TOPICS: Idol way to stage

SPOTTING an Australian Idol also-ran can be depressing, like bumping into that guy from school who showed glimpses of talent at footy but spent the next decade in the TAB.
Nanjing Night Net

Not so in the case of Marty Worrall. The Idol 2004 sixth-place getter lives in Newcastle, teaches singing and possesses some serious lungs.

He’s also scored a role alongside Idol Nice Judge and fellow-Novocastrian Marcia Hines in the Long Way to the Top musical.

CAREER FOCUS: Marty Worrall, at right, backs up JPY at the Long Way to the Top concert at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Tuesday.

“It’s a treat to sing with Marcia after knowing her through my Idol days,” Worrall told Herald entertainment reporter Amy Edwards.

Worrall, a Mayfield resident, is the only male backing singer in the show, which wraps up in Brisbane tonight.

He also provided backing vocals on the The Voice earlier this year and was picked for the Long Way tour after impressing people at Channel Nine.

Lake Macquarie resident John Paul Young joined Worrall on stage during Tuesday night’s Newcastle Entertainment Centre performance, along with Doug Parkinson, who was apparently born at the Mater Hospital.

As you can tell, it was a bit of a Hunter affair.

The terror… the terror…

FORGET Willie Mason or Emile Heskey.

This region’s most eagerly-awaited return to action of 2012 surely belongs to Alan Jones.

The talkback king will dip a toe into the public speaking pond today for the first time since those unfortunate comments about the Prime Minister’s father.

We don’t want to join the list of those Jones has accused of harassing him and his sponsors with “cyber-bullying”. Or “cyber-terrorism”.

(Just as an aside, in the last cyber-terrorism film we saw, Die Hard 4.0, the cyber-terrorists didn’t lobby companies not to advertise on talkback. Maybe the profession has changed.)

Hopefully it won’t ruffle any feathers if we tell you the 2GB breakfast host is guest speaker at Breakers Country Club in Terrigal, for today’s Terrigal Trojans rugby club’s annual long lunch.

Jones is a late replacement in the slot for his ill 2GB stablemate Ray Hadley, who was originally advertised to not “hold back any punches . . . on a wide range of issues from sport to politics and beyond”.

We’re not sure whether Jones will “hold back any punches” at the $80-a-head fund-raiser in the wake of recent events.

Tempt-me-not

WHEN we saw this “lolly free” supermarket checkout at The Junction, we were kind of torn.

Part of us beamed “Good on them for taking a healthy stand”.

Another part sighed, “First World problems . . . “.

As in, how would you explain to someone in Somalia, that in Australia we need a specialised checkout to shield us from the temptation of sweets?

We must admit, we’re suckers for a pack of Mentos at the point of purchase. The lolly-free checkout is probably a good idea.