Daily News Roundup

March 25, 2021



Australian music legend John Paul Young thrilled a school musical cast and audience with a stunning, unheralded appearance in a North Queensland school’s production of Strictly Ballroom last night, reports the ABC.

Young appeared on stage during the final scene to belt out his global hit Love is in the Air — surprising students and the Burdekin Theatre’s sold-out audience.

The Ayr region school flew Young in to surprise the Burdekin Christian College students putting on the school’s first ever full-length production.

Principal Debra Creed said arrangements were made for the singer’s visit months ago.

“I have to say a special thank you to Mr John Paul Young for coming,” she said.

There were doubts that Young would be able to make the production due to the disastrous floods in News South Wales.

His flights from Newcastle had to be re-routed at late notice. 

“He actually got up at 3:00am to drive to Sydney Airport because of flooding in Newcastle just to make it here,” Ms Creed said.

Since mid-2020, students have been preparing for the school’s adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical, a romantic comedy about a young man raised by ballroom dancers who risked his career for artistic freedom.

Students Emily Holmes, who played Fran, and Kremon Hankin, who played Scott, were overjoyed to see the production  proceed despite the pandemic.

“We spent nearly a whole year on this performance, planning,” Emily said.

“It was scheduled for October [last year] but because of COVID it had to be rescheduled. 

“We’re proud of everyone.”

“It was my first theatre performance but it was great because there was a lot of cheer from the crowd,” Kremon said.

For Young, his unexpected regional performance was one of his first opportunities to revisit the stage since the pandemic began. 

“It was great, it felt really good,” he said. 

“They asked me if I could come along and do this and I was quite happy to. 

“I’ve been in sort of solitary confinement for the last 12 months. I’ve only really worked once in the last year so it was great to get out of the house.”

Young congratulated the young performers on their theatre debut with some words of wisdom. 

“It’s just a great place to learn and I’m sure they’ve all learnt something,” he said. 

“The theatre is a wonderful place to start rather than being in a rock band. There is a lot of discipline here.”

Students were also surprised by a video message from Paul Mercurio who played the role of Scott in the 1992 Strictly Ballroom film, which played before the production.


Despite days of rain — and with flood warnings still current — authorities are asking people in Brisbane and parts of south-east Queensland to conserve water.

Brisbane’s main water supply, Wivenhoe Dam, is at just 37 per cent capacity, having largely missed out on the rainfall that saturated catchments around the region.

“So, that’s only seen a rise of about 1 per cent in storage capacity over the past week,” SEQ Water’s Chris Owen said.

“[That’s] the one that we really need the rainfall to fall in because it caters to more than 50 per cent of the region’s water supply for south-east Queensland.”

After the so-called “Millennium Drought” that ended in 2009, SEQ water connected 12 key dams across south-east Queensland to shore up water supplies.

The combined water storage level for the region is sitting at 58.6 per cent.

When it reaches 50 per cent, water restrictions are triggered.

“So, we are still below 60 per cent, which puts us in what we call the ‘Drought Response Phase’, which is where we ask people to just be conscious of their water saving behaviours.

“[People should] try to limit water use as levels trend down and as we head into the traditional dry season of winter,” Mr Owen said.

Before the rain, Brisbane was on course for water restrictions by about September or October, when the levels were expected to drop below 50 per cent, but downpours have bought extra time.

The warnings  come as Sunshine and clear skies have returned to Queensland as parts of the state recover from drenching rain and floods.

Meteorologist Matt Marshall, from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), said the fine weather should last for a least a week.

“There’s a lot clearer dry air over south-east Queensland now, so we’re just looking at sunshine, [and] temperatures back to normal for this time of year – pretty much for the next seven days,” Mr Marshall said.

The La Nina weather system that brought rain, flash-flooding and swollen rivers is also on the way out.

“We generally trend towards drier conditions for the next few months, and usually it’s not until a little bit later in the year that the good rainfall starts picking up again,” Mr Marshall said.


The Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall has given birth to a royal baby boy at home on the bathroom floor.

The 38-year-old daughter of Princess Anne safely delivered her son Lucas Philip on Sunday night local time weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces (3.7kg).

The baby’s middle name is a tribute to his 99-year-old great-grandfather, Prince Philip, who was recently discharged after a four-week stay in hospital.

He “arrived very quickly, didn’t make it to hospital, on the bathroom floor,” Lucas’ dad, retired rugby star Mike Tindall, revealed on The Good, the Bad and the Rugby podcast.

He said that “fortunately” his wife’s friend was there to help and their midwife arrived just in time for the delivery.

“She drove up just as we had assumed the posish [position] and the second midwife arrived just after the head had arrived,” he recalled.

Lucas is the Queen and Prince Philip’s 10th great-grandchild and Zara and Mike’s third child, joining seven-year-old Mia and two-year-old Lena.

“I literally was like ‘Yep, snip, snip, snip.’ I’ve got a boy. I’m out,” Mike joked of now wanting a vasectomy.

“The best thing about being at home … as soon he’s wrapped up, he’s skin on skin, straight downstairs. TV room. Golf on,” he said.

A Buckingham Palace statement said that The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh “are delighted with the news and look forward to meeting their 10th great-grandchild when circumstances allow.”

The Queen’s granddaughter Zara and former England rugby star Mike Tindall. Source:Supplied

The Tindalls have previously spoken about their torment at suffering two miscarriages.

They lost a baby in December 2016 after announcing the pregnancy a month before and Zara later suffered another miscarriage before her daughter Lena was born in June 2018.

She said that for a time “you don’t talk about it because it’s too raw”, adding: “But as with everything, time’s a great healer.”

Tindall said recently: “Z is very good, always careful because of things that have happened in the past, and really looking forward to it.”

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