Sunday Telgraph (Sydney, Australia)
May 15, 2005 Sunday
by ROS REINES
Lizzie engaged to multi-millionaire
After what can only be described as a whirlwind love affair, Ita
Buttrose's niece, Lizzie Buttrose, has become engaged to 60-something
multi-millionaire businessman Ashod Nassibian.
The couple were spotted kissing passionately during lunch at Otto
last Wednesday with two blonde friends.
Buttrose was flashing a stunning emerald and diamond ring. Later, she
was overhead on the phone at the A-list eatery telling callers of the
engagement and her birthday party which Nassibian was throwing for
It was held last night upstairs at Otto's. There were more than 100
on the guest list.
An Egyptian-born Armenian, Ashod Nassibian is well-known in business
circles as the former chief executive officer and major shareholder
in publishing group Wadepack. The company was sold late last year for
about $85 million.
Both of the couple have been married before. Buttrose has two
children to former printer John Spira. Nassibian first came to
Australia in the late '60s with a tribe of kids. The eldest is
thought to about the same age as his new fiancee.
The good news is that, as the picture shows, he looks years younger
than his age.
Since the break-up of her marriage several years ago, Buttrose has
been linked to some interesting men. Among them was the builder of
one of Sydney's first stadium-size mansions, John Symond.
She is also mates with thebillionaire packaging king,Dick Pratt.
Sami the siren is back on her feet
After four months away from a television camera, small-screen siren
Sami Lukis is back reading the news.
The bubbly blonde is currently reading the weekend bulletins on Fox
"It's only for three weeks at the moment," she says. "I am just
filling in, but sport is my passion. I have a degree in journalism,
so it is a perfect fit."
Hopefully for Lukis, it will be the start of a new association with
Lukis, dumped from her Today weather gig from Channel Nine earlier
this year, must have mixed feelings about the news that her old boss,
David Gyngell, has since resigned.
"I don't wish to comment on that," she said politely.
Lukis has since started seeing top accountant Anthony Bell, and also
earned several lucrative endorsements. She soon expects to announce a
major link-up with China.
Kudos for Kurosawa
Literary circles are buzzing with the news of the success of travel
editor Susan Kurosawa's debut novel, Coronation Talkies.
Since it was released last November, it has gone into five reprints,
and has been sold to Penguin in Britain.
Kurosawa has just returned from an author's tour to India, where the
book is also not surprisingly a huge success.
Mangan's flavour of the month in US
Continuing his domination of global taste buds, His Royal Chefness
Luke Mangan has been cooking up a storm on the streets of Manhattan.
This doesn't mean Mangan has been trying to impress down-and-out
He actually set up a barbecue right outside the Rockefeller Centre
with the NBC Today Show's hosts, Matt Lauer and Al Roker, andwent on
to char-grill someAustralian salmon andprawns.
The live segment attracted a crowd of several hundred.
Now the word is that Mangan is in line to pick up his own cooking
show on the Food Network. It's that beguiling Oz accent that gets
them every time.
Meanwhile the chef -- who is still awaiting word on whether he will
be summoned to do the Danish royals' christening feast -- has also
been in Britain checking out some eateries where the Lexus Young Chef
of the Year can do work experience.
He will, of course, fly back on Virgin Atlantic and ensure that his
airborne menu is cooked to perfection. Nice work if you can get it.
Kicking on for a good cause
Next weekend's Celebrity AFL match, a fundraiser of the Malcolm
Sargent Cancer Fund (which takes place before the QBE Sydney Swans
take on the Western Bulldogs at the SCG), could best be described as
the battle of the egos.
With none other than Nova's Merrick Watts and mathematician Adam
Spencer as co-captains, expect the unexpected.
Among those putting on their footy boots are former Swan Gareth John,
"Dicko", Karl Stefanovic, Tony Squires,Steve Bastoni, Geoff Huegill,
Home And Away's Chris Hemsworth, Will Osmond from Will & Toby's
(where the after-party will be held), Cleo fashion director Jo
Ferguson and a certain gossip columnist from The Sunday Telegraph who
couldn't kick straight if she tried.
One man who is apparently desperate to play but can't is Tom Wiliams,
who's away on a travel assignment.
She lights up any day
Gorgeous acting student Manon Youdale has a new man in her life. He
is celebrity hotelier Vincent Rae, whose Byron Bay boutique hotel,
Rae's, at Wategos Bay is the much loved resting place of the rich and
"Yes, we are good friends," says Youdale, who is attending acting
"But I can't tell you anything more than that. Vincent is a very
private person and doesn't like being in the papers."
Youdale split from her former husband, high flying property developer
Andrew Griffin last year. Since then she has been quietly studying
acting and going to various theatrical auditions.
The leggy brunette prefers live theatre to television. This is
perhaps not surprising for someone whose presence lights up any
Mat's no more a Chloe factor
Last month's hot relationship between former model turned television
host Chloe Maxwell and controversial footy hero Mat Rogers has burnt
Just days after I revealed their passionate trysts in Melbourne where
Maxwell had been shooting the X-Factor, there was news the romance
Recently Maxwell has been linked with former BB contestant and
Neighbours star Blair McDonough.
They were certainly together at a bayside eatery last weekend.
On cloud nine
Two of the bright new faces on Nine have something else in common --
they are also dating.
The attractive Jaynie Seal, who officially takes over from weather
femme Georgie Gardner tomorrow night while Gardner is on maternity
leave, has been spending time with the new Temptation (formerly Sale
Of The Century) host, Ed Phillips, 38.
Seal came from the Weather Channel where she was known as Jaynie
However, this was her married name, as she and her former spouse,
Nova executive Mark Shaw, have since parted company.
Rave reviews for Get Nicked
Get Nicked, Nick Giannopoulos' clever new take on reality television
is up for grabs.
With the Granada Television pilot already receiving rave reviews from
Granada's international head, it can only be a matter of time before
it pops up on one of the networks.
Described by Giannopoulos as "art imitating life", Get Nicked
features actors playing the star's family and friends while
celebrities play themselves.
Vince Colosimo and Holly Brisley were both in the pilot, which
included an hysterical scene at Icebergs Dining Room.
Claws out forThorpie's girl
The claws are out for Thorpie's friend, Lee Furlong, on the set of
Ten's new footy show, Seriously AFL.
Some are sniping because of the mistakes Furlong is said to have made
on the weekly show.
But, hey, she is still studying journalism in Sydney and went to Ten
on work experience.
In her first outing, she apparently made the boo boo of saying, "in a
game against Canberra ..."
There is no Canberra team in the Australian Football League.
Several noses were also out of joint when she swanned into the Logies
while other staff were told there wasn't enough room.
Defending her performance, executive producer Craig Reynolds says her
work is carefully subbed by others as would be expected. He would be
surprised if she made those kinds of mistakes.
"She's just started out, so we don't expect her to be Jana Wendt just
yet" he said.
Guess who, don't sue
Which squillionaire has just split with the sweetie he had left his
wife over? He has informed another old girlfriend he now has a new
Which stellar chef and his wife have apartments in the same area but
in separate blocks? It comes down to the decoration debate: he likes
modern, while she favours thetraditional.
Which controversial woman has found a new love while persuing her
Which radio announcer's first wife's stories about their home life
would make your hair stand on end?
Which squillionaire has moved on to conquer Melbourne after blotting
his copy book at several Sydney venues?
Which Bondi couple have so failed to have their names immortalised in
an art gallery wing?Pity, as it would have been theperfect setting
for a political fundraiser.