Gay icon and New Zealand's godfather of gossip David Hartnell has been announced as a new Patron of the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Inc. Hollywood goss: David Hartnell Hartnell was New Zealand's first full-time gossip columnist, appearing on the Ray Wolf TV chat show in the mid 70s. All these years later, his catchphrases "I'm not one to gossip, but" and "my lips are sealed" are still heard on various TV shows and are in print each week in the Truth Weekender newspaper and also appear on the Grownups.co.nz website. He now joins the prestigious ranks of Lou Clauson – of Lou and Simon fame – Dame Thea Muldoon and Gray Bartlett who are also patrons of The Variety Artist Club. "It is a huge honour and privilege to have been asked by one's peers to become a patron of this extraordinary and talented group of New Zealand entertainers," says Hartnell. "I have worked in the entertainment industry both here and overseas for the past four decades, I was awarded the 'Scroll of Honour in 1998', and to be honoured like this by your peers is really the icing on the cake," the gossipmonger adds. The Variety Artists Club was established back in 1986 to foster and promote the spirit of variety entertainment in NZ. Each year an annual awards night is held, a chance to really step out in true Hollywood style, with top acts from around the country attending. The club's major award - called the 'Benny' - is awarded to an entertainer or person in the industry who has excelled or contributed well to the NZ Entertainment industry. Winners of the Benny over the years has included Rob Guest, Sir Howard Morrison, Dame Malvina Major, Guy Cater, Ricky May, Ray Woolf, Alma Woods, Billy T James, Suzanne Lynch, Marcus Craig, Ray Columbus, Alan Watson, and Max Cryer.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Saturday, 13th February 2010 - 8:21am
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