Faking it for sax and booze

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 March, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 March, 1995, 12:00am

HOW does the leader of the world's most powerful nation manage the affairs of state? Simple - while playing the saxophone and downing pints of a particular beer in the White House.

At least that's the impression millions of television viewers in China will get when a certain beer commercial shot in Hong Kong gets aired.

With those troublesome Republicans keeping him busy, Bill Clinton himself couldn't appear.

But no matter. The ad agency roped in lawyer-entrepreneur Gordon Oldham who, it is generally acknowledged, looks more like Clinton than Bill himself.

An exact replica of the Oval Office was created at a location in Sha Tin (the nearest we can get to Washington DC in Hong Kong) where, as the cameras whirred, Clinton . . . er, Oldham extolled the joys of sax - and beer.

At great risk to his reputation as the 'legal Rottweiler', Oldham displayed a soft touch and requested that his quite considerable fee be donated to children's charities.

ONE of the first lessons of social etiquette is that when in the presence of show-biz celebs one must always try to make small talk on a subject that may provide mutual ground.

So when someone we know met up with Athens-born, Los Angeles-based keyboard whizz Yanni she started telling him how much she enjoyed the TV series Dallas. And not even the first perplexed and later weary look on Yanni's face could quite put her off talking about Sue Ellen, Pam, Bobby, JR and the rest.

If only our socialite friend could have been taken discreetly to one side and informed that Yanni's live-in companion is, indeed, called Linda.

But she is Linda Evans of Dynasty - a kind of Dallas with coconuts. Not Linda Grey of Southfork fame. Then again, these American soap operas must be all Greek to Yanni.

WHEN you have the chance of dining every night at Government House, you'd hardly want to be eating at other people's homes. Which is probably why Chris and Lavender Patten rarely accept invitations to dine at private homes.

But the chefs at the colonial pile probably can't turn out a curry like the guy presiding over the kitchen at the Harilela mansion can. And we all know Chris is partial to a good vindaloo.

So Chris, Lavender and Alice headed off to Kowloon Tong as guests of Hari Harilela, where a fine repast awaited in the Mughal dining room.

Elements of the vast Harilela clan trooped in and out to meet their distinguished guests. And such a good time was had by all that a return visit for Chris and Lavender is inevitable.

But we trust the next time round the Pattens will show a touch of political correctness in their dress - salwar kameez for him and sari for her.