BOB HART OUT OF THE BOX
IT IS a strange and troubling place, the past — especially when it is replicated as accurately, and as mercilessly, as it is in this cracking mini-series. Ita Buttrose lived there once, as a glowing symbol of the 1970s: young, fresh, indomitable and, apart from flicked-up hair and an endearing lisp, she looked for all the world like Asher Keddie.
In those days, Ita was a match for the abominable Packers who also lived there — the irrational Sir Frank and the ferocious, generous, duplicitous, capable and strangely insecure Kerry.
This is the story, spread over tonight and tomorrow night, of the creation of Cleo —a publishing triumph that unfolded against all odds.
Cleo, very nearly Cleopatra, was the Packers’ response to the US owners of Cosmopolitan who, at the 11th hour, took their masthead elsewhere.
The new magazine was given its chance to scupper Cosmo almost by default, and because of Kerry’s instruction to Buttrose to ‘‘ lose’’ a damning ad agency assessment of its chances. True story.
Buttrose, apparently, is happy with her portrayal by Keddie, though not entirely comfortable with her character’s lisp. It sounded about right to me. But
Look-alike: Asher Keddie