Has Titanic II helped float Clive Palmer?
Four days from now at a New York gala event, Mr Palmer will unveil the design of Titanic II, his attempt to “rebuild a legend that has captivated millions of people for over a century”.
The original Titanic has held the public imagination since it sank in 1912. But that might have something to do with it being labelled virtually unsinkable before it set sail.
Either way, the Titanic, its glamour and its demise gave birth to a legend. And it seems that Mr Palmer's push to build its modern equivalent, “the ship where dreams come true” has seen him become the author of his own legend overseas.
As a journalist with the New York Times noted in an article about Mr Palmer's Titanic-sized venture, the Queenslander's overall image in his home country is that of “a brash, eccentric entrepreneur”.
But that same article describes Mr Palmer as “a larger-than-life character who is as colorful (sic) as he is vocal”, while The Mail and Guardian, a South African newspaper describes him as “famously generous”.
Mr Palmer will host the New York event, the biggest on his meet the Titanic II world tour, which began at his resort in Coolum recently, went to Macau, takes in New York and then moves on to London.
More events are planned. And while Australia may be suffering from Palmer-fatigue, it seems the international press is just revving up.
“I've got 210 one-to-one interviews with media people lined up,” Mr Palmer said of his New York gala.
“I think I'll be there for a few days.”
A couple of hundred interviews may be an exaggeration, but journalists and producers from American programs and networks such as ABC's Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNBC News, Fox Business News , CNN International, Bloomberg TV, Sky News and Reuters TV have all expressed an interest in speaking to Mr Palmer about his venture; and that doesn't count all the major Australian networks, including the Nine Network which has had a 60 Minutes crew following Mr Palmer around for the past few weeks and the ABC.
Then there is the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the New York Observer, News Limited, Fairfax, Associated Press, and a host of American radio programs.
Then he'll move on to London where the BBC in a variety of forms has expressed interest in meeting with Mr Palmer, as well as all the major tabloids and broadsheets, TNT Magazine, The Press Association and yet more radio stations.
And that doesn't take into consideration the production companies that have expressed an interest in making a documentary on the building of the Titanic II, including National Geographic Television, Electric Pictures, New Wave TV, Off The Fence, Wide-Eyed Entertainment and the Seven Network.
Australian journalists who have written about Mr Palmer in the past have been asked for contact details, advice and “an in” “with either Mr Palmer or his people” from international production companies and journalists as varied as France, Germany and South Korea.
Mr Palmer says the Titanic II will set sail in 2016. But there are a lot of bridges to be crossed before [if] she embarks on that journey. What is certain is that we will be hearing a lot more from Mr Palmer in the lead up.