All Woman

Lisa and Carlene team in 'Our Voices'

BY OLIVIA LEIGH CAMPBELL Staff reporter

Monday, March 31, 2003    

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They seem an unlikely duo, it's true - former beauty queen Lisa Hanna and dancehall queen Carlene aren't exactly two people you'd expect to be hanging out, chatting about sex, domestic violence or relationships on a Saturday afternoon.

Yet that's the whole premise behind the talk show Our Voices, the newest addition to CVM TV's Monday night line-up. In the half-hour episodes that begin airing on April 7, two completely different personalities that happen to be friends sit and discuss everyday and sometimes controversial issues with invited guests, hand- picked to keep the debate interesting.

Last Wednesday night, viewers were treated to a sneak preview of one of the episodes during the programme's official launch at Utech's Caribbean Sculpture Park.

"Don't expect scripted, rehearsed speeches...It's really about creating debate, shifting the debate, creating and disseminating information that women can really actually start talking about," said Hanna, clad entirely in black except for to-die-for sparkly four-inch heels.

No stranger to the small screen, Hanna will be hosting her second television talk show. She has come a long way from Rappin', the teen variety special she did before going on to win both the Miss Jamaica and Miss World titles in 1993.

It will be the first time Carlene hosts a show, but with her extensive experience dancing and acting in movies and on stage shows as dancehall queen, she should take to the camera like a fish to water.

In the show, says Hanna, she and Carlene will just be themselves, allowing the public to see the other side of the public figures that they are expected to be.

"I am not trying to be self-righteous or to put anybody down, because it's not about passing judgement, just about getting women to talk about the issues that they deal with every day," she added.

"I just speak my mind," interjected Carlene, wearing her signature blond wig and tight, black, flare-legged pants.

"I say anything that comes off the top of my head, and I'm willing to stand up and defend myself against all the ideas people have about me. Listen, because people see the blond hair or the mouth ring they like to assume things about me, but I think that I have a perspective that will make a very interesting programme," she told All Woman.

But is Jamaica ready to hear Lisa Hanna's opinions on sex or Carlene's take on PMS?

"Well, it's a part of life," shrugged an amused Hanna.

"Yeah," said Carlene, laughing in agreement. "And if they're not ready, that's too bad 'cause this is reality!"

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