Take One

updated 10/24/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Fergie, who has been criticized in the past for being too down to earth, has made yet another too human gaffe: While she was on a tour of Australia early this month with husband Prince Andrew, a stiff wind twice blew her skirt well over her legs, one day even revealing the royal knickers. (White, covered with black tights.) The Duchess blushed crimson, Andrew was furious—and later, it was said, he wanted to know why she had not weighted down her hems to prevent such incidents. It was a sad moment for Fergie, who has endured long separations from her husband and told a friend she had lost most of the 30-plus lbs. she'd gained during her pregnancy for Andrew. "I just wanted to look pretty and thin when I saw him again," she said.

If running a comfy campaign were an issue, journalists covering the presidential race would most likely be voting for Vice-President George Bush. While hot meals on the campaign plane of Governor Michael Dukakis are a sometime thing, reporters covering Bush have been dining on duck, veal and shrimp—and last week Bush media adviser Stephen Studdert cheerfully ordered the pilot to "just give away the booze at day's end." Studdert also procures such souvenirs as T-shirts and hats for the press at whistle-stops, and once the plane is airborne he lulls the ink-stained wretches by playing on the PA system Bobby McFerrin's reggae hit, Don't Worry, Be Happy.

Bette Midler, proud mother of 23-month-old Sophie, is not one to keep quiet about anything—including raising kids. The Divine Miss M. has signed with Little, Brown to write a book on motherhood. Due date: fall of '89. Bette's previous book, The Saga of Baby Divine, was a 1984 best-seller.

Director Paul Bogart says turning Torch Song Trilogy, the hit play, into a feature film was difficult. Though Matthew Broderick had played writer-actor Harvey Fierstein's gay adopted son onstage for three months, Bogart says the actor had uncomfortable moments in his new movie role as Harvey's homosexual lover. The stumbling block: kissing scenes. "Matthew's firmly heterosexual, and I think he was fearful that people would think he was gay," says Bogart. "We'd rehearse the scenes up to the kiss until it was time to shoot, and then I'd tell Matthew, 'It's just acting.' " After all the angst, the Fierstein kiss was cut: The director decided it was not necessary. But when the movie is released this December, viewers will see Broderick smooch actor Brian Kerwin, who plays another gay man.

It's not the same old story on a forthcoming episode of NBC's sitcom 227 called "Play It Again, Stan," a spoof of Casablanca. Everyone will be black except for the piano player—who will be played by composer Paul Williams. Hal Williams will play the Humphrey Bogart role, Marla Gibbs will be the woman who breaks Bogie's heart—the part originated by Ingrid Bergman. Billy Dee Williams will be the man with whom Marla gets on the plane. And what song will the piano man play? Just an old-fashioned love song.

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