How Julie Bishop won musical chairs among celebrities at the tennis

For the past two weeks the action at the Australian Open has been frenetic, but there is an equally competitive, ahem, "sport" taking place around the courts that is worthy of attention.

Indeed, we are talking championship-level socialising.

Nicole Kidman sits with her husband Keith Urban as she chats with Anna Wintour before the semi-final between Petra Kvitova and Danielle Collins at the Australian Open.Credit:AP

On Thursday PS was embedded between the fabulous Piper-Heidsieck champagne bar, which offered the perfect viewing platform to monitor the cavalcade of celebs, and Anna Wintour's bullet-proof bob, which managed to withstand gale force winds and scorching heat at Rod Laver Arena for the women's semi-finals.

And while the games were fabulous, it was the action in the stands that really captured PS's attention, especially when La Wintour took up her prime position in the front row, with Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban to one side and Baz Luhrmann, Qantas boss Alan Joyce and his partner Shane Lloyd on the other. Billionaire Jeanne Pratt was a little further down the line, and even dear Ita Buttrose somehow managed to snag a prime spot in the star-studded VVVIP section.

Baz Luhrmann with Anna Wintour and Julie Bishop on Thursday.Credit:AAP

But it was Julie Bishop and her partner David Panton who really stole the show, with Bishop managing to deftly navigate various seating positions between sets only to end up wedged between Nicole and Keith after taking up prime position in Pratt's seat when she went to the loo.

Things looked a little awkward when Pratt, whose trademark bob rivalled that of Wintour's and was almost indistinguishable (well, from behind), returned to find her seat gone. She quickly found another avoiding any fuss.

Vogue Australia editrix Edwina McCann, en route to the ping pong at the Australian Open?

PS spotted a few other interesting names too, from Eddie McGuire to Sigrid Thornton, though it appeared Vogue Australia's Edwina McCann may have been heading to the wrong event, walking past the Piper-Heidsieck marquee through to Rod Laver Arena with her own minder wielding white paddles held aloft, perhaps there were ping pong finals on somewhere?

Turia Pitt, Kim Clijsters and Ita Buttrose at the Australian Open.Credit:AAP

Meanwhile, PS had a very special tour of the players "backstage" area to where the elite tennis stars move around endless corridors from massage rooms and beauty parlours (yes, there are hairdressers and make-up artists ready to sort a player out before they go on court if they so desire) to luxury suites where their entourage can "chill" while the matches get underway.

There's even a tax adviser on hand in case a player needs to know what implications their prizemoney might entail.

Where Jana went, Abo is set to follow

She is a self-confessed "adrenalin junkie" but journalist Sarah Abo admits she is following in the footsteps of "trailblazers" when it comes to her latest assignment as one of the star reporters on 60 Minutes.

Abo, who signs off with SBS next Friday, will start work the following Monday at 60 Minutes and will follow in the heels of Jana Wendt, Liz Hayes, Allison Langdon and Tara Brown.

60 Minutes’ star new recruit Sarah Abo follows in the footsteps of ‘trailblazers’.

She is yet to reveal what her first assignment will be with the current affairs show.

"Like so many people in Australia I have grown up watching 60 Minutes and yes, those women were absolute trailblazers in the news industry, it's a great honour to follow them," Abo said, speaking exclusively to PS about her new gig.

Born in Damascus, Abo is the eldest of three girls who migrated to Australia when she was just four. She describes herself as something of a "black sheep" within her own family, with both her parents and sisters pursuing careers in the sciences.

"I just love hearing people's stories and then having the opportunity to share them … I never get tired of it and I have been extremely fortunate in my career to have covered a wide range of stories, living on three hours sleep and being sent off to far-off places …sometimes it's hard to come back," she told PS.

"While you don't get to show too much of your personality when you are reading the news or simply reporting on stories, I think those who have followed my career will have a pretty good understanding of the sort of journalist I am."

A regular face on SBS's Dateline, Abo has covered a wide variety of stories both locally and internationally, from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Paris Climate Conference in 2015, the 2016 US presidential election, the 2009 Victorian bushfire disaster, the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse and the official visit to Australia of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Married six years ago to Cyrus Moran, Abo says her husband is familiar with the gruelling demands that go with being a roving global reporter.

"He gets it and he couldn't be happier for me," she said.

Nicole and Keith's double act

The real Keith Urban.Credit:AP

She missed out on an Oscar nomination despite a valiant Hollywood awards season campaign, but that hasn't stopped Nicole Kidman from enjoying some well-deserved downtime in Sydney this week ahead of the Sydney premiere of Destroyer on Monday night.

Look familiar? Nicole Kidman in her critically acclaimed film Destroyer.Credit:Sabrina Lantos

But PS can't let it pass that Kidman's character in the critically-acclaimed film about an alcoholic cop who manages to save the day bears a striking resemblance to her husband of nearly 13 years, country music superstar Keith Urban. From the shaggy hair to the sultry eyes, the pair could pass for brothers (or sisters).

Centre of attention keeps noses in place

PS has been assured "absolutely no noses have been put out of joint" after a promo during the Australian Open for the fledgling new Today lineup raised eyebrows. Pictured in the centre was Deborah Knight, flanked by Tom Steinfort and Georgie Gardner to her side.

"It gave the impression that Deborah was the lead, not Georgie," says one TV insider, but a spokesman from Today assured PS the images appeared according to when the names were said in the accompanying audio.

Meanwhile Gardner's former co-host Karl Stefanovic has been enjoying his time out of the headlines since being dethroned at Today.

Keeping a decidedly low profile, PS hears he has been embracing a bit of deep sea fishing off Sydney. No word on what he's caught though.

Breast Master gets court date

Dr Michael Miroshnik, plastic and cosmetic surgeon, who bills himself as Sydney’s ‘breast master’.Credit:Facebook

A hearing date of February 19 has been set for prominent Sydney plastic surgeon Michael Miroshnik, aka "The Breast Master", whose company MSeven Pty Ltd PS revealed last year was being sued in the Federal Court by his former housekeeper, Deborah Crighton.

She claims her employment was unfairly terminated following a workplace accident when she suffered back injuries after falling off a step ladder while performing her duties at Miroshnik's home.

Crighton claims Miroshnik's mother-in-law, Karen Sharman, had "shouted" at her after she went to hospital following the fall, and that she felt unsafe remaining at Miroshnik's house. She has since moved to Queensland.

Crighton is seeking 52 weeks' lost pay – $43,161 – and compensation of $10,000 for "hurt, humiliation and distress".

A Prince among role models

Those African gangs keep getting bad headlines but there is a far better news story receiving little attention about one rather exclusive gang of young African-Australians who have taken the global fashion world by storm.

Proudly Australian-African, emerging model Prince Del photographed in London.Credit:Markus Lambert

Sudanese-born Aussie teen Adut Akech was named the world's top model of 2018 by influential fashion website (she beat supermodel Gigi Hadid). Fellow African-Australians Akiima, Ajak Deng, Duckie Thot and Subah Koj have all made their marks, and now a strapping young man named Prince Del is paving the way for Australia's Sudanese men.

Standing 188 centimetres tall, he came to Australia as a refugee aged 10 and was later signed as model by Chadwicks.

While Del himself says the market for "dark-skinned" models in Australia has been limited in the past, things have certainly changed for him over the past six months since he launched onto the global fashion stage.

He has modelled for the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Stella McCartney and Rick Owens, and is currently in the thick of the Paris couture shows.

"I guess I am a bit of a role model," says the 24-year-old who pitched in with his brothers to save up and buy a house for their mother and her eight children in Melbourne.

"I feel proud when my younger siblings talk to their friends and show them what I am doing. I don't believe I have reached my full potential yet and there is a lot more I want to do, like designing clothes and creating my own label … I'm just working hard to see where it all ends up."

Del speaks with a fairly broad Australian accent and considers himself very much a proud African Australian. "Australia has been good to me and my family. I believe you have to adapt to the place where you are."

Stars new jewel takes aim at Crown

Kerrie and Con Dedes at the launch of their multimillion-dollar new Flying Fish restaurant.

Unlike some of their celebrity peers, Con and Kerrie Dedes have built a multimillion dollar gastronomic empire across Sydney with very little fanfare. But on Wednesday night it was the couple's turn to finally shine as they threw open the doors of their newly-relocated Flying Fish restaurant, which has moved after 14 years at Jones Bay Wharf to occupy the prime waterfront dress circle site at The Star casino in Pyrmont.

But behind the kilos of caviar and free flowing tower of Moet, the Dedes have been cutting their teeth on the Sydney dining scene for decades.

Having recruited ex-Rockpool Peter Robertson as head chef, Flying Fish is the latest addition to The Star's arsenal as the casino and hotel being built by James Packer's Crown Resorts continues to take shape just across Darling Harbour.

Dedes was just 12 when he started washing dishes at his father Starvos’ restaurant at the Western Suburbs Soccer Club. "This is something special," a beaming Dedes told PS on Wednesday night. "We've grown up!"

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