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The Mo the Merrier

The Mo Awards ceremony is like a giant love-in for the entertainment industry. Ros Reines couldn't resist the invitation.....

The Entertainment Centre - definitely not the most atmospheric venue in town was once again the sacred site for the industry's night of nights: the Mo Awards for excellence in live entertainment.

These were the 23rd annual Mo Awards (named after Australian entertainment legend Roy Rene's fabled character, Mo McCackie) and no expense was spared to make it a thrilling evening, hosted by basketball cheerleader Don Lane.

The highlight of the lengthy proceedings (apart from a hoofing spectacular by the Ballet of 1000 Years) was the performance by Jimmy Barnes' equally illustrious son, David Campbell. Toting a Mo for his role in Les Miserables as supporting musical performer, the 24-year-old belted out The Lady Is a Tramp with the same arrangement maestro Tommy Tycho had once reserved for Sammy Davis Jr.

As for the Ballet of 1000 Years, this turned out to be a group of tap dancers from the Trocadero with an average age of 70-something.

"When I heard their name, I thought I might be getting 20 20-year-olds on stage," mused Lane, "but it turned out to be 20 70-year-olds!" They almost bought the house down.

Also worthy of mention was the performance by Johnny O'Keefe impersonator par excellence the sexy Terry Serio, who even won the respect of the late Wild One's family.

Other Mo statues went to an army of artists including pop groups Human Nature and the Whitlams, Tap Dogs, actor Hugh Jackman and Troy Cassar-Dalley.

Don Lane (who was briefly linked with sizzling South American Elizabeth Fox) also deserves an award just for staying power.

In an epic, three-hour stint, he barely left the stage.

By Ros Reines, Sunday Telegraph - 28 June 1998