Back Chat

IN this security-conscious age it seems that even bodyguards have bodyguards. In a story that surfaced last week, a woman called Lucy found herself in conversation at a Mid-Levels cocktail party with Mike Ellis, the Governor's aide de camp or ADC.

With his dazzling smile and sleek good looks, Ellis has gathered a considerable fan club, something that has clearly not gone unnoticed by those near to him.

Lucy, who also recognised the ADC as the man who runs bare-chested along Conduit and Kotewall Roads as he enthusiastically trains for marathons, soon became aware of a woman moving into position behind Ellis and giving her a look of such intensity it would have melted steel.

Without acknowledging her, Ellis then moved off to talk to another guest. At that point the woman moved smartly in front of Lucy and began to interrogate her. ''So, are you a runner?'' she inquired with a trace of iron in her tone.

''Uh, no,'' Lucy replied.

''Are you with the Government?'' she continued.

''Uh, no,'' Lucy answered ''Then would you please explain exactly what is your relationship with my husband?'' AFTER last week's item about a kite attacking a cricketer at So Kon Po, there is further news of the species' homicidal tendencies. Reader Jacquelyn Hodkinson revealed how her follically-challenged husband Jeremy went to the Government Stadium shortly before last year's Sevens to see the new structure, only to return with his scalp bleeding profusely.

He explained to his wife that after he and a friend assessed the view from the lower stands, they made their way to the steep upper levels to do the same thing. It was then that Jeremy was thumped very hard in the back of his, in Mrs Hodkinson's words, ''attractively shiny bald head''. In shock he turned to berate his friend for hitting him, only to realise his assailant was a kite.

The bird was clearly a discriminating creature since it fixed its talons on Jeremy's head, even though his friend was almost as follically-disadvantaged as he was.

As we advised last week, chrome domes planning to attend events at the stadium are advised to cover up, or risk having their pates used for dive-bombing practice.

ARE there already signs of discord at Hong Kong's newest Mexican restaurant, La Placita, in Times Square? Ebullient Italian Roberto Chard has abruptly disappeared from his role as greeter and purveyor of bonhomie, little more than a week after the place opened for business. Chard, who worked closely with the restaurant's manager Heinz Grabner for several months before it opened, had apparently been a big success as host, working the tables and greeting customers like long-lost friends.

One school of thought suggests that Chard, who was a successful pop singer in Korea in the 1960s, fell out with Grabner, although another connects his abrupt departure with the demands of running his Minho textile business with wife Carola. MEDIA mogul Ted Turner and wife Jane Fonda are being slated to open Wharf Cable's Hong Kong English-language news service late next month. CNN founder Ted will address a cable and satellite TV conference, and also do some ribbon-cutting at Cable TV's Tsuen Wan headquarters.

But don't expect a spate of Turner interviews in the Hong Kong press after his arrival here. He allocates precisely two interviews to Asian journalists a year, with requests having to be submitted up to a year in advance.

Although the Turner Broadcasting office in Hong Kong has been inundated with requests from the media, callers have been told the two slots were parcelled out months ago.

Given CNN's insistence it is committed to developing its regional profile in an area with a third of the world's population, this would strike most people as distinctly miserly.

Led by former TVB Pearl presenter Peter Maize, the new Wharf Cable service will consist of four half-hour bulletins sandwiched in between the existing 24-hour-a-day CNN satellite feed of news and current affairs.