TOPICS: Couple of Waynes score a couple of Mo Awards

All dress-up, all fun, and it takes work. Wayne Cooper as Elvis and Wayne Rogers with partner James Hingston. TWO showbiz Waynes, both from Newcastle, are officially killing it.
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Wayne Cooper has been named Australia’s best Elvis act, with an entertainment Mo Award to prove it. The awards were announced in Sydney on Tuesday night. We’re as shocked as you are to hear there are lots of Elvis acts.

‘‘It was a bit from left field,’’ says Cooper, who doesn’t have a favourite Elvis song so much as a top 100.

‘‘It’s one of those things where it’s announced on the night and you ask ‘how did that happen?’.’’

He’ll be hoping to channel the accolade into his Hunter Elvis Festival at Argenton, in October. And if the name rings a bell, he’s Wayne Cooper the decorated Newcastle cop, not the troubled fashion designer.

Wayne Rogers, a cross-dressing crooner from Wallsend, took out Best Versatile Variety Act for the second year running. The Australia’s Got Talent star performed at the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL ceremony, resplendent in feathers, and Shannon Noll, Dicko and – gasp – Rob ‘‘Millsy’’ Mills were in attendance.

The previous night, Rogers walked the red carpet at the Capitol Theatre for the Helpmanns, alongside Todd McKinney and Cate Blanchett.

ARE you Newcastle’s funniest person? Then quick, you rascal, get down to tonight’s heat of the Crown of Comedy, and try not to crack anyone up on the way.

The comp is the baby of Shortland comedian David Gairdner, and last week’s first heat – won by Jordan Wunderlich, of Mayfield – was watched by 90 people at the Crown and Anchor Hotel.

Gairdner is looking for comics to sign up from 7pm, perform a five-minute bit and go into the running for the final on August 20. There are two $250 prizes to be won.

Er, yeah – upside down

TOPICS’S photo of Geoff Gunness’s sketch of the No.1 Reservoir (Topics, July 29), wasn’t an attempt to show how the architectural treasure might look to a restive bat.

It was just upside down. If you noticed, rest assured you’re not the only one. You can view more of Geoff’s work, the right way up, on his Facebook page, Gjgsketching.

STILL in the murky world of newspaper layout, Topics was desperate – frothing – to bring you the Isabelle Cornish mermaid photo (Topics, July 28) without the PETA watermark.

But the animal welfare group wouldn’t have it. They’d enlisted the Hunter model and actress to represent them as a scantily-clad siren and, with respect, their watermark would bloody well stay. Fair enough.

Then Cornish appeared on a rival website – let’s call it, oh, news杭州夜网m.au – in all her scaly glory. Same Cornish, same photo, this time with no watermark. Wha? Why’d they get a clean one, when we didn’t?

‘‘We didn’t actually send them that,’’ a PETA spokeswoman told us.

‘‘They doctored an image from a PDF we sent which was approved for use – we didn’t realise they were able to or would do that.’’

The lesson, kids: don’t ask. Just do what you want.

The Isabelle Cornish image doctored to remove the PETA watermark, and as it was originally supplied to Topics.

DOES Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian president who Newcastle Uni made an honorary doctor yesterday, do his own PR?

The African leader’s Wikipedia page had listed the honour by mid-morning, virtually as it was happening. Didn’t muck around. The same can’t be said of his response to Tanzania’s dwindling elephant population, down by two-thirds in the past four years. Not exactly a champion of gay rights, either. But congrats.

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