Former cricket star is now water-blasting bus stops for $17 an hour.

With legal bills mounting, former cricket star Chris Cairns, 44, is out working for his family ... any work.

He is driving a council truck and water-blasting bus shelters around Auckland for $17 an hour, his best friend, Dion Nash, told The Diary.

"He's trying really hard and supporting his family the best way he can. He's not moping around, he's showing guts and doing hard work by cleaning bus shelters. All I can do is support him, but as a friend it is really hard to watch his name being dragged through the mud with no conclusion in sight. He's a champion guy and he will come through this stronger," Nash said.

The manual labour is a far cry from the glitz and glamour of Dubai where the former high-flying Black Cap worked in 2010 as a diamond trader, using his skills to purchase the 3.2 carat rock with which he proposed to his third wife, Mel Croser.


This week, the mother-of-two told a women's magazine that her husband had resorted to taking the cleaning contract because "he has no choice, he has to provide for his family ... We have bills to pay like everyone else. We don't own a house, we're paying rent like many other people and getting by is a struggle".

Cairns and his 34-year-old wife, who works fulltime in a project management role, live in exclusive Herne Bay, Auckland's most expensive suburb, where neighbours include Karl Urban, David Cunliffe and best friend Nash.

The father-of-four has steadfastly denied all cheating claims and patiently awaits resolution to the official investigation.

On Friday night, at a Britomart hotspot where newsreader Wendy Petrie was holding court, The Diary observed Cairns at the bar.

He bowed out graciously, apparently after hearing some taunts and mockery from other patrons.

His best friend says he knows he'll just have to cop it until his name is cleared.

"I'm sure he feels like an outcast, and people don't make things easy for him," said Nash.

"But does he go someplace where no one knows him? Until he proves his innocence he just has to soak it up and work hard."


Breakfast show gag order

Mark Staufer told The Diary yesterday he is gagged from speaking out about why his breakfast radio show was dumped from The Sound after only five weeks on air for fear of breaching an exit agreement.

The Kennedy & Staufer Breakfast Show was abruptly killed off last Friday, with parent company MediaWorks quietly issuing a memorial notice on Sunday morning.

A spokeswoman candidly told The Diary it was a good leadership decision to make.

"We did lots of tracking but we felt the show wasn't a right fit for the Sound brand. We made the decision now rather than later. We are relocating both Mark Staufer and Mark Kennedy back overseas. "

Staufer, who drew headlines this month for a profanity-littered on-air rant, took to Twitter to express his sorrow. "Thanks for all your support, my friends. It's been my Septimana horribilis, truly."

A permanent replacement for the pair is yet to be found, but a radio insider says dumping the show after only five weeks at the helm is very unusual and indicates a no-nonsense "fail fast" approach by executives.

Reasons to celebrate

• Many happy returns to One News autocutie Wendy Petrie who is celebrating her 42nd birthday in Queenstown this week, where I'm told, "the Veuve Cliquot will be flowing".

• Big cheers to Stephen Tindall who is encouraging New Zealanders to get patriotic and adopt a "Dot Kiwi" internet domain designed specifically for Kiwis and Kiwi businesses. "This is a significant event for the development of the internet in New Zealand, and for the million or so Kiwis around the world," he said in an email to key influencers yesterday. He's a fast adapter, taking on the address

• Congrats to New Zealand stuntwoman and Quentin Tarantino muse, Zoe Bell, who was named yesterday in the cast for The Hateful Eight, the post-Civil War movie to be directed by Tarantino.

• A tough job for former Shorty St actor Jacob Tomuri who is playing stuntman for British heartthrob Tom Hardy in Hackney, London this week and portraying not one but both Kray twins in the biopic Legend.

• New Zealand-born actor and director Stephen Kay, 51, married Hollywood actress Piper Perabo, 37, in New York at the weekend. The pair work together on the hit TV show Covert Affairs. Kay filmed Boogeyman in New Zealand nine years ago

• Want to see a film with Fido? Now you can. For the first time Aucklanders will be able to take their pooch to a play for a one-night-only performance of Dog at The Basement on August 21. Shavaughn Ruakere and Gareth Williams will star, with money from the night going to the SPCA. The play runs for humans for two weeks from August 19-30.