to tell her man how much she loves him. "Is it too soon to renew our vows? I want another magic day with you."

Mag sources say the couple, who were paid a "hefty amount" for their multi-page wedding story, are unlikely to see another big payday until Keisha's star begins to rise again. She has parted ways with her long-time agent, Gail Cowan.

But it's her husband's bizarre Twitter attack on Wednesday that's most unlikely to entice cheque-wielding mag editors. He vented: "I will never speak to another NZ publication again. Mark my ****ing words ... they're ALL scumbags. Herald included." Oh dear.

National home invasion

Call the cops, there's been a robbery! Australia's Max TV has named Crowded House the greatest Australian band of all time in its legends poll. In best daylight thefts, Crowded House now officially join Phar Lap, Russell Crowe and the pav. And, to make matters worse, Split Enz came in at No2. Neil Finn wasn't fazed, taking to his website to boast about the burglary. And who can blame him? He beat AC/DC (3), Midnight Oil (9), The Bee Gees (11), Hunters and Collectors (15) and Men at Work (33).

Finn, who plays LA's Largo at Coronet club tomorrow night, has a solo record due out early next year. If it's a success, you can bet there'll be another national mugging.

- NZ Herald

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