But the constant travelling has taken its toll and the couple made the decision earlier this year to move to Sydney to be closer to Shark’s record label Sony and to facilitate flights to recording commitments in the US more easily.

The pair had been planning to make the move earlier in the year, until the coronavirus pandemic put everything on hold.

Shane Billings, husband of Amy Shark, at the ARIA Awards.

Shane Billings, husband of Amy Shark, at the ARIA Awards.Credit:Nine Network

After fleeing back to Australia from Los Angeles, where Shark had been recording tracks for her upcoming album, she couldn’t face the prospect of spending weeks in hotel quarantine to look for houses. But with the border now open between Queensland and NSW, the search can commence in earnest.

Emerald City understands the couple are eager to find a place with cute features similar to those found in the Victorian terraces in the inner west, so perhaps a pad near The Enmore, a venue Shark sold out in 2018, is on the cards.

Shark’s latest single Everybody Rise, which is currently ripping up the streaming charts, was released last month ahead of her second album which is due out later this year.

There’s no party like a Michael Cassel party

Theatre impresario Michael Cassel is nearly as well known for the parties he throws as the shows he puts on. Anyone who has slipped into one of his opening night parties knows that the post-show shindigs are often almost as fun as what preceded them.

Hamilton producer Michael Cassel at one of the lunches he has hosted on his Potts Point terrace.

Hamilton producer Michael Cassel at one of the lunches he has hosted on his Potts Point terrace.Credit:Peter Braig

His annual christmas party, held on the terrace of his Potts Point office, is fast becoming one of the hottest social events of the year with celebrities, former prime ministers and the well-heeled theatre set kicking back into the small hours.

But Cassel’s party planning skills have been put on ice since he became one of the earliest victims of coronavirus after contracting the virus around the same time he promoted a concert with Tom Hanks‘ wife Rita Wilson at the Sydney Opera House.


Emerald City understands that as restrictions have slowly lifted, Cassel has taken to hosting intimate (and boozy) lunches rather than lavish parties.

That was until last weekend, when Hamilton, due to be Cassel’s next big Australian show, dropped on Disney+.

Cassel hosted a who’s who of TV and politics on his terrace for a big screen presentation of the filmed version of the Broadway production.

The ABC’s7.30 presenter Leigh Sales and her colleague Annabel Crabb, Studio 10‘s Angela Bishop, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher and The Sun-Herald‘s very own Peter FitzSimons were some of the high profile names in attendance, along with GWS Giants chair Tony Shepherd and the new boss of Destination New South Wales, Steve Cox.

One notable guest who wasn’t there was freshly re-minted NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin, who was part of the cheery announcement last year that Hamilton would premiere in Sydney rather than Melbourne.

Perhaps he will turn up for the party after the Australian production of Hamilton opens at the Lyric next year.

Lilo just a mask on Ten’s other reality problems

Lindsay Lohan‘s inability to get into Australia for The Masked Singer is the least of Ten’s COVID-related dramas when it comes to the hit reality series.

The decision to ship the production over the border to Melbourne when Fox Studios got over run by superheroes is causing a world of headaches for the producers.

Border closures and social distancing measures have created a headache for Ten's The Masked Singer. 

Border closures and social distancing measures have created a headache for Ten’s The Masked Singer. Credit:Network 10

Not only will they have to find someone weird enough to replace LiLo’s quirky antics, the logistical challenge of getting Sydney-based Jackie ‘O’ Henderson and Osher ‘Andy G’ Gunsberg into Melbourne and back out again is awfully complicated.

Production on the series, which is probably the most COVID-safe show on the telly due to the fact most of the cast are wearing masks, is due to begin in the next month.

TV is a difficult to make from home, so they can keep on keeping on through Melbourne’s return to stage three lockdown. But if Osher and Jackie are shipped in, they will have to strictly self-isolate at home upon their return to Sydney.

That would have a pesky kick-on effect for Osher and his endless commitments to The Bachelor franchise. At least Jackie would have time to enjoy her freshly-bought $11 million Woollahra pad.

Ten could send The Masked Singer set back to Sydney, but that could cause problems for the Melbourne-based judges Dannii Minogue and Dave Hughes. A Ten insider says it’s still early days and the foibles are being worked out – but one thing they are rushing for is the new judge, due to be revealed in the next few days.

Lucy Manly is away

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