With everything she has done, Carlotta has taken it by storm. Whether it was headlining at the world famous (or was that infamous?) Les Girls, as an outspoken panellist on Beauty and the Beast, becoming the queen of Australia’s RSL touring for years either as Carlotta and Her Beautiful Boys or as Carlotta’s Priscilla Show, or even publicly going under the knife for one of the best “nip and tuck” stories in Australian TV history – nothing can stop her.

Always looking like a million dollars, whether it is in front of a camera or filling in for Polly at Stonewall hotel, Carlotta seems to mix the old with the new, with her fans ranging from as old as the hills, to young fresh-out-of-school kids. Everyone loves her. She can tell the dirtiest of jokes with a fresh beautiful smile, but in a way that we all feel a little bit naughty while she does it.

I remember officially meeting Carlotta a thousand years ago (yes, this is a correct time measurement), when the terrible threesome all lived together – Polly, Doreen and Carlotta. She was in her house clothes pottering around the kitchen, cooking up a storm, yelling at the housemates, “ Are you girls going to be home for tea?” Receiving a mixed response, she replied, “Well, it’s bloody there if you want it.”

This glamorous creature I had seen for many years, usually dripping in sparkle and gorgeous dresses, was just a normal homebody you could usually find in the kitchen making fabulous food for whoever wanted a bite and a chin wag.

I’m not sure what I expected, maybe a Barbara Cartland-style woman, sitting sipping cocktails in a silk throw draped on a lounge, not a very normal woman who cuts the bullshit but is very genuine. Carlotta will probably kill me for saying this but she is very similar to my grandmother, a no-shit-taking, straight-talking woman, and I think that is why I was drawn to her from the start. (Carlotta is a hundred years younger than my grandmother, of course.)

Carlotta is embarking on a new adventure, with her sequin overnighter and probably a fleet of removalist trucks packed to breaking point. She has decided to relocate to Queensland, where she will be in the company of other DIVA legends such as Simone Troy and Monique St John.

Manager and long-time friend Penny Clifford has promised everyone that Carlotta is not heading up to Queensland to retire. It’s more of a sea change and she will be using her frequent flyer points to jet down every so often to work. “I won’t let her retire,” Penny promised many times.

We have come to love Carlotta, and I know I will miss having her either on stage or in my audience from time to time. But the sunshine and laidback lifestyle can sometimes call louder.

She’s a true living legend – all our best wishes are with her. Hope to see her soon for another scotch or two.

Keep up with what Carlotta is doing at www.carlotta.com.au.

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