True Confessions of a Shameless Gossip

When it comes to dishing the dirt on celebrities, Craig Bennett is one of the best

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What do the celebrities head for in their favourite supermarkets? Craig Bennett knows.

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HANDS up anyone who doesn't like a bit of gossip - especially when it comes to the rich and famous!

And when it comes to quality gossip, Craig Bennett is one of the best.

He's been around the traps for 36 years and has come a long way from his humble beginnings as a wide-eyed cadet journalist.

When it comes to celebrities, Australian or international, Bennett has rubbed shoulders with them all. And you can read all about it in his new tell-all book, True Confessions of a Shameless Gossip.

He writes that his 21st birthday bash, with a bad taste theme, at his parents' St Ives home "probably still has the neighbours talking".

There was Bernard King in a "frightful wig", Marilyn Mayo dressed in a punk outfit, and Jeanne Little in bright lolly pink feathers.

"I'll never forget Jeanne whirling through the front door, raucously announcing 'Everything I have is bad taste, daaaaarling!'"

Bennett has shared recipes with Aussie favourites including Lady Sonia McMahon, Diana Fisher, Cornelia Frances and kids' TV king Simon Townsend.

There have been planned - and chance - encounters. Like supermarkets, for example.

"I once came whirling like a dervish around the corner and into the condiment aisle to collide with Sir Elton John, who was intently reading the back of a butter spray can while his big black SUV limo idled patiently outside."

He got chatting with Kiss Me Kate actor Ann Miller over the Valencia oranges, stood behind Ryan O'Neal at the checkout and watched Kylie Minogue "thumbing intently through the scandal sheets at the checkout, savouring every juicy morsel of shameless gossip".

During his time as a Hollywood showbiz correspondent, Bennett dished the hot goss for radio stations across Australia and the world. Faye Dunaway, Meg Ryan, Shirley Jones, Mike Walsh, Jackie Stallone, Shelley Winters, Fran Drescher: they're all in there, the good, the bad and the downright ugly, plus many, many more.

In true Hollywood gossip style, he's never been one to keep things to himself.

True Confessions of a Shameless Gossip, by Craig Bennett (New Holland Publishers) RRP $29.99.

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