The makers of telly soap Shortland Street are thrilled with the response to the cliffhanger show on Monday night in which one of the lead characters, Dr Sarah Potts, came to an untimely end. The show's Facebook page was viewed 1.2 million times and ratings drew 564,210 viewers.

"It was a pretty massive night. I think we broke the internet," said a rep for the show.

TVNZ has set up a tribute page to Potts, who died from a mystery illness, and fans have bizarrely taken to posting grieving notes of compassion.

Meanwhile, the popular actress is finding new life in music.


Amanda Billing, who played Potts for eight years, is leaving these shores to tour China, Japan and the US with the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra as part of their Be Mine Tonight album tour.

The orchestra will also be performing in 14 cities around the country in November and December for a national tour and album release.

Billing, 38, a former teacher at Rangitoto College, says she is looking forward to the new challenge.

"Goodbye Shortland Street ... hello China and Japan and New Zealand and stuff. Come and check us out - a ukulele covers band with a whole lotta heart."

Connor T-shirts for court
Millie Elder-Holmes and her friends are getting T-shirts custom made to remember her boyfriend Connor Morris, and they plan to wear them at the court case of the 33-year-old man who has been arrested in relation to his death in the High Court at Auckland on September 3.

The T-shirts cost $20 each and are emblazoned with a smiling picture of Morris and the words, "Rest Easy Connor".

A source said the T-shirts were a way for those who are not patched members of the Head Hunters gang to band together and show their allegiance.

P movie in ratings dispute
Rene Naufahu's gripping movie about the urban assault of P on our community is facing a battle with the ratings board.


The Last Saint, which has its glittering red-carpet premiere tomorrow night, has been given an R16 classification, but this is being appealed by the film's producers who want a review of the decision.

They argue Once Were Warriors was given an R13 rating.

"There is a battle going on with the ratings board to try and get the rating brought down to match previous New Zealand films of this nature and to allow at risk youth to see it in a safe environment," a rep told The Diary.

"The film is specifically about how methamphetamine affects young people and it would be a shame if they were excluded from the debate."

Many in the drug prevention community have come out in support of the movie, including Miles Stratford from Meth Minder and drug educator Richie Hardcore.

Eleanor Catton, above, with her unique artwork created in support of Daffodil Day. Jaime Ridg, top right, and Sarah Ulmer, bottom right, also contributed.
Celebs get creative for auction
A disparate collection of celebs have lent their creative talents to an art auction raising money for the Cancer Society. Broadcaster Duncan Garner, Olympic cycling hero Sarah Ulmer, foodie Nadia Lim, Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton and mother and daughter BFFs Sally and Jaime Ridge are among 19 Kiwis who have contributed artworks for the inaugural ANZ Daffodil Day Art Auction.

Bids can be made on Trade Me until August 27.

A cocktail party held in the executive level of ANZ tower on Monday night launched the fundraising initiative. Jesse Mulligan played MC and departing MP Tony Ryall looked dapper in a typically audacious ensemble.

Hip-hop star David Dallas, who lost his father Keith and brother-in-law Rodney to cancer, said he "felt compelled to offer something".

His pen on paper drawing, entitled Ever Get the Feeling?, was made with the help of his girlfriend, Leilani Momoisea, a reporter at Radio New Zealand International and fashion blogger.

TVNZ star Rawdon Christie and celebrity chef Al Brown were, at the time of print, vying for top spot racking up well over $1000 in bids.

However, Garner, whose father passed away from cancer three years ago, could do with some TV mates with big pockets. His colourful work with a patriotic bent was languishing on $61.

Tame Iti dressed up and took to Twitter to support the breast cancer cause.
Tame Iti so pretty in pink
Meanwhile, political activist Tame Iti took to Twitter to don a pink tulle tutu, angel wings and a pink bike helmet, astride a classic Chopper bicycle. The quirky photograph, he said, was for a good cause. "The Breast Cancer Foundation asked me to help them fundraise on a chopper. There was only one dignified answer... ," Iti tweeted.