It's been a quiet week on the celebrity news front with some TV types feverishly prepping for Fashion Week (Kate Rodger) and others head down and bum up in marriage equality advancement (Tamati Coffey). Thank goodness for All Black legend Dan Carter, who called his own Twitter press conference on Wednesday to answer questions from his newfound pals.

Poor Dan, he'd only been alive on Twitter for 24 hours when the vexing questions came thick and fast. "What's your preference: Cookie Time or Mrs Higgins?" "If you were having a stir-fry would you have noodles or rice?" "Is it true you wore a onesie?" "Have you ever been in a food fight?"

Carter amassed more than 22,000 Twitter followers on his first day on Twitter. That's a phenomenon, even for a man used to breaking records. He called a 60-minute press conference the next day and invited followers to ask him anything. But the All Black first five-eighths told The Diary he's finding his online popularity "a bit overwhelming".

"I'm loving the contact with some very enthusiastic rugby fans, not just from here in New Zealand but all over the world. I didn't realise it would be so much fun," Carter said.


The quiet Cantabrian, who ordinarily shares very little about his private life, has opened up, thanks to Twitter, and disclosed some personal snaps and details.

We know Dan loves sushi, prefers Marmite, plays lawn bowls and can't grow a moustache. If he wasn't an All Black, his dad would prefer he tried building or labouring. He listens to Shapeshifter, does the washing-up and says marrying Honor is his greatest achievement outside rugby.

All Black captain Richie McCaw is Carter's pick for best team player and English rugby star Jonny Wilkinson the toughest opponent, "when he was in his prime".

Japan-bound Sonny Bill Williams also came in for special mention. "Good luck in Japan, bro. It was some tough goodbyes on Saturday," Carter tweeted with a bromance pic of the pair sharing a hug.

"Sure was. Gonna miss the combo," SBW responded.

He paid tribute to Carter's arrival on the micro-blogging site. "Finally the man himself is on ... 20,000 followers on one day."

Two days later, it was 31,000 followers and counting.



She studied fashion at Wellington Polytechnic and now she's one of the favourite designers of the Duchess of Cambridge. Kiwi Rebecca Taylor, who grew up in Wellington, has been a stalwart on the New York fashion scene for 16 years. Now she's taking her label across the Atlantic.

Taylor retains creative control of the multimillion-dollar empire bearing her name that was acquired by the Kellwood company, and its parent Sun Capital, last year. The Rebecca Taylor label is wholesaled in more than 40 countries and worn by the likes of Cameron Diaz and Reece Witherspoon.

"Celebrities have become such important fashion icons," Taylor told The Diary. "Now, with social media, it's easy to find out what a celebrity is wearing. It helps to have celebrities in your designs because it brings brand awareness and gets the consumer excited about the collection."

News that Taylor is opening her first British retail store is reportedly good news for Prince William's wife. Britain's Daily Mail has reported that the Duchess counts Rebecca Taylor as one of her favourite labels. A navy Rebecca Taylor tweed suit, worn by the royal at an event in May, sold out online in 30 minutes.

"When I found out she had worn my suit, I was so thrilled! I am not sure when she first became familiar with the brand, or what other pieces she owns, but I hope she stays a fan," Taylor said from her base in New York.

The designer says she misses New Zealand and her family, who still live here. Younger sister Victoria, a jewellery designer, co-owns jewellery boutique Tory & Ko in Wellington.


Taylor attributes her success to the Kiwi can-do attitude. "Kiwis approach things with an 'anything is possible attitude'. I have always used this way of thinking when designing and making decisions for the brand."


The corridors of power at Parliament are frequently littered with the walking wounded after misjudged attempts at heroism on the paddock in the parliamentary rugby team. This week, first-term Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie has been hobbling into the House on crutches and getting around Parliament in a wheelchair after damaging his knee doing something a bit more mundane - not looking where he was cycling. McKelvie was apparently looking at a ship leaving port while he was riding a bike on the Wellington waterfront. He hit a kerb, came off his bike and further damaged an already weak knee. He has a soulmate, however. Labour MP Trevor Mallard is still limping after crashing his bike in Dunedin last year.


So much has happened in Feilding since you left. That's what I'd tell Evermore - the brothers Hume - when they return to New Zealand next week to promote their new album ahead of its October release. Jon, Pete and Dann Hume, who were home-schooled in the Manawatu town, uprooted to Melbourne and became another Kiwi export to Oz. The hits came and the music accolades followed. They toured with Pink, then wrote and recorded songs for their latest album on the road in a mobile studio that took them as far as Buenos Aires, Jerusalem and Spain. Their fondest memories are getting lost in Marrakech and a pat-down by the cops on the freeway outside Los Angeles after running out of gas.