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Big Bra-vo for Kitson in Quest for Research Funds

Big Bra-vo for Kitson in Quest for Research Funds

Who: Jean Kitson
Where: Newcastle Panthers
Author: Michael Gadd
When: Friday April 6, 2001

WITH a tale of lifting her shirt in a public hospital in a Moslem country, who better to speak at the inaugural Bra-vo fundraiser for the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation than Jean Kitson. To cut a long, daunting and very funny (when told by the Great Debate star) story short, Kitson experienced a lump in her breast while travelling in the early 80s, when she was forced to brave the Moroccan public health service. Kitson wound up in a hotel room with a broken window under dim light and the scalpel of a French doctor.

The multi-talented performer survived that experience and will give one of her trademark speeches at Club Nova Newcastle on April 6.

'While my experience ended well, there are many who are not so lucky, that is why groups such as the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation are so important,' Kitson said.

There are few things Kitson has left to achieve in the world of entertainment.

She is now starring in a 13-episode comedy series for the Nine network called Flat Chat, which premiered in February and can be caught at 8pm on Tuesday night as part of a new Australian comedy night with The Russell Gilbert Show and Water Rats. Kitson was part of a boom for Australian comedy in the late 1980s and early 90s with shows such as the Big Gig, the hit ABC show with the likes of Wendy Harmer and Glynn Nicholas, and which launched the success of The Doug Anthony All Stars. Other shows which enjoyed enormous success throughout the period included Fast Forward, Hey Dad and another Kitson show, Kitson and Fahey, a sketch comedy show that co-starred Maryanne Fahey. Kitson has spent much of her time on the corporate circuit, doing her best to stay as close as possible to her daughters, aged 3 and 9.

'I get to speak to some amazing people, from hairdressers at the Gold Coast to the staff at the Attorney-General's office,' she said.

Kitson got her start after an open-mike night in the upstairs Le Joke room at the Melbourne comedy epicentre The Last Laugh. Here she did an act as a character called Bubbles, who was a stripper from Kings Cross who thought she had entered a place called Le Jock.

Local performers on the night will include Jig Zag, Jenny Barnes and Michael Saunders, The Hunter Singers and Sue Carson. Fundraising auctions will be carried out throughout the night by NXFM's funny-men Garth and Steve.

Tickets are on sale now from $66. The night will be hosted by NBN's Melinda Smith. For bookings contact 4926-2700.

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