It's not about 'Irisgate', roysh, says gigolo Ross
Best-selling Ross O'Carroll-Kelly author Paul Howard has denied his latest book is based on the North's notorious 'Irisgate' scandal.
Due out in October, Nama Mia! depicts the much-loved rugby jock having an affair with a powerful wealthy 'Northern woman' several years his senior.
It's a plotline which Paul admits some could see as having similarities to the real-life affair revealed in January 2010 between Iris Robinson (59), the wife of the North's First Minister, and 19-year-old cafe owner Kirk McCambley.
"It's bizarre because I worked out this storyline a couple of years ago. But sometimes in real life, things happen and you go 'Oh My God' that's exactly what my next book is going to be. But no, honestly, it definitely doesn't have anything to do with them," Paul told me this week.
How could we not believe Paul, who claims the reason he sent Ross over the border is that over the course of the previous 10 books, his hero has been with nearly every woman in the Republic.
"I felt that an older woman in the North was a logical progression. It's Ross's gigolo years too. He meets this powerful woman who owns one of those destination spa hotels, the kind of places where they charge you £100 a head for afternoon tea, gets together with her and there are various twists and turns along the way," he revealed.
The jock will have the usual company in the book, including best pal, Oisinn, who disappeared at the end of the last instalment at Dublin Airport.
"It's where you drive your car into the long-term car park at Dublin Airport and leave all your bills and debts stuffed into the glove compartment. They call it a park' n' hide," jokes Paul. "Anyway, Ross tracks down Oisinn and brings him back to Ireland."
Back too is his dad, which will hearten readers, given that Ross was at the old man's bedside at the close of the last book after he suffered what appeared to be a fatal heart attack.
And Ross's mum Fionnuala, herself an author but now switched from penning 'Chicklit' to 'Miserylit' novels, returns too.
"Fionnuala sees tragedy as her favourite Dublin restaurants having to do 'earlybird menus'. It's Miserylit but not so much
Ma, He Sold Me For a Few Cigarettes' -- more like Ma, They Said They Never Heard Of Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
Nama Mia! is out in October.