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14 March 2011

Australian Underbelly: TV And Real Life, by Greg Tingle - 14th March 2011

G'day punters, entertainment news junkies, politicians...one and all. 'Underbelly', the Australian crime drama continues to keep Australian (and international internet) audiences captivated. Then of course there's the real life Underbelly happenings across Australia with 'Sin City' Sydney being home to most of the action lately. Media Man and Gambling911 take you on another wild ride via the Underbelly Express...

Real Life Underbelly: Kim Hollingsworth Fact Often Stranger Than Fiction...

She is, or perhaps, was, best known as the pro in TV's Underbelly, but these days its her love of nature and horses the generate much of the headlines. Kim Hollingsworth, whose former life as a call girl, hooker... call it what you will, will continue to feature in Sunday’s Underbelly 3 finale. Today Kim's horses help her get through her rough lot in life, but things continue to look up. Hollingsworth, 44, of Wilton, described her Wodonga childhood as Pollyanna-like. She lived with an abusive boyfriend in Sydney, but was able to get an out. "What do you do, stay and get killed? Or do something like that, get the money then go ... it may have saved my life". One thing led to another, getting into stripping and hooking, and eventually breaking free to become a police officer like her father. The cop dream turned to nightmare when she informed on corrupt cops to the Wood Royal Commission. "They knew. It was ok I was a prostitute...but the moment I put that court report in, it wasn’t ok any more," she said. "It was payback." Then came ejection from the Goulburn Police Academy, a "commission"-forced sojourn in an Adelaide brothel, and the bullying-forced withdrawal from a police training course in which she had won enrolment after a court battle. Her salvation, she said, was a mare of her father’s, which had been acting up at Warwick Farm racecourse, before coming to the Ellis Lane property she had moved to from Cronulla in 2000. "She was kicking her heels up and running around and that gave me a reason to get up ... whereas before I just laid in bed all day," she said. Hollingsworth said she was still dealing with her past, including the death of a cop who had become a dear friend. "You don’t realise at the time that you are getting stronger; you just try to survive," she said. We wish Kim well with her ongoing recovery.

Underbelly Gets Average TV Viewership In February...

It had to happen eventually. The TV Underbelly series numbers have done down. The third Underbelly telemovie 'The Man Who Got Away' came out in 9th for the night with just over a million viewers for Channel 9. It was beaten black and blue (pardon the pun) in its timeslot by a new episode of 'Bones' on Channel 7, which snatched 1.148 million. Seven's 'My Kitchen Rules' was champion of the night with an massive 1.457 million viewers.

Sydney: St Ives Gets Gunshots For Underbelly TV...

The residents were instructed not to be alarmed by machine guns before scenes from series of a couple of Underbelly takes were shot in an otherwise quite St Ives street. Filming took place at two homes in Waterhouse Ave. Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities is set in the years from 1976 to 1986. Series on-set manager Chris Wheeler said the street was a good reflection of houses from this period. "St Ives shows the 70s and 80s style for the series in the most beautiful way," he said. Residents were informed of filming via a letterbox drop. In the letter, location manager Carl Wood said: "The production of Underbelly in Sydney (rather than Melbourne) is considered to be something of a coup for Sydney, and the NSW Government is right behind the project." The prequel cast includes Peter O’Brien, Roy Billing, Asher Keddie and Matt Newton.


Boardwalk Empire: International Bonus - Atlantic City Roaring 1920s: Crime, Gambling, Prostitutes, The Works...

Enter Atlantic City in the 1920s when prohibition was introduced and alcohol became illegal, everybody partied big time. Dancing, champagne, beer, the best food. County Treasurer, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi) was living large. Nucky was a real life character in Atlantic City who rose to power as one of the city’s leaders who became a racketeer running bootlegging, gambling and prostitution. HBO’s new drama series is a fictionalised version inspired by actual events in a book by writer Nelson Johnson. It’s a backdrop to themes of corruption, vice and larger-than-life characters. Buscemi has the lead TV role. Screenplay is by Sopranos writer Terence Winter. It has Martin Scorsese directing its first episode. Mark Wahlberg is also a producer. Nucky is a complex man. To the masses and media he condemns alcohol to the Women’s Temperance League while secretly commandeering backroom deals of booze smuggled and sold at inflated prices, all going strong under the federal law of Prohibition. He was the king in Atlantic City’s own underbelly, acquiring wealth via organised crime. Buscemi nailed this role, even snatching a Golden Globe for his efforts. The other key characters in the opening episode include Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) Nucky’s former protégé, who is tempted to work for the Feds, and Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) a wife who is beaten by her husband and turns to Nucky for help. In a city of liars, cheats and fornicators, she serves as the symbol of virtue. The production values of Boardwalk Empire are awesome. The Art Direction, Costume and Cinematography are outstanding. There are lavish sets and the attention to detail is world class. Scorsese’s use of period music hits the right tone. There’s nothing quite like hearing a 20′s ditty warbling on an old gramophone while an unlucky person gets whacked. Boardwalk Empire premieres 8:30pm Sunday March 27th on Australian pay television via Showtime. If you have pay TV, you owe it to yourself to tune in. Yes, most critics think its better than Underbelly also, but you be the judge, jury and executioner.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

Online Casinos, Online Poker and Sports Betting...

Ok readers, we hear you... you also want to know some of the best places to play online (that accept Aussies) if your in or around the Asia Pacific - Australia (including Tassie) and New Zealand, so here it is...

PartyCasino.com (Many of the world's best slot games. Aussies and Kiwi's welcome).

Captain Cooks Casino

Betfair (sports betting only)

PKR.com (poker, slots including Marvel slot games and sports betting)

PartyPoker.com (online poker at one of the world's most respected poker rooms and gaming brands)

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If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

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