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 radiate 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 there and to Palm Beach."
"But there's Coogee, Manly, Bondi, and Bronte, too. said Gillian, who obviously has learned Syd- ney likes 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
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
"These days, though, he has different ideas," Frank said. "He has widened my field until today I am more
"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."
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
Frank seems to be going on very successfully. He has an American season lined up
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
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
"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."