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Will Fennell – Perfectly Groomed And Stunningly Distinct

May 31st, 2010

I walked into Bondi Junction clinic, WillandPeta to meet television personality Will Fennell, who owns the clinic with business partner Peta Friend.

Greeted with an enormous smile and strong handshake, the strikingly brawn Will Fennell welcomed me into his clinic with open arms.

Will stands tall, perfect posture, tightly toned and immaculately dressed. He reminds me of a robust Gladiator. He speaks well, so polite and so refined. He has a pleasant and calming nature which is warming and gentle. I felt comfortable talking to him.

As mentioned above, he owns an amazing clinic called WillandPeta which does everything to make you and your skin look and feel it’s best. He is also a prominent television personality, columnist in magazines and also travels the world hosting events. But I’d like him to tell you all about it!

Popping over to the café across the road, I got to have a great chat to him about everything in his life…

Is there anything you are currently working on, or working on in the future that you’d like to tell us about?

Well, ‘hypothetically’, I’d love to do a book. I would love to contribute to a book on my philosophies and my philosophies of skincare. I’ve really changed over the 15 years of doing what I do away from taking my business from just doing fluffy facial treatments to using only cosmosutical products in my skincare clinic, where it is all results orientated, so the concept is that you can change your skin by using skin care and skin treatments.

I’m also working on a skincare range that I’m formulating at the moment. With skincare, you can go in two directions. You can get someone to formulate it for you, so you throw money at them and say you want a skincare range, they will formulate it, but they will own the formulas themselves, and you produce this product. Or you can go the other way, where you develop the formulas and I will own them, and they will be mine. So I can take them anywhere I want and do anything with them because they are mine. It just takes longer. I am working with my chemist to formulate the skincare range.

I have also joined the Mr. Gay World organisation, so I hosted Mr. Gay World in Oslo earlier in the year, and so I am going to Europe in September to host Mr. Gay Europe, I’m excited about doing that!

Last year I did too many things, this year I said I would only do three things. That’s all I will do, just these three things.

Who or what influences you most in fashion?

In fashion, it would be Tom Ford, with out a doubt. The classical thing about Tom Ford is that it is all incredibly simple; it’s just executed beautifully and flawlessly. All the man has to wear is a crisp white shirt and a black suit. Everything about him is incredibly simple, all of his designs are simple, and that’s me. I love that. I would prefer uncluttered and attention to detail.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

I love Calibre clothing, Calibre make the best jeans. I love them. I’d sleep in them! When you are getting older, in your mid-thirties, you can’t wear skinny jeans anymore. You still want to wear jeans that fit you nicely, without having that skinny look. My classic look is jeans and loafers, I wear jeans and loafers all the time, that is what I feel comfortable in. Calibre makes beautiful tailored jeans that are nice enough to wear to a business meeting, but comfortable enough to wear and be semi-casual.

Is there a feature of your home that you love most?

My partner and I have a balcony outside area that overlooks Elizabeth Bay. We live in the most densely populated suburb in Sydney, but yet we have this balcony, which overlooks this little body of water, and you wouldn’t have any idea where you were. I need to see water. I don’t need to see lights of the city or anything like that when it comes to views, but if I can see, hear or smell water, that’s all for me. Water has negative ions, so it’s calming. The closer you are to sea level, the calmer you are.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Travelling. It’s something that we like to do, we like to do a country and not do this whole 7 countries in 3 weeks thing. For instance, when we go away to another continent, people ask what countries we are going to, we like to keep it quite minimal and focus on only those countries. We’ll get a train from city to city. Countries I’ve never been would be my biggest extravagance.

How did you get into what you do?

When I was about 15, I had really bad acne, so I started to see a skin therapist and I couldn’t really afford to have the treatments. She was lovely, so she said come in and visit me, and help me and in exchange I’ll give you treatments, so I knew it’s what I wanted to do. When I left high school, I was too scared to tell my parents that I wanted to be a skin therapist, so I went to University for a year, then at the end of that year I said to my mother that I am going to go to beauty school. She cried and carried on.

At that time my father had left us and I had no contact with him. At that time, my mum and I were very poor and there was no way she could afford to put me through beauty school, but then my fathers mother died, and she left me money. I got this phone call one day from a lawyer saying “you’re grandmother has left you X amount of money” and all of a sudden I had the money for beauty school. It all happened in this short period of time.

I worked my whole way through college, first off at a nursing home, then at a beauty salon in Darlinghurst. I met my business partner there, and then the following year we opened out first salon, which was called Baby Blue. I was 20, so I was the Baby, and she has the most beautiful blue eyes, so she was Blue. That’s why we called it Baby Blue.

So how did the TV career come about?

10 Years Younger In Ten Days came through DNA, one of the executive producers of the show read the magazine, and she called me and asked if I wanted to do an audition.

After Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, the salon was doing really well and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it again, but I went along anyway, went to the audition.  They rang and told me to be at the audition, but I couldn’t get to it because I had a job I was contracted to in Germany and couldn’t get out of it. So that was that and I didn’t hear from them. I went to Germany, had a great time. I came back, and they rang me, and asked if I wanted to shoot the pilot. It was great because there were no nerves involved because I didn’t think it was going to happen.

Queer Eye For The Straight Guy was in 2004, the problem with that was it came about too late, they took too long to create it over here, the American version was barely getting 700,000 viewers a night, so the hype was over, resulting in just one season. From first auditions, to going to air, it took two years – that’s a long time!

Favourite place to relax in Sydney?

We live very close to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. It would have to be one of our favourite places ever. I run around that head, it’s funny, because there’s this bit that faces Woolloomooloo where my heart starts to get this thing there, as I approach the corner, and I see the bridge and everything at the end and it’s like… I don’t know, I just get this amazing feeling every time, it never changes. This is the most beautiful place ever.

What are your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

There’s always this idea that we are a season behind. That we are a step behind it all. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. We have some fantastic designers. As I said before, I’m a jeans and t-shirt type of guy. I have a few beautiful suits, I have less lots of clothes, instead some beautiful, maybe 6 or 8 beautiful shirts.

I think the idea of us being some little country at the bottom of the world that always has last season is gone, our designers have shown the world that they can go to Europe and mix it with the best of them. I don’t think we’ll ever be taken as seriously as French Couture or Italian, I don’t think it’s in our culture as much as it is in theirs. It’s in their culture.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without?

I have a lip balm in every single pocket in every single garment! Sometimes my partner will be like, “So which one is it today? High gloss, shimmer, lip-pumping…”

I have this great Christian Dior lip-pumper, and because I love them [lipgloss], I’ll try anything. I put it on and then next minute it works, because it has all these irritants to the skin, next thing I had these massive lips, my partner was so embarrassed by me!

There’s this idea that if you start using it, you will rely on it. The thing is, lips have no sebaceous glands, and so by nature they are incredibly dry. They still produce hyaluronic acid, meaning that they have the capability to moisturise themselves, but they have no capability of keeping the moisture in, because they have no oil glands. So you need to moisturise and you need to protect them.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

I’m so protective of my skin and the sun, that I don’t go to the beach all that much. But if I ever do go out in the sun, it would be Boy Charlton pool at Woolloomooloo, I love it there.

But if I had to pick a beautiful beach, it would have to be the smaller beaches on the harbour like Parsley Bay and the Eastern suburbs.

Three pet hates…

1. Gossiping.

2. Hairy ears. BIGGEST faux par.  Hair coming out of noses and ears. It’s so easy to remove. You can take a really handsome man and ruin everything with just a little bit of ear hair.

3. Body clipping and shaving on men. The days of men removing all their hair, it’s over now. Trim it back if you want to keep it all nicely contoured and all neat and tidy, but a big no to shaving. Imagine rubbing yourself up against someone who has just shaved, it’s like having a cheese grater on you.

How often do you eat out? Or cook at home?

I love Japanese. Japanese would be one of my favourite meals to eat out I suppose. There are some great Japanese restaurants in Potts Point, so I eat a lot of Japanese out. Apart from that, we cook most nights at home. We have a BBQ on our balcony. My partner would BBQ anything and everything if he could. He’s American, so he is used to using a big BBQ. We eat at home about 5 nights a week. We eat pizza, eat at home, or eat Japanese.

If you were Clover Moore, what would you inject money into fixing in Sydney?

We used to have a business on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. Ten years ago we moved away because I could see it was starting to decline. And I know that she is doing her best to somehow improve Darlinghurst, the feeling on the street, the safety, you walk down at night and I don’t know how much you can do to help this, but it’s not a place I would think of going anymore. I wouldn’t think of going there to shop or for dinner or go to Darlinghurst anymore. It’s, I think, it’s lost a sense of village and anything it used to have. It doesn’t exist.

Where would you go for drinks with friends then?

Lotus bar, I love Lotus bar. The best thing is you can just ask a waitress to grab you a drink and they just do it, they’ll know what you like, or they’ll just make one for you. I drink very little, but I’ll have one cocktail. They are amazing and it’s chilled, it’s an early, not a late place, so you don’t have to head down there late. I’m not really into the bar thing so much, but a cocktail bar is nice.

What is the thing you would change most in terms of men’s mentality in grooming?

Men think it’s too hard. That’s the first thing I come across – that it’s too hard.

The reason that’s happened is because the women in this industry have made it too hard. You have these women that have all these products, which they put on before going to bed.

All you need are 3 steps in the morning and 3 steps in the evening.

You cleanse and scrub in the shower, then put moisturiser on. It seriously takes 30 seconds. It’s not hard and it’s not time consuming. The way I have programmed my clients and the procedure of using my product is making it really simple in just 3 steps. You prepare the skin by cleaning it. You treat it by using active ingredients and you moisturise it. So I think that’s it, the main thing is it’s not that hard and it’s not time consuming, and the benefits you will see in the long run are enormous.

If you start in your 20’s or 30’s looking after your skin, wearing sunscreen and using exfoliant, you will get to 40 and look in the mirror and not think someone has walked all over your face. It’s easy, wear sunscreen. Most creams reverse ageing, the only one to prevent is sunscreen.

www.willandpeta.com

Meet The Charismatic Geoff Field From 2Day FM

May 17th, 2010

Geoff Field invited me to the Austereo studios at World Tower to do the interview you’ll read below. I was really excited to meet him, because I had heard his voice pretty much every working day for the past 8 or so years, when I first started listening to Kyle and Jackie O.

I went to the 16th floor and rang the door bell to the studio. Out came the very enthusiastic and very kind Geoff Field, greeting me and welcoming me into the 2Day FM family. He introduced me to the Groupie Receptionist Sonja who was also pleasant and welcoming. A tour around the amazing office, introducing me to all the staff. He showed me the Kyle and Jackie O and also the Hamish & Andy studios. Then it was to his little studio, where Geoff showed me how he does his job. I was so intrigued and excited to see how it all works and comes together – and he was so happy to show it to me.

The 2Day FM office and studio is so impressive, Geoff told me the story about Rihanna when she was here. She said that of all the radio stations she has been to around the world, 2Day FM by far had the best studios!

After we grabbed a couple of cold drinks, we headed up to the roof top to start the interview. It was a beautiful sunny day. A relaxed Geoff, immaculately dressed, with his distinct Porsche sunglasses on, we sat in the sun and caught up on everything GEOFF FIELD…

What are you doing at the moment – projects, work and other bit and pieces?

I’m working on Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying so much! I also do a segment once a week on Kerri-Anne; I do a lot of charity work too which I love! I work with Miracle Babies, which is for babies which are born premature, to raise money for them. I also do things like City to Surf, dinners, The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and people living with HIV, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and also Breast Cancer! So that keeps me very busy. I’m also doing a Youth Off The Street with Ellie Mobbs who works here at 2Day FM. It all keeps me very busy!

There has been many rumors about you leaving the Kyle and Jackie O show – please clear it up for us!!

I’ve just recently moved off Kyle and Jackie O over to Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying very much. Six years of breakfast and getting up at 3am was tiring.

I had some great experiences on the show, I got married to my partner Jason, live radio and live TV, I’ve been thrown out of an airplane at 4000 feet, I’ve read the news in a pool of sharks, I’ve been hung off the side of Center Point Tower, I’ve been dropped in the desert and had to find my own way back so working breakfast was great – but it’s time for a change. I enjoy my sleep-in’s and I love working with Hamish and Andy they are great!

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

My favorite place to relax in Sydney is DEFINITELY the Boy Charlton Pool. In Summer I just love going there and doing nothing all day, reading a book. I’m not really into beaches because I was spoilt as a child living on the South Coast, so in Summer Jason and I drive down to the South Coast a lot and go the beaches down there. I’m picky, so I love it because I don’t have to step over people like I do in Bondi Beach.

I also like to relax in Kirribilli, a Chinese Yum Cha Restaurant that is nice, and I also like to go to Doyle’s at Watson’s Bay. Oh – I also love Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair – Jason and I go there a lot for a walk and just sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by.

In terms of fashion, and home décor, is there anyone that influences you?

For the home, I don’t want to plug anyone, but have you heard of Kings Furniture? They design specifically for your house. Jason and I are about to move into a new house in Potts Point and I was told about Kings Furniture and I thought it was interesting because I could have the furniture made to my specific needs and the fact they are cleverly designed with built-in magazine racks and you can flip things around and turn it into a bed if you’ve got visitors.

Fashion wise, I’m an admirer of Peter Morrissey and Alex Perry, I know both of them through the show, I love some of the dresses Alex designs and I love some of the menswear Peter designs.

Is there a feature in your new place that you love most, or was something that made you want to buy it?

YES!!! I don’t want to brag, but it’s a fully renovated marble bathroom, that I can’t wait for! The bathroom I have now is a kind of 1960’s retro and I’m kind of over it! It’s going to be like staying at a nice hotel, so I’m very excited about it. Also looking forward to the kitchen. The kitchen we have now is a tiny little kitchen. If Jason is in there, and I’m in the kitchen, there is no room to even swing a cat or do anything. The new kitchen is really big – I don’t cook but still, it’s nice to be in the kitchen with Jason without feeling like I’m crowding in on his space.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Oh my God! My greatest extravagance is… Oh and I don’t want to sound vain… But it’s when I’m lucky enough… Every few years we fly over to Europe first class on Malaysian Airways. It’s not something I can do every year but I just love the experience of being up that end of the plane! It doesn’t happen every year let me tell you!

Another indulgence is a restaurant that we go to, which has had a lot of publicity recently because Pink went there, but I’ve been going there for 10 years, it’s called Beppi’s down in east Sydney. The same family has run it for 15 years or something. It’s just going there, and having a great Italian meal with a beautiful bottle of champagne. That is an extravagance.

Damn Pink went there and let the secret out and now to go there you have to book months ahead! But that’s alright.

What is something your mother and father always told you?

To respect people no matter who they are. To treat people how you would like to be treated. I think it’s simple and it works for me. Easy.

How did you get into radio?

I slept with boss.

NO!

EDIT!!! I’m joking!!!

How did I get into radio? Well I’d like to say I worked my guts out, went to University and did all the courses, but if you’d like to know the truth, my dad was best friends with the General Manager of the radio station in Nowra where I come from. So I got work experience there and I used to hang around like a bad smell. Seriously, they must have hated me because I would be there all the time. School holidays, weekends, whatever. Anyway I was basically offered a job, probably because they were so sick of me bugging them, so I went into radio, literally the day after I left school and I have never been out of a job in radio since. So I’m pretty happy with that.

What advice would you give someone going into this industry?

Persevere. Never give up. It’s that sort of industry where people often say “Call me back”, or “there’s nothing going at the moment”, so what you do is you keep on keeping on, you just bug them because it’s such a hard industry to get into.

There’s so many people wanting it and so few jobs and I have an example of a particular person who is now hosting their own radio show, they used to, like me I suppose, turn up for work experience and one day the announcer was sick and they put him on air. He now also has a great career. That’s the way to do it  – Never give up!

What do you think are the difference between Australian and European, American or Asian fashions?

I think Australia is great. Australian fashion is great because we cherry pick the best from whether it’s Italy, France, Europe, America or Britain, I’m no fashion expert but I certainly see enough fashion coming and going through this radio station. I’ve seen everyone from Lady Gaga to some of the great designers like Patricia Field for the Sex and the City girls, so I kind of watch from my studio.

I’m always fascinated, even at 6 in the morning, seeing people like Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins coming in, even at that hour of the morning they look wonderful. They are always wearing something that just looks great. That’s my thoughts on Australian fashion – we can look at the rest of the world, take the best of it and do our own stuff – and we do our own stuff so well.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without?

I can’t leave home without my mobile phone! I can’t leave home without my sunglasses. That’s it. Predictable but easy.

If you were Clover Moore, what would be something you’d inject money into fixing?

First of all I think there is too much reliance on cars in this city, like to get to one end of George Street, not even in peak hour, is a nightmare, so I think a lot of people are going to hate me for this, but I think we should make it easier for cyclists. My partner Jason cycles to work everyday and I know people say, “Bloody cyclists they hold the traffic up!” but not if we build cycle lanes. We need a more efficient public transport system in the city itself, the light rail, Clover has been talking about light rail for years, come on Clover!! We can do it!! That’s the first thing I would do – fix up the transport.

Three pet hates?

1. People that don’t respect other people.

2. People that maliciously gossip. There’s a difference between having a gossip, but there’s nothing worse then saying something horrible about someone or an untruth.

3. Weak Governments. I’ll give you an example. I had so much faith in Kevin Rudd, the day after he was elected, I can remember being on a charity walk with Tania Plibersek and some of the other people from the Labor Government and I was so hopeful that we were going to have things change in this country like climate change, all the other things, and look what’s happened. He only just said that climate Change was the greatest challenge of the 21st Century, and now he has abandoned it. We need strong leadership and we need people with principles.

Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?

Hopefully still employed!! I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment because I have had a change from Kyle and Jackie O and I’m not doing Hamish & Andy which I love. I loved being on Kyle and Jackie O.

In a few years time, I’d love to be doing my own show, I’m not sure which station, or what the future holds, but in radio, you kind of live from one ratings to the other, thankfully I have been at 2Day FM for 12 years, and hopefully I’ll be here for a little while longer. But in the future I would like to do my own show because I am very opinionated on a lot of issues, so I suppose I would like to give it a go, but not just yet – I’m enjoying being a news reader.

Let’s talk about home life – who cooks more, who cooks less, who cleans, what’s the arrangement?

One word. JASON!

No we actually do have a good at home arrangement, because Jason cooks, he won’t let me near the kitchen. He’s tasted my cooking before and I… Well this is embarrassing, but when we first started living together, I said I would cook one night. I can’t believe I did this, but I went to Coles or Woolies, and I grabbed some mince meat product, which Jason keeps reminding me about, called Dinner Winner. I mixed it up and it was glug. Since that moment Jason said I was banned from the kitchen!

I do the cleaning, and the washing, so it kind of balances it out. We are like a husband and wife, but I’m not sure who the husband is or who the wife is!

Your time with Kyle and Jackie O, they have obviously had you do some crazy stuff. Has there ever been a time that you refused to do something?

It’s all my fault, because when I first started working with them on air, “I’m up for anything! Whatever you guys throw at me I’ll do it!” So I had myself to blame.

My theory was, if it doesn’t kill me, I’ll do it!

But seriously, for the most part of it, it was all in good fun, as I said earlier, I wouldn’t have sky dived if it wasn’t for them. There are times when you think “Oh my god!!!” but at the end of the day, I’ve done about 95% of the things they’ve said – I can’t even remember the things I said no to. Most of the time I did it.

I can remember one morning I had a crocodile and a massive lizard unleashed on me in the studio while I was reading the news, and also on April fools day, the entire news bulletin was sabotaged, with noises and incorrect grabs, including Ray Martin walking in and taking over the news! It was all good fun.

What is one of your greatest learnt?

It’s probably Karma, I think how you treat people eventually comes back on you, I think if you treat people well, life is pretty good. That’s my lesson learnt. Oh and the obvious one – don’t say yes to doing anything!!!

Have you ever been in a position where you have been abused, insulted or harassed for being gay?

I’ve been so lucky, I must be one of the luckiest people in the world because I haven’t. I know that there are a lot of people that really struggle with their sexuality, the work place and their family, but someone up there has blessed me because my family is fantastic. Even my 18 year old nephews, when they come down at Christmas, they are excited to see Jason and I, calling us both Uncle Geoffrey and Uncle Jason, they have only ever known us as their uncles. I think working in the entertainment industry has also made it a lot easier for me, because I know that is I were working on a building site or something, or some other industries, I’d be more inclined to keep my sexuality to myself.

I’m very aware of the fact people do have massive problems and all I can say to them is be honest – because honesty always wins in the end, and don’t hide, because if you keep it a secret, it’s just going to bubble up inside you. No one cares these days; people respect people for who they are.

www.GeoffField.com.au