July 06, 1987 12:00 PM

SHE’D RATHER COOK ON STAGE: What’s love got to do with Tina Turner’s new relationship with 31-year-old German record company executive Erwin Bach? Everything, apparently. “I am in love—and I don’t care who knows about it,” she told London’s Daily Mirror. “When people first heard about us, they reacted as though he was a teenager,” said Turner, who is 48. “But he’s 31 years old, for Chrissakes. How old do you have to get to be a man?” Rock of ages aside, Tina said, “It’s about the easiest relationship I’ve ever had…we’re not in love where it’s like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait till I see you.’ This time it’s easy.” Asked if she would live with Bach, Turner said she might, “but I wouldn’t get married because I’m not finished with my career…. Sometimes when you marry a man, he wants you to be at home.”

FANTASY ISLAND: A survey sponsored by the manufacturers of a new drink called HOT SHOT asked 110 bartenders in 97 bars around the country to poll their customers to find out who they would most like to be marooned with on a tropical island. The prize catches? Women chose Mel Gibson, admired for his family-man qualities (sure), while the men went wild over Whitney Houston (“great voice, great legs, great videos”). Houston edged out Madonna, Demi Moore, Belinda Carlisle (“unequivocally stunning”), Lisa Bonet, Justine Bateman (“the girl next door who would cause you never to leave home”), Princess Stephanie, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. Gibson, with a marked lead, defeated, among others, Bruce Willis (“A reservoir of comeback lines”), Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Eddie Murphy and Michael J. Fox. Shipwrecked in last place were Janet Jackson and, in a two-way tie, Matt Dillon and Charlie Sheen, who each received one vote.

SMOOTH OPERATOR: Country crooner turned pop singer Deborah Allen knows how to reach out and touch Somebodys. On a lark she wrote Prince, whom she met once, asking him to write a song for her first pop album; she ended up with the title track, Telepathy. Then, after seeing South African Bishop Desmond Tutu on TV, Allen took up the movement against apartheid. She called directory assistance in South Africa trying to find the bishop’s address. When it came with a phone number, Allen thought, “Why not?” and dialed. Asking if it was too early to call, she heard Tutu’s unmistakable voice. “No, my dear,” he said, “it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon. How can I help you?” Explains Allen: “I basically told him how I felt.” Tutu, in turn, “thanked me for my love and support. My heart was racing.”

QUIET VICTORY: Triumphs such as defeating top-ranked Martina Navratilova in the French Open have a price. Eighteen-year-old tennis wunderkind Steffi Graf of West Germany, seeded No. 2 at Wimbledon, reflected, “When I come into the changing rooms, now, there is a sudden silence—the other players stop talking, and there’s no more messing about.” Graf has definite off-court opinions of at least two of those players. She finds Chris Evert “sneaky, always intriguing. You just don’t know where you are with her.” As for Martina, Graf says the world’s No. 1 player “was nice to me when I was younger…but relations have gotten a bit cooler since I’ve gotten so successful. These days Martina is a little scared of me.”

DIVINE COMEDY: It was a rare coming together of comediennes, and Lily Tomlin, for one, was impressed. She joined her friend Bette Midler, with whom she’ll star in the Disney comedy Big Business, for dinner with Lucille Ball, whom she had never met. “It was like a religious experience,” says Tomlin, “like having an audience with the Pope. There I was with Pope Lucy and High Priestess Bette. I felt blessed.”

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