'A lot of it is going to be surprising' says Kiwi actress playing Diana in biopic about Harry and Meghan

As the world braces for a blockbuster wedding, British and American audiences have just seen the warm-up act, a love story biopic about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, featuring a Kiwi actress.

Playing Prince Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, is a Kiwi and former Shortland Street actor, Bonnie Soper.

Casting directors were impressed by Ms Soper's uncanny resemblance to Diana.

"They definitely were just like, 'oh wow you're so much like her.' And I made a point of being in character as I walked in the room," Ms Soper said. 

One review says the TV movie isn't as deliciously awful as one may have hoped. Critics say it's still a little cheesy, but entertaining. They do say the main actors bring real conviction to their roles.

"She is a dynamic human being so it makes for a really interesting story," said Parisa Fitz-Henley, who plays Meghan Markle.

While it may be based on actual events, much of the pair's interactions are imagined.

Ms Soper said: "I think a lot of it is going to be surprising, there are things that I read when I was reading the script that I just didn't know and I was so caught up in the romance of it." 

The much-hyped love scenes that caused concern in the palace may be more dreamy than steamy.

As for whether the lead actors will turn viewers for the main event, Murray Fraser who plays Harry said: "Coverage, I think it's like five or six hours or something like that. I'll probably watch the highlight reel. I'll watch the best bits. I'll watch the I do's."

And while the movie is unlikely to be remembered as a classic, if it's a soppy fairytale you're after prepare to be royally entertained.

Former Shortland Street actor Bonnie Soper plays the Prince's later mother Diana. Source: 1 NEWS


Limo service operator linked to crash which killed 20 people leaves court after posting $232,000 bond

A limousine service operator was charged today with criminally negligent homicide in a crash that killed 20 people, while police continued investigating what caused the wreck and whether anyone else will face charges.

Nauman Hussain, 28, showed little emotion as he was arraigned today in an Albany-area court, and he ignored shouted questions from reporters as he left after posting $231,900 bond.

A judge had entered a not guilty plea for him.

Earlier, his lawyer said that Hussain wasn't guilty and that police were rushing to judgment in investigating Sunday's stretch limo wreck.

But State Police Superintendent George Beach said Hussain hired a driver who shouldn't have been behind the wheel of such a car, and the vehicle shouldn't have been driven after state inspectors deemed it "unserviceable" last month.

Hussain's car was packed with luggage when he was stopped Thursday on a highway near Albany, Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery said.

Hussain's lawyer, Lee Kindlon, said his client felt unsafe at home because he'd gotten threats.

The company, Prestige Limousine, has come under intense scrutiny since a 19-seater limo ran a stop sign and plowed into a parked SUV at the bottom of a long hill on Sunday.

The impact killed two pedestrians and 18 people in the limo, which was taking a group to a birthday bash.

Kindlon said his client handled only marketing duties and phone calls, while his father ran the company, though police called Hussain its operator.

Under New York law, criminally negligent homicide involves not perceiving a substantial, unjustifiable risk that leads to someone's death.

It's punishable by up to four years in prison.

Nauman Hussain, 28, entered a not guilty plea following Sunday’s stretch limo tragedy. Source: Associated Press


Sydney local council takes to social media to shame drivers caught parking in disabled car parks

A local Sydney council is shaming drivers caught parking in disabled car parks.

Canterbury-Bankstown Council has taken to social media to upload photos of vehicles in disabled parking spots without a permit under the hashtag 'not your space', Channel Nine reports.

Peter Simspon, a disability advocate who uses a wheelchair, says, "I don't like parking in [disabled parking spots], but I have to because it's a convenience for me so I can get from A to B.

"At the end of the day, you know, it's just a lack of respect - a lack of empathy, even."

Canterbury-Bankstown Council Mayor Khal Asfour said, "We're making sure that this campaign is spreading as far as we can on social media platforms and making sure our community's aware that when it comes to parking illegally, that we will catch you if you're doing the wrong thing".

Motorists caught parking in a disabled parking spot will be fined $561 and one demerit point from their licence.

Around 200 drivers already fined for the illegal behaviour this year.

Canterbury Bankstown Council is uploading pictures of those who use parks without a permit online. Source: Nine


Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger admits he 'stepped over the line' with women

Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger has apologised for some of his past behaviour towards women.

The 71-year-old actor - who has previously been accused of groping women - has apologised for his mistakes and has insisted he's learned from what he's done wrong.

He said: "Looking back, I stepped over the line several times, and I was the first one to say sorry.

"I feel bad about it, and I apologise. When I became Governor [of California], I wanted to make sure that no one, including me, ever makes this mistake.

"That's why we took sexual harassment courses, to have a clear understanding, from a legal point of view and also from a regular-behaviour point of view, of what is accepted and what is not."

Despite his past mistakes, Schwarzenegger insisted his attitude towards masculinity has not changed.

He told Men's Health magazine: "I'm a guy. I would not change my view of who I am.

"The woman I was originally most in love with was my mother. I respected her, and she was a fantastic woman. I always had respect for women."

However, Schwarzenegger admitted to regretting calling his political opponents "girly" in 2004.

The Hollywood star - who served as the Governor of California from 2003 until 2011 - said: "At the time it felt like the right thing to do.

"It was in my gut. I improvised it. I called them girly men because they weren't willing to take risks. They were afraid of everything. Politicians in general want to do little things so there's no risk involved.

"But it was shortsighted. In the long term, it's better to not say that, because you want to work with them."

Source: Associated Press

Donald Trump says Fed has 'gone crazy' after stocks' major drop

US President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve "has gone crazy" after a major drop in stock prices today 

Mr Trump, who has been critical of the central bank's interest rate increases, told reporters after landing in Erie, Pennsylvania, that he thinks "the Fed is making a mistake".

He added, "I think the Fed has gone crazy." 

But he also called the drop "a correction we've been waiting for for a long time".

US stocks took their worst loss in eight months on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 831 points and the Nasdaq composite logging its biggest loss in more than two years. 

Mr Trump has often pointed to stock market records set during his time in office as a measure of his success. 

The US President said he thinks "the Fed is making a mistake" with interest rate increases. Source: 1 NEWS