Sunday 4 December 2016

The Edge: Life's not been a piece a cake for Twink - but she will rise again

Published 28/11/2016 | 02:30

Ireland's answer to Mary Berry, Twink at home in Knocklyon putting the icing on one of her cakes. Photo: Tony Gavin
Ireland's answer to Mary Berry, Twink at home in Knocklyon putting the icing on one of her cakes. Photo: Tony Gavin
Holly Carpenter was in House
Alan Amsby aka Mr Pussy
Krystle's Eileen Wright and Rangan Arulchelvan

I love a story with a happy ending - especially at Christmas time when we have pantos coming out the wazoo.

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And I hope that turns out to be the case for Ireland's answer to Mary Berry, cake-maker extraordinaire, Twink. The legal situation with her house in Knocklyon has at times seemed like some epic drama with Twink playing the heroic lead. Game of Scones, anyone?

Joking aside, Twink's 18th century Georgian mansion on Idrone Avenue in Knocklyon was placed up for sale last week with a price tag of €1.2m. Twink deserves some good luck with her troubled house - and her life after Mr Agnew infamously unzipped his mickey. And I think you will all join me in wishing her that she gets it.

Your diarist, like the rest of Ireland, has long had a soft spot for Twink. When I contacted the demi-deity of Irish TV last week to invite her to party she replied that "in these troubled times of ours here in Idrone House that sounds like a must. Hopefully it's for Naomi and I," she said in reference to her equally talented daughter.

"She's up to her eyes every day of the week, working all over the country on Gogglebox. She is field researcher/casting on it and getting great praise from all the big TV shows she has been on of late. She seems to be 'poached' from one big show to the next - Una's Dream Ticket, The Restaurant, The Great Irish Bake Off, Road To The Dome, Operation Transformation and others.

"And now Gogglebox!" Twink gushed. "Great for her! I'm very proud of the reputation Naomi's getting. All the crews I have previously worked with have nothing but praise for her. She has been approached to do some film work in New York in 2017."

"And Chloe went back to LA at 4am for a tour of America," Twink told me last Wednesday night in reference to her other brilliantly talented daughter. "She has a beautiful single released with the glorious voices of Eamonn McCrystal and the sensational Rita Wilson - Mrs Tom Hanks. They are great girls."

Of course they didn't lick it off the stones.

Twink is one of Ireland's greatest entertainers, having been the highlight of so many Late Late Shows down through the years, as well as starring on Play The Game for 10 years and performing onstage opposite the likes of Milo O'Shea, Jimmy O'Dea and Maureen Potter. As well as starring opposite Mr Murphy on The Live Mike - and, almost as unforgettably, playing Mena Glavin in Sive by John B Keane.

I could go on for hours and hours about how great Twink is. I just hope the banks realise how great she is, too.

Either way, like her beautiful cakes, she will rise again.

Ceira and gang celebrate her salon's third birthday in style

No one looks back on their life and remembers with glee the nights they got plenty of sleep.

This trusty truth has kept the proprietors of nightclubs and late-night bars wealthy for as long as I can remember - and possibly even before I could remember.

Last weekend was a particularly profitable one for them. I imagine. Take last weekend, for instance, in Alan Clancy's House on Leeson Street...

On Sunday evening top hairdresser Ceira Lambert was in with a glamorous gang to celebrate her salon's third birthday.

The gang included Rosanna Davison (who was at Ceira's recent wedding in Tenerife to Shaun O'Brien), Holly Carpenter, Leigh Arnold and Aoife Walsh.

The previous night, one of the greatest rugby players who ever lined out for Ireland - Paul O'Connell - lined up in the nightclub on Leeson Street with some friends. They stayed for an hour or so before relocating later to another of Alan Clancy's establishments, Xico on Lower Baggot Street. Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham was in House earlier that night, as was esteemed rugby pundit Brent Pope. Even earlier still in House, Hozier was in with family and friends to watch the Ireland vs New Zealand game on the television.

On Tuesday night further down the road on Dawson Street, Jess Glynne held her afterparty at 37.

And yes, before you ask, 37 is also owned by the aforementioned nabob of the night, Alan Clancy. The red-haired British singer Jess came after her sold-out show at the 3 Arena.

She arrived at 37 round about midnight alongside her management, friends and support act, English rapper Wretch 32.

Her entourage was soon enjoying the libations on offer. Jess and her crew began their post-gig celebrations in a cosy snug in the heart of the hipster bar before moving to a more private area in the Whiskey Bar at the back of 37, where - my spies tell me - they partied until late.

Like I said, no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights with glee they got plenty of sleep.

Unless you've had a baby.

Jean Kennedy Smith's daughter Kim flies in for Mr Pussy book launch

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Remember Jean Kennedy Smith? Some people in this country will never forget her, now the one remaining child born to Joseph and Rose Kennedy.

The former US Ambassador to Ireland (she served from 1993 to 1998) brought significant colour to the role. No dullard she, Jean was a regular visitor with the likes of Bono, Jim Sheridan and Gavin Friday to Mr Pussy's De Luxe Cafe on Suffolk Street in 1994.

"I remember she came in one lunchtime," Alan Amsby, aka Mr Pussy told me, pictured above. "I was furiously trying to divert attention away from the pictures of Gavin Friday's Flying Mickeys on the wall. Then, she saw them and, being the diplomat, she said nothing," Alan said, adding that he became close friends with Jean's daughter Kim.

"One night Kim gave me a present of a leopard skin coat that I still have and I still sometimes wear onstage. Then she moved back to America and we lost touch."

The plot thickened, however, last weekend when Alan was interviewed on Sunday with Miriam on RTE Radio 1 to promote his book, Before I Forget to Remember. Happily, Kim Kennedy Smith heard it on her radio at home in Arizona and sent Alan an email with her mobile number on it. (The moral of this story is that RTE might not do child programmes any more but they do have a superwoman with lots of kids whose shows are heard as far away as Amerikay. Indeed Miriam is launching Mr Pussy's book next Wednesday in Lillie's Bordello on Grafton Street at 7pm.)

Anyway, last Sunday evening when Alan read his long-lost friend's email, he rang Kim and they were soon waxing lyrical about the good old days of Dublin in the 1990s.

They were obviously so good because Kim booked a flight to Dublin from Arizona - ostensibly for the launch of Before I Forget to Remember.

But also there was the little matter of her birthday, which falls next Tuesday and which she plans to celebrate in Dublin with Alan.

Doubtless a 'purrfect' evening - and hangover to match - awaits with Mr Pussy.

Ad hipster alert at RHA

A host of advertising's brightest young things convened on the RHA Gallery on Thursday night to hear about the ultimate social network.

They sipped Aperol Spritzes, nibbled on delicious morsels, mind-blowing food combinations and enjoyed the childlike wonder of popping candy as they interacted with various specially commissioned works that graced the gallery for the night and messed with their perceptions.

They had their heads messed with even more by illusionist Keith Barry who wowed the crowd.

Our own Brendan O'Connor - fresh from wowing the nation the night before on his RTE show Cutting Edge - unveiled the social network with which he is engaged for 70 minutes a day during the week and 100 minutes on a Sunday - followed by up to 900,000 people. What is this social network? Why, you're holding it! Print is having a moment as an immersive, tactile technology with huge engagement. Lots of likes and comments at breakfast tables all over Ireland. But then, dear readers, I didn't need to tell you that...

The hipsterati and millennials of the ad industry were loving it, including Sandra Alvarez, Deputy MD of PHD, Aisling Baker, senior client manager of Starcom, Austin Gleeson, Media Account Director of Javelin, and Carl Flynn, group trading manager of Dentsu Aegis, as well as the hipsters of Independent News & Media like Irish Independent editor Fionnan Sheahan, Group Commercial Director Geoff Lyons, Group Advertisement Director Karen Preston, and Sunday Independent editor Cormac Bourke.

Eileen and Rangan re-open Krystle for the great and the good

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Krystle's Eileen Wright and Rangan Arulchelvan

I'll tell you next week whether anyone got up to mischief on the famous green bed in the VIP area when the great and the good gathered last Friday for the re-opening of Krystle.

Dublin's only open-air nightclub reopened after a €1.1m refurb - and it seemed they put almost as much behind the free bar for the 100 or so VIPs.

Co-owner Eileen Wright, who has the face of 1950s movie star Jayne Mansfield, and the charisma to go with it, told me at the Harcourt Street venue: "Our aim is to ensure that each and every customer is made to feel special from the moment they arrive..."

She and co-owner Rangan Arulchelvan also eulogised to your diarist about the night the whole crowd in Krystle chanted "Keano! Keano!" when Robbie Keane and wife Claudine arrived with the Irish team after qualifying for the Euros.

They also told me of the time when another sporting hero - Conor McGregor - spent St Stephen's Night of 2015 at Krystle, as well as recalling fondly the nights when Jerry Springer, Prince Albert of Monaco, Rory McIlroy, all the Irish models, Pippa and Brian, and even Eamon Dunphy came in.

The latter was in Marco Pierre White's restaurant on Dawson Street last Monday night with Liam Brady, Johnny Giles and Dietmar Hamann for dinner.

Steak and wine for the lads.

Plus ca change.

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