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Jason Akermanis
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Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
David Hasselhoff Joins The Celebrity Apprentice Australia; Dog Day For The Hoff

"The Hoff" flew in to Sydney, Australia yesterday off the long flight from London, but Hasselhoff didn’t look too worse for wear.

Yesterday he was doing Bondi Beach and today he tipped off the world via his Twitter that he would be at Alexandria today, and "The Hoff" didn’t disappoint.

Today he appeared in a motivator type role for Australia’s Celebrity Apprentice as he participated in the celebrity dog wash antics at Sydney Park, Alexandria, in front of an appreciative crowd of almost a thousand (and a few hundred dogs).

Ian "Dicko" Dickson and Vince Sorrenti appeared to be the most vocal on the megaphone in getting pooch (and Hoff) lovers to part with their hard earned cash. All had to work hard as the celeb dog wash and other doggie activities occurred in 30 something degrees heat. Hoff was able to cool off a bit with his young girlfriend and was seen reaching for the sweat rag more than once. Hoff’s son seemed to enjoy himself, and former AFL star Jason Akermanis was frequently running around the park’s stalls. Even Batman and The Joker from DC Comics fame showed up for the fun. On the other side of the park the women’s team got into the spirit of things too, but Hoff’s team drew the biggest crowd 10:1. All the talent we spoke with today were very friendly and seemed to genuinely appreciate the strong turn out.

When quizzed about his favourite breed of dog, Hasselhoff joked "Hoff Dog", which got a nice reaction from the crowd. His shirt removal appeared to get the biggest pop from the crowd and as you would expect news media and fans focused in on Hoff’s chest.

To their credit, event organisers offered water to the crowd. Police were on hand for the event and its understood things ran smoothly throughout.

Channel Nine producers believe former Baywatch star Hasselhoff will guarantee the second series of Apprentice will make global headlines.

Hasselhoff is appearing on the show to raise money for his nominated charity, Starlight Foundation.

Today he joined other signings including outspoken and gay AFL identity Jason Akermanis, former Australian Idol judge Ian "Dicko" Dickson and others. Also participating in today’s dog mania was comedian Vince Sorrenti, Ben Dark and Tania Zaetta and Lauryn Eagle were on the ladies team.

Thousands of dollars was raised today but we understand you will have to tune into Channel Nine to find out exactly what the final $ bottom line was.

Filming of the new Australian celebrity Apprentice began in Sydney this week.

The show will once again be hosted by Australian finance guru Mark Bouris.

This coming Celebrity Apprentice is expected to rate higher than the last series, and if a success, producers will consider a third time lucky run. Woof.


Celebrity Apprentice Australia

Celebrity Apprentice Australia Facebook

David Hasselhoff official website

Vince Sorrenti official website

Starlight Children’s Foundation (Australia)

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Media Man News

Music News Australia

Jessica Sutta (PussyCat Dolls)
celeb news
Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
Hard Rock Cafe Darling Harbour Media And Celebs Event; Sydney, Australia by Eva Rinaldi

The world famous Hard Rock Cafe has returned to ‘Sin City’ Sydney with a vengeance, based on tonight’s launch event at the brand new Darling Harbour venue.

Hard Rock put on quite a show and rolled out the celebrities and live music including: Hamish Dodds, Matt Sorum, Dave Rich, DJ Lethal, Stan Walker, Angry Anderson, L Huntly, Sarah McLoed, Hamish Rosser, Altiyan Childs, Kris Peterson and Stim McLean. Most of them had turns smashing guitars, which is a trademark of opening new Hard Rock Cafes.

We all know that the cost of living and setting up a business in Sydney is considerable, but Hard Rock is certain their latest Australian venture will be a smashing (as in guitar) success. Sydney is one of the busiest markets anywhere globally for the Hard Rock Cafe, says the global chief of the music-themed burgers and ribs franchise.

Hamish Dodds, prez and chief exec of Hard Rock International, advised staffing costs down under in Australia make Hard Rock’s Sydney operations expensive compared with other global locations, and they are comparing to its other 172 venues which include cafes, hotels and even land based casinos. Yes, casinos, but Australia’s The Star and Crown Casino need not worry, as they have no plans for gaming in Australia – at least not any they are talking about.

Hard Rock International is owned by the well known and respected Seminole American Indian tribe, which purchased the global Hard Rock brand in 2007 after successfully running two Hard Rock hotel and casino operations in Florida in the U.S.

"For us this is an English-speaking country and people understand the history of rock," Mr Dodds said in Sydney on Tuesday ahead of the grand opening of the 500-seat venue in the Darling Harbour entertainment hotbed.

"Part of the downside of this market is it’s a mature economy – staffing costs in this market are very different to what we would experience in India.

"I would say the price mark-up here is about 50 per cent higher than the US – this is probably one of the most expensive markets we have in our portfolio."

Mr Dodds advised the Sydney Hard Rock Cafe was priced at a similar level to comparable restaurants in the area and he expected business to be brisk, averaging between 300 to 700 main meals a day.

Sydney would be among the top ten performers in the global network, he said, and among the top five of franchised outlets.

Tonight signified a return to Sydney for the Hard Rock franchise, which closed its previous venue in East Sydney in 2007.

Mr Dodds said Hard Rock had returned to Sydney with a revised and smarter strategy.

He said the former business was in a great location for the 1980s when the brand was fresh and people would go to the Hard Rock Cafe.

"Copycats harmed Hard Rock’s own business and the market changed to the point where we found ourselves in a B minus location and to a degree we lost a bit of relevance", Mr Dodds said.

The firm bought back its Sydney franchise in 2007 and has been revived by director and franchise holder Lennie Huntly, former GM of the Sydney business during the 90s.

Mr Huntly, who also holds the franchise for the Hard Rock Cafe in Surfers Paradise, said he had been thinking about re-opening a Sydney Hard Rock Cafe since the last one closed.

The waterfront location and views over Darling Harbour are a huge plus and soon a live music stage and 600-person music area will be rocking and rolling.

"We are focused on not only being about lunch and dinner," he said.

Mr Huntly also has the rights to open venues in Melbourne, Cairns and Perth. Melbourne’s former venue closed in 2007, but that doesn’t mean it will return with a hit.

Well done to the good folks at Hard Rock Cafe and we look forward to meeting up with the great guys and girls there again soon. Rock on.


Hard Rock Cafe International

Darling Harbour official website

Guns and Roses

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Media Man News

Music News Australia

Phillip Corne, Cate Blanchett,Yves Carcelle, Jean-Baptiste Debains
celeb news
Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
Louis Vuitton Opens New Sydney Store; New Bags, Kangaroo Creative and Top Brass, by Eva Rinaldi

Today luxury brand Louis Vuitton opened a new store (Louis Vuitton George Street Maison) in Sydney, Australia.

We’ve been tipped that Gucci is also planning to open a megastore in Sydney’s CBD. This follows a trend of high end fashion labels looking to hold parties in ‘Sin City’ Sydney including Mulberry, and you have Chanel and Prada tipped to soon open new luxury stores.

Apparently some Sydneysiders still have some loose change to spend on luxury goods (or at least that’s what the band bean-counters and marketers are banking on).

The Louis Vuitton George Street Maison, understood to have cost in the region of million, will deliver three-storeys of men’s and women’s fashion, plus "personalised services".

The iconic French fashion brand enjoyed its VIP opening in Sydney and of course there’s a couple of celebs to be spotted, with Australian actress Cate Blanchett (carbon campaigning to fashion is quite diverse) getting a bit of media rub off from the event today. It’s also strongly rumoured that there will be a party at the premises tonight. No, Angelina Jolie, who has associated with the brand, will not be there, but some Aussie celebrities sure will be. Company CEO Yves Carcelle was at today’s launch and is expected to also show tonight.

Louis Vuitton Oceania CEO Philip Corne advised the new development had been a long time coming for the brand, which now has 10 stores across the nation.

"We wouldn’t commit to the investment until we found the right space that allowed us to present the brand as we should," he said.

Not to be upstaged (too much) this coming Wednesday Gucci will also celebrate its latest store opening at Westfield Sydney, the city’s mega retail development in the Pitt St Mall, which also houses the luxury labels Mulberry, Christian Louboutin, Bottega Veneta and a Chanel boutique, while its Castlereagh St show-piece undergoes a million refurbishment.

Corne understands that his brand is high end luxury and not for everyone: "People have worked hard and are rewarding themselves."

As Time magazine once said, it was the French who "practically invented the notion of luxury in the 17th century, and in the 18th century, when Marie Antoinette took up residence in Versailles, and added her own twist to the genre". After conducting a survey on global luxury, the magazine concluded Europeans regard "luxury as a means of expressing their individuality and style while placing high authenticity and pedigree".

In Sydney apparently there is a group of cashed up consumers who don’t mind spending up on luxury goods.

A big congratulations to top brass Yves Carcelle, Philip Corne, Jean-Baptiste Debains and their team for putting on a great launch today.

Louis Vuitton cool and hip tips: we understand that the company sometimes creates very limited amounts of personalised goods. How about a guitar case for Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, a surfboard and surfboard cover (what pro would actually use that) and even a skate-board and cover (good luck with Maroubra Beach Skatepark local boys). When LV talks "personalised services" and "personalised products", they aren’t kidding.


Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton (Australia)

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Splash News

Media Man News

Music News Australia


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