Kismet is a powerful word. The belief that fate can lead us to something that is “meant to be” is an idea that is both tantalising and terrifying all at once.
Certainly it’s not a word Peter Helliar thought would play a role in shaping his own future. But all that changed in 1999 as he was waiting to board a flight from Sydney to Melbourne. Then 24 and taking the early steps in his comedy career, he spotted a beautiful blonde across the boarding gate lounge – and suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to introduce himself.
“For better or worse, you’re not the guy who approaches strange women,” he told himself sternly. And so he let the moment pass, hoping he’d magically sit next to her on the flight.
“But that didn’t happen,” he says. “And I remember feeling relieved. I thought, imagine how embarrassing it will be when her boyfriend picks her up at the airport and she’s like, ‘This is the guy who tried to hit on me’.”
He spotted the potential girl of his dreams once more being met by her parents and grandmother. ‘Missed opportunity,’ he thought, ‘but that’s okay.’ And off he went home, putting the encounter out of his mind.
And then … kismet. Just three days later, Peter was preparing to do a stand-up routine at Collingwood’s Prince Patrick Hotel when he spotted a friend in the audience. And next to that friend was the 22-year-old woman from the plane – Bridget, who would become his wife of close to 18 years and the mother of their three children – Liam, 18, Aidan, 16, and Oscar, 12.
“I had no recollection of him,” she laughs now, as the couple share their Sliding Doors love story over lunch with The Weekly. “He went up on stage and did this weird routine, which I’ve never seen him do since. But then he invited us to his birthday party the following weekend and that’s when I thought, ‘This guy is pretty cool.’”
Almost instantly the pair were inseparable, bonding over their sense of humour as well as shared family values. But there was a problem – Bridget, or Brij as she’s known to friends, is an absolute travel junkie. And within a year of that fateful meeting, she was heading off on a European trip with no definite return date. Peter, who had just landed his career-making spot on prime-time variety show Rove, was definitely not going to be able to go with her.
They decided to adopt a “let’s cool it and see what happens” approach. When Bridget returned several months later, the duo reunited as friends. But Peter knew in his heart that the spark was still definitely there. And so he made a grand romantic gesture.
Enlisting a musician friend – Steven Gates from comedy troupe Tripod – he wrote a song for Bridget in which he declared his love. As they sat in the car together one night, he played it, saying, “Whatever happens in the future happens, but this is how I feel.”
“I started crying and said, ‘I have to tell you something’,” Bridget recalls of what should have been a magical moment. “‘I’m going to Egypt!’”
That was in September 2001. And as many of us will remember, the 11th day of that month saw a terror attack play out that would change the world.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
“I might die, and you're the only one I can tell...”- Sharon Stone
The Hollywood star reveals the harrowing details of the night family and friends rushed to her bedside as doctors fought to save her life.
How we stay married …Peter & Bridget Helliar
The comedian may have written a show about maintaining a long-lasting relationship, but it’s his wife Bridget whom he credits with teaching him how to keep the marital magic alive.
The year that tested Gladys
The NSW Premier has steered her state through fires, floods and a pandemic, and had a secret relationship publicly outed. Gladys Berejiklian suffered some chinks in her armour, but The Weekly finds she’s still standing resolutely and defiantly strong.
The cult of wellness
The “wellness” industry generates trillions of dollars but is it making any of us well, or just an unregulated, untested con?
Could she be innocent?
She has been called Australia’s worst female serial killer, but now some of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds say Kathleen Folbigg’s four children could have died of natural causes.
Nowhere to run
People living in remote Australia are 24 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of family and domestic abuse
Carla Zampatti 1942 - 2021 Family always came first
Just before Christmas, Carla Zampatti invited The Weekly into her Sydney home for a deeply personal photo shoot with her daughters and five of her grandchildren. No one could have imagined that this joyous day would be the iconic fashion queen’s last major interview.
Who was that girl?
When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying $600 and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for something. One month later, she’s an unidentified murder victim. But who was she?
How To Start A Kindness Revolution
The worst times often bring out the best in human nature, so don’t waste what you have learned in this global crisis.
The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 - 2021 Prince among men
He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, became a brilliant British naval officer, but chose love and a life of unfailing public service as the Queen’s devoted consort.
bold and beautiful
HOLE IN ONE
B&B'S LIAM AND HOPE RECONCILE
Liam’s emotional roller coaster continues when he is questioned by Deputy Chief Baker. “We have this confrontation with Baker and it’s totally unexpected,” shares Scott Clifton (Liam).
GH SCRIBES ON THE FALLOUT FROM FRANCO'S DEATH
Franco’s shocking demise at the hands of Peter have left Elizabeth fans wondering what the future holds for Franco’s widow — and for his killer, Peter.
NEVER SURRENDER Anna beseeches Peter to accept that he’s lost Maxie. Peter spits that Anna is no better than Faison and vows to make her suffer. As Jason tells Anna that he thinks Peter killed Franco, Maxie tries to make it clear to Peter that they have no future.
bold and beautiful
TALK TO ME Thomas is hard at work on the new Hope for the Future line when Ridge arrives at the office. Ridge admires Thomas’s work and dedication. The topic soon turns to Hope, and Ridge wonders if Thomas still has underlying feelings for his ex.
GRAHAM FRANKLIN'S: DREAMS DO COME TRUE
IF YOU ARE A REGULAR READER YOU WILL probably remember this eye-popping XJR-S in edition #162 when it was owned in Perth (WA) by Peter Crisp.
INTO THE WOODS
B&B’s Thomas and Liam may not be friends on screen, but their portrayers had a great bonding experience when they took a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park.
It's Only My pinion Daytime's most outspoken columnist!
Umbrella stories are back! Whodunits, “Who’s the daddy?” and classic wedding disasters.
B&B: FINN PROPOSES TO STEFFY
Hot on the heels of the revelation that Finn, not Liam, is the father of Steffy’s baby, the good doctor has a very important question to ask the woman he loves. “When he was racing to Malibu to stop Steffy from leaving, Finn made one stop to pick up a precious heirloom,” winks his portrayer, Tanner Novlan. “In this moment, after he tells Steffy that he’s the father, Finn makes the most of it.”