British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran let The Diary tag along yesterday to his special guest appearance on Shortland Street. The 23-year-old made the trip to the South Pacific studio in Henderson to make his acting debut on New Zealand's serial drama.
Producers are staying hush-hush about the specific details of the scenes and dialogue that were specially written for Sheeran's cameo performance, but The Diary can reveal he acted alongside the teens of Shorty, including KJ Apa (Kane), Lucy Elliott (Dayna) and Sophie McIntosh (Honour).
Ed's guitar, which travels everywhere with him, also made a guest appearance.
The episode will screen on June 23, just after the release of Sheeran's latest album on June 20.
Word on the street is that, for a man who has never acted before, he did "a pretty good job" and even made a good crack at the Kiwi lingo that the script required. Others said, "Don't lose your day job."
SBW inks deal with adidas
They have been holed up this week at Karma Kandara, a lavish five-star Balinese resort where private villas can cost up to US$7000 ($8110) a night, but Sonny Bill Williams and wife Alana Raffie are celebrating more than a belated honeymoon. The footy star has signed an exclusive sponsorship deal with sports brand adidas for an undisclosed sum, details of which will be released on Monday, adidas marketing manager Adam Daysh told The Diary.
The German sports apparel manufacturer, which is behind the All Blacks, has inked an exclusive deal with Sonny Bill Williams as an individual athlete, Daysh confirmed, but details on the value of the deal are unlikely to be disclosed.
Williams, 28, and his 20-year-old bride flew out to Indonesia last weekend for a short vacation and returned to Sydney on Wednesday.
The couple secretly married last August after a whirlwind six-month romance, but have only now managed to find the time for a honeymoon break during NRL commitments. His family tagged along too.
SBW took to Twitter to gush about the vacay: "A big thank you to Karma Kandara in Bali for looking after me and my family. One of the best places I've ever stayed at."
Raffie, an aspiring model, shares a four-storey home in Sydney's south with Sonny Bill and his relatives. But the couple will relocate to New Zealand at the end of the season.
SBW, a committed Muslim, told CNN last year family means everything to him and he bought each of his parents - who are separated - homes. "They've moulded me to the person that I've become," he told the network.
However, it's unclear what they make of the new Mrs Williams' past.
Before converting to Islam, Raffie worked as a Brazilian nightclub dancer and wore a gold embellished bikini, the Daily Telegraph and Britain's Daily Mail breathlessly reported this week. Revealing Facebook pics show the svelte brunette wearing a barely-there uniform of metallic bra and knickers while in the arms of a male dancer.
She is said to be carving out a career now as a part-time fashion model - and new mum, if rumours are correct.
Robin Brooke moves to Europe
Robin Brooke and his family are heading overseas next week for an extended OE. The former All Black, his wife, Hayley, and their four children are relocating to Europe for up to a year, with no return date planned, Brooke told The Diary.
"We're going to have a look around with the kids. We could potentially settle there, or potentially not."
Brooke, who will home-school his children overseas, had a star-studded send-off at Herne Bay haunt Andiamo on Tuesday night with former All Blacks Craig Innes and Olo Brown in attendance. Travelling funds shouldn't be a problem. Brooke sold his New World Warkworth supermarket franchise last September after three years at the helm. One source said he pocketed close to $10 million in the sale, but Brooke denied this, refusing to comment further.
He's not the only former All Black to have made money in franchise businesses. Eric Rush is the owner/operator of the Browns Bay New World supermarket. Bernie McCahill has several Jim's Mowing franchises in Auckland. Michael Jones is behind the Carl's Jr burger franchise. Blair Larsen sold his Pita Pit franchise in Britomart last year. Carlos Spencer and Danny Lee both owned Esquires Coffee Houses franchises. And Keven Mealamu opened a Nando's franchise in Takanini.
Hollywood's Kiwi thriller on Mt Everest
Martin Henderson has completed shooting Everest, a 3D adventure thriller set in Nepal and Kathmandu and co-starring Hollywood big-hitters Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Robin Wright and Sam Worthington.
It's based on the 1996 Mt Everest disaster in which Kiwi expedition leader Rob Hall and seven others lost their lives.
The recent avalanche on the mountain, in which 12 Sherpa guides perished, has halted production. The film's second unit crew were shooting scenes nearby, but no one was injured.
Aussie actor Jason Clarke will play Hall; Henderson will play fellow Kiwi guide Andy Harris, who also perished on that fateful trek. Both posthumously received the New Zealand Bravery Star in 1999.
In luvvie news
Rose McIver is teaming up with her Once Upon A Time co-star Jennifer Morrison on a short film titled Warning Labels, to be directed by Morrison and co-starring British starlet Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame.