Take One

updated 11/28/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

The British seem to be making Fergie-bashing an official sport. When the Duchess of York returned home after a six-week visit with husband Prince Andrew in Australia, she brought with her a toy koala bear for infant daughter Bea. Fleet Street, unforgiving about Fergie's long absence from her baby, ridiculed even that. The London tabloid Today ran a cartoon depicting a nanny holding Bea, while Fergie clutched the toy bear. "Mummy's back from Australia! You remember Mummy, don't you, Bea?" the nanny asks. "Is she the one with the big furry ears?" asks Bea. Later, when the Duchess attended a performance at the Sadlers' Wells Theatre in an Yves Saint Laurent satin suit, Todayran a photo of formerly plump Oprah Winfrey, whom the paper called "striking," in the same outfit. "If I were Oprah Winfrey, I would be feeling quite pleased. And if I were Fergie," sniped the reporter, "I would lose 42 pounds. The Duchess of York looks like an overgrown drum majorette."

Don't look for Hunter Thompson on the talk show circuit. Booked for a sold-out performance called Fear and Loathing on Election Night at the funky Ritz dance hall in New York, the Gonzo journalist apparently provided babbling incoherence instead of clever commentary. "Full-fledged fiasco," reported the New York Post. Nor were the 1,200 fans at the club pleased. "They wanted some political insight," says one observer. "What they got was a drunk old man." "The show was supposed to start at 8 o'clock," says Ritz employee Raïssa Lumba. "He came out at 10:30. The election results had already been announced. You could hardly understand what he was saying. He was slurring his words. He was drinking a lot. After about 20 minutes, he took questions from the crowd. One man asked, 'How can you justify charging us $20, making us wait 2½ hours and then giving us this?' He answered, 'I do this all the time.' " Hecklers did not deter the performer, but after Thompson displayed a hunting rifle, many members of the audience—and the New York Post critic—decided to leave. Thompson could not be reached for comment.

How to get work in Hollywood: Get born into it. In MGM's Last Rites, starring Tom Berenger as an unconventional Catholic priest, 40 babies auditioned for a baptism scene. Only Berenger's 1-year-old daughter, Chelsea, was able to hit the mark.

Debra Winger, separated from husband Timothy Hutton and reportedly again in touch with Nebraska's former Gov. Bob Kerrey, was not with Kerrey election night, when he won a Senate race. There was no mention of their relationship during his campaign, according to one Nebraskan, because "people didn't go for it the first time around." Winger met Kerrey during the filming of Terms of Endearment in his home state in 1983. An ardent Democrat, Winger ended up spending election night at Dukakis headquarters in Boston. "I should have gone to Nebraska," she said to a reporter as the results came in. "At least we won there."

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