By OWEN HUGHES
IS the longstanding vacancy for head of Radio Television Hong Kong's Radio 3 about to be filled by one of the station's old boys? Former Radio 4 boss Douglas Gautier is rumoured to be leaving STAR TV where he has been acting as a spokesman after joining it nine months ago. However, in the wake of Gary Davey's arrival from London as chief executive officer at STAR TV, Gautier is said to be ''re-considering his future''.
The RTHK post has been vacant since June 1992 when Nick Bailey moved to London; Larry Ottoway was the heir-apparent but was later shunted off to the sidelines and the job was advertised earlier this year in local newspapers.
Since leaving Radio 4 in 1985, Gautier has worked for Hill and Knowlton, Metro Broadcasts and STAR TV, as well as stints in his native Australia, London and the United States.
ANYONE who has ever regarded cockroaches and journalists as similar species of ''vermin'' will read the following tale with particular relish.
Recently, a group of about 20 journalists and assorted friends gathered in the downstairs bar of the Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC) to watch the live coverage of the Five Nations rugby internationals. At precisely 1 am, the television screen went dead as the prearranged time signal in the main office clicked off. While the frustrated viewers pondered where they might watch the remainder of the broadcast, they were hit by a burning sensation in their noses, throats and eyes, along with a violent coughing fit.
They sprinted out into the street. Eventually a couple of brave souls ventured back inside and discovered a man dressed in a protective suit and gas mask spraying lethal cockroach poison in the kitchens.
''We had to get out quickly after we saw him because the burning sensation was too much to bear. Some of it must have got into the air-conditioning - it was like tear gas,'' reported one hack who has absorbed a whiff or two of the latter while covering riots around the world.
He is angry there were no apparent warnings about the cockroach cull, and added efforts were underway to discover the name, and any possible side effects of the noxious substance, with dark mumblings about a possible legal action.
THOSE looking forward to the Cathay Pacific/Hongkong Bank Sevens next month should heed the following tale about dive-bombing kites.
A cricketer recalls how he paddled a ball square of the wicket while batting on the So Kon Po pitch opposite the Hong Kong Stadium during a match last season.
A fielder jogging across the outfield after the ball never saw the kite that swooped out of the sun after him - not until its talons inflicted a row of bloody scratches on his head. Adding insult to the fielder's injury, the single trickled over the boundary for four runs while he lay momentarily stunned.
Follically-challenged Sevens fans whose pates have been burnt to a ruddy hue by the sun are advised to cover up, or risk a scalping by kites mistaking their heads for over-sized cricket balls.
ONE of the opening scenes of Shadow of China made it clear it was going to be an execrable film. The main character, played by John Lone, shows a supposedly wild and decadent black-tie party for some of his rich and refined friends. Unfortunately for thefilm's credibility, the bacchanal was hosted on a hired tram.
For many, a tram party is the ultimate in tackiness - on a par with riding in a rickshaw pulled by one of those snarling octogenarians at the Star Ferry pier.
Disturbingly, the main news from the dinner to mark the end of the Fringe Festival is that the Garnaut sisters, Michelle and Nichole, put in a successful $8,000 bid for the right to host a tram party for staff at their respective Lan Kwai Fong establishments - something that will surely terminally undermine Nichole's self-styled moniker for the 1997 Group as ''the temple of cool''.