But I had no idea of its beginnings.
I know the lady Ita Buttrose to be a well dressed, elegant writer and commentator, occasionally on tv talk shows and ads for osteoporosis and starving children. And of course I know of the the rich and influential Packer clan, controlling the non-Murdoch half of the media. But I had no idea they were entangled in the beginnings of Cleo. Or that they worked together, making a name for themselves during the dramatic downfall of the Whitlam government.
Set against that backdrop and the dying days of Sir Packer, the ABC recently aired a colourful two-part biopic, telling us of the tale of these ambitious folk, working hard to fulfill their destinies in the print world, encouraging Australian women to feel worth more in a mans world, all during the political ups and downs of the seventies.
The magazine became the most sensational mag of its time. So fun, so naughty! More importantly, I appreciated its history and how it helped define women in its time .. at least helping them have a voice, giving them the courage to ask questions, reach out for what they want, and to not be defined as a wife or housewife. A new confidence in entrenched patriarchy.
Daily Telegraph opinion article about the success of that sensational idea! And later, Dame Edna. Hehee .. loved it.
The program was great. I liked the depiction of the Sir Frank Packer (or "God" to his employees) and Kerry Packer. As someone who has grown up knowing the family and its empire, I enjoyed watching their approach to business behind closed doors, at least according to the screenwriters.
Wow she's got that lisp exactly right! Ooh, and I like what she's wearing.
Oh, and I like that dress.
Whoa. Was that what Sir Packer was really like?
That's a great outfit!
Oooh. Cute hair clips. Should I cut my hair?
That poor secretary - what's wrong with friands?
I like those accessories.
And guess what .. the airing of the two-part series became the highest-rating program on the ABC1 (1.2 million and 1.34 million tuned in on Sunday and Monday nights respectively) that it will be aired again. Alas, the ABC is not paying me for this plug, or even acknowledging me, but I thoroughly enjoyed the biopic.
So .. tune in this Easter Sunday on ABC2.
[warning: occasional offensive language and mild sex scenes]
I wouldn't mind Asher Keddie winning gold at the Logies for this .. it would be well deserved.