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Frank is hame with, his bride

By NAN MUSGROVE

. Australian singer Frank Ifield, a local boy who made good in London, is back in Sydney on a four weeks' working holiday with his bride, former dancer Gillian Bowden, 24. Their keynote for the tour is happiness - with the biggest capital aitch possible.

IT is nice to see two

people so happy. They ra iiate a special kind of carefree joy, the sort sc íoolkids give off when sciool breaks up for

Christmas and weeks of unalloyed joy lie ahead.

I can't tell you how happy I am to be here," . Frank told me. "I have been

looking forward to showing

Australia to Gillie.

"I was going with Gillie for two years before we were married. I was always talking about Australia and I often wondered if I was lay- ing it on too thick.

"But now we're here, Gillie reckons I didn't lay it on enough.

"I have just taken her for

a walk round the Cross and

she is very impressed. She loves the shops."

Frank, who opened his season at Sydney's Chevron Hotel, will make a TV spec-

tacular for TCN9 while he is in Sydney.

One of the things he wants to do quickly is to take Gillian to Bilgola Beach,

where most of his last Aus- tralian TV show was made.

ABC of beaches "It's one of my favorites,"

he said. "I want to take her ther- and to Palm Beach."

"But there's Coogee, Man iv, Bondi, and Bronte, too. said Gillian, who ob' sly has learned Syd- ney aches like her ABC.

Other treats Frank plans

for Gillian are a weekend on a motor cruiser on the

Hawkesbury, a trip to Wol- longong to see the Sublime Point view, and down the coast to Kiama, where Frank is hoping the famous blow-

hole will blow for his bride.

GILLIAN has lovely teeth, a pretty smile.

A trip to Katoomba to

ste the Blue Mountains is

also planned, plus an oyster eating outing (Gillian has never tasted one) and a big ramble round the family farm at Dural to show Gillie his favorite childhood spots.

Gillie came into the con- versation here. She's slender as a willow wand, about 5ft. 4in. tall, with brown eyes so big they dwarf her face.

She has big, white teeth and a pretty mouth. When she smiles all you see are flashing teeth and eyes.

She is just as excited and happy as Frank. Indeed the

two of them seem to be

living somewhere between

the earth and cloud nine.

One of those near miracu- lous things happened to Gil- lian. She has a friend with the Windmill dancers in Syd- ney and conversations re- vealed that she was flatting

somewhere near the Chevron. »

Sure enough she is. Gil- lian saw her while looking out the window of her suite and waved and tick-tacked across the high roofs.

Gillian had been barely 24 hours in Sydney when I met her. She and Frank had gone almost straight from the plane to Beecroft to the Ifield family home and a re- union with Frank's parents,

Gillian met Frank's five brothers arid two sisters-in law for the first time, had lunch, and was whisked off to nearby Bear Farrh.

She liked the koalas and kangaroos, but not the emus.

"They're awful," she said. "They have a hole in their

head instead of ears.

"But I like Australia so

much I think I'll stay here. Frank can go back without me, or they can bring 'Robin Hood' out here."

Frank goes back to Eng- land to play Robin in the London Palladium's Christ- mas pantomime "Robin

Hood."

Frank is one of the most unspoiled show-business people I've met.

He works hard, and is pre- pared to give the credit for his success to everyone ex- cept himself.

He has just finished a film, "Up Jumped a Swag

FRANK AND GILLIE wave to Gillie's friend, a Windmill dancer,

from their suite at the Chevron Hotel, Sydney.

man," in which he starred as the swagman, for Elstree

films. Australian Annette

Andree also appeared in it.

It is the story of an Aus- tralian pop singer who goes

to London and makes a for- tune, and Frank insists it is NOT his life story. As well as being the star, he wrote nine of the songs in the film.

He also sings what he calk two traditional numbers, "Waltzing Matilda" and "Botany Bay," in the film.

"Up Jumped a Swagman" is due for release in England at Christmas and will be seen here next year.

Frank says it is a comedy

with music rather than a movie musical. I told him I thought he may end up as a musical-comedy star and he said his manager and agent, Australian Peter Gormley, had the same idea

once.

"These days, though, he has different ideas," Frank said. "He has widened my field until today I am more

versatile.

"Peter is already reading scripts for my next film, but

I won't have a chance of

fitting in another before the English winter of 1966.

"I go back to the panto

and TV commitments. I

generally make two Frank Ifield spectaculars a year and guest star on others.

"In England you have to be careful of over-exposure on TV. There is such a big population that a TV spec- tacular will reach up to 25 million people at one hit."

New hit

Frank's recordings are go- ing well, although he says he no longer takes an active part in the hit parade.

"I've got a new record called 'Paradise' out now," he said. "When we left Eng-

land it was 23 on the hit

parade. Where it is now I don't know.

"The hit-parade field is a limited one. You have to go

on from there - and that is

what I am trying to do

now."

Frank seems to be going on very successfully. He has an American season lined up

for 1966.

When Frank was here in

1964 the big story was that

he was a millionaire. I'd

heard he was a company registered on the Stock Ex- change now and I asked him

about it.

He was a company but he has been taken over ad- vantageously. He says he's

not a millionaire but he is

doing "very nicely."

"I'm very happy with my financial position," he said.

"I've been told my atti- tude about money is very

Australian.

"I don't care much about

money as long as everything is going smoothly and I've got a meal in sight.

"People in England are always amazed at this, but I have never taken an active interest in money.

"I am very lucky, really. I leave it to the very honest

men I have around me."

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