People are talking: Jackman's Jolie ban
Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness are often described as having one of the most stable marriages in showbiz. They’ve notched up 19 years together, first met when she was a bigger star than he was, and survived what could have been an awkward role reversal as his fame grew. They’ve weathered Jackman’s transformation from a dweeb with a mullet in the 90s into international sex symbol, via a starring role as Wolverine. AND she’s 13 years older than him.
All in all they seem to have just about overturned every Hollywood-marriage cliche. The secret of their success? Well, Hugh has always claimed they have a two-week rule — despite their busy schedules, they’ve resolved never to spend more than a fortnight away from each other.
But according to a recent interview the couple gave on the Today Show, there’s one other rule that helps them through. Hugh is banned from working with the woman who still holds the reputation (deserved or otherwise) as Hollywood’s hottest husband-stealer.
“I’ve told his agent he’s not allowed to work with Angelina [Jolie].” Furness said. She was quick to point out that she was only kidding, as her husband blushed beside her.
But there is, as they say, a grain of truth in every joke. And Deborra-Lee could be forgiven for being wary of the Jolie effect. Just ask Jennifer Aniston.
Celebrity splits in Vogue
Tis the season for Sleb Splits. First Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced the end of their 10-year marriage. This news really didn't shock anybody, unlike the Twitter bombshell dropped by former Westlife singer Brian McFadden and his bride of almost three years, Vogue Williams.
Vogue initially tweeted a statement that was later also put on the social network by Brian. "It is with sadness that Brian and I have made the tough decision to go our separate ways," the model and DJ wrote.
Talk about blindsiding an unsuspecting public! Did anyone foresee this turn of events? It's less than a month since the then loved-up couple got a new house in Howth and it was only in April that 35-year-old Brian was so head over heels with his missus that he sounded like an adolescent, telling the Belfast Telegraph that Vogue was his "Soulmate" and he had fallen in love with her "at first sight."
This sudden and unexpected shift from the celebrity pair reminds People Are Talking of the now somewhat dormant but once infamous 'Curse of Hello'. Back in the 1990s there were a slew of celebrities who gave interviews to the mag (usually in their 'sumptuous' homes) boasting of their happiness with each other only for them to split as soon as the issue hit the stands. Sometimes before.
Could the 'Curse of the Belfast Telegraph' be the next scourge of the sleb world? As Brian and Vogue shared their sad news, sections of the British press alleged that the former Mrs McFadden, Kerry Katona, had split with her third husband.
Whether Kerry ever gave an interview to the Belfast Telegraph remains unconfirmed.
Anne Marie Scanlon
FHE serves up some WTF?
It was a week when we fell down on our knees and thanked God again for Fidelma Healy Eames. In a week of grey politicians droning on at the banking inquiry, FHE served up another generous portion of WTF? and woke us from our stupor with her delightful Sarah-Palin-meets-Hyacinth-Bucket act. For everyone who confuses hashtags with hash browns and mistakes WiFi with something that smells a little off, they were reminded again last week that they have a voice amongst our elected representatives. As if that weren’t enough, Fidelma speaks French. She lapses into it when you least expect it — a bit like Hyacinth — and if you spot her correct intention you may say something like “ah! je vois!” or take an aspirin and lie down.
But don’t mock her online, because, if you do, that might be a bit “ironic”, since the context of her gaffe was discussing malicious electronic communications. In terms of irony we’d say this comes a distant second to the fact that FHE is allowed to discuss anything to do with t’internet in our national parliament, but we are sure about one thing: Forget Miriam O’Callaghan, we need FHE as president. She’s comedy gold and nobody gaffes better.
Greeks versus the geeks
There’s only one possible conclusion from last week’s events in Europe. The EU has turned into Woody Allen.
There’s a scene in the New York director’s film Manhattan Murder Mystery where Allen’s character commands his wife, played by Diane Keaton, not to creep out of their apartment in the middle of the night to investigate a strange noise, and she just ignores him. “I forbid you. I’m forbidding!” he’s reduced to declaring ineffectually. “Is this what you do when I’m forbidding? I’m not going to be forbidding you a lot, if you do.”
That was Europe last week, as the big guns lined up to warn off Greece from voting No to the proposed deal on offer from its creditors, and the Greeks just went ahead and did it anyway.
Is this what people do when the stuffed shirts forbid them? If so, the stuffed shirts won’t be doing it a lot in future.
Of course, it may all go horribly wrong, with Greece turning into the one place in mainland Europe that immigrants aren’t desperately trying to get into; but there’s something almost magnificent about the sheer bloodymindedness of it all. Even the biggest supporter of the vainglorious pan-European project surely harbours a secret desire that the Greeks will get away with it, just to give Angela Merkel, above right, Jean-Claude Juncker & co a bloody nose. At least they’re giving defiance a go. It’s more than we ever did.
Scrum down for Fifty Shades of George
George Hook is writing a series of erotic novels. It’s hard to know what to say about that. Other than block your eyes and ears and wait for further instructions. He revealed all when he appeared on The Brendan O’Connor Show on RTE Radio 1 during the week. He even read an excerpt. It’s easy enough to find it on the internet — just Google ‘I’d like to be terrified.’ Maybe follow that by Googling ‘how to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.’
George explained that the books are about an ageing, fat, balding broadcaster called Jeff. He added that they are not autobiographical. Really? Let’s put it this way, George — nobody is going to think these books are about Claire Byrne.
You have to admire his chutzpah. Getting people turned on with a bit of saucy prose isn’t as easy as people might think. Doing it when they can’t shake a mental image of George in his underpants would be quite the achievement.
Seriously though, who’d bet against him? Say what you will about George, but there is no doubt that he knows what makes us tick. He will be aware that 460,000 copies of Fifty Shades of Grey were sold here in the last four years. That’s probably about 459,999 more people than ever read Ulysses. (Yes, Senator Norris, we’re talking about you.) All that George needs now is a title to capture the imagination. 50 Shades of George is probably a bit too obvious. How about this? He’s a first- time author of erotic fiction. That can surely only mean one title. Rookie Hookie Nookie.
Top o' the mornin' to us
Apparently, ‘leprechaun’ is a racial slur. Sure, we get a laugh ourselves out of leprechaun hats with ginger hair attached, but should anyone dare describe one of us as the little folk, we get awful offended. Well, begob and begorrah, we really need to get over ourselves.
Last week on Fox News, a reporter, Lisa Montgomery, referred to Rory McIlroy as a leprechaun. Montgomery thought she was speaking off camera, when a colleague mentioned McIlroy’s unlucky ankle injury, and she replied, “He’s a leprechaun. I can’t stand him.”
Well, we Irish went wild. This was racially charged language, apparently, and a terrible offence to the Irish. Really? Can’t we just take this as a daft throwaway comment and get over it? Given that we happily market ourselves around the world as the crack as a nation, full of good humour and devoted to the slagging, shouldn’t we just laugh this off?
As Montgomery said on Fox the next day, when she drove people mad by justifiying instead of apologising for her remarks, she could have done worse than compare McIlroy to a cross little gnome-like character. She dislikes him, she explained, because of his shoddy treatment of his ex-fiancee Caroline Wozniacki, and leprechaun was the kindest insult she could think of. No doubt Caroline could have contributed a few choice Irish insults had she been asked. Just to be sure, to be sure.
Sunday Indo Living