Friday 30 September 2016

The Edge: Love in sharper focus for Nadia and rugby beau

Published 14/09/2015 | 02:30

Nadia Forde: Magazine shoot with boyfriend Dominic Day
Nadia Forde: Magazine shoot with boyfriend Dominic Day
Picnic visit: Norman and Geraldine Hewson
Gaelic games memories: Mary Mitchell O'Connor
Big match blues: Daithi O Se
Back from Florida: Morah Ryan took a family holiday
High-flier: Rachel Allen is clocking up the air miles

Things are definitely hotting up for beautiful Irish model/singer/star Nadia Forde and her rugby beau Dominic Day. When I said last week that they were serious (she brought him to Dublin), your diarist didn't realise just how serious.

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This epiphany occurred a few days ago when Nads told me exclusively that she and Mr Day are doing OK! magazine together in the UK. Let's hope there isn't a curse of OK! magazine, like there seemed to be with Hello! magazine: couples would be photographed in their amazing homes where they would proclaim undying love, then promptly split up not long after the magazine hit the shelves.

This won't happen with Nadia and Dom of course because, above all else, the Irish beauty who has made her mark in London maintains a refreshingly Irish sense of humour.

"By the way, big oval balls are better", Nadia texted me in reference to my joke in last Sunday's column about her swapping a passing interest in men with small white balls (ie the golfer she was, once upon a time, romantically linked with, Rory McIlroy) to loving men with big oval-shaped balls (ie the rugby player she is head over rugby heels with, Dominic Daly.)

I asked Nadia, after years in the relationship wilderness, is Dominic The One.

"We'll wait and see," she replied.

Don't be over-cautious, I told her, be brave in the affairs of the heart.

"I'm getting there," she answered. "I just shot a spread with him for OK! magazine yesterday [Monday]. So I must be getting more open to it. But it is baby steps."

There is a tentative plan for a holiday at Christmas after Dominic finishes his game on St Stephen's Day in England with his team Bath.

As for Team Nadia, it's all good. The work is piling up internationally for the one-time star of ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Mercifully, the men's dirty washing isn't piling up for her - as the Dubliner and her Welsh lover have yet to move in together.

"No," she told me. "I'm in London and he's in Bath. Well, right now he's in Wales for World Cup training. But we split our time between Bath and London."

I teased her that they'll be engaged by Christmas.

"No way!" she laughed. "We got to live together first. Baby steps! You're scaring me!"

I'm scaring myself.

The Norman Conquest at the Picnic

Norman's wisdom? Hard to ascertain, but possibly something about always being a happy camper.

Norman Hewson and his wife, gorgeous Geraldine, awoke in their tent last weekend at Electric Picnic in Stradbally, county Laois in the middle of the night. It wasn't some rave outside in the woods that stirred them from their slumber.

No - Norman and Geraldine awoke at 4am last Saturday to find a man, obviously the worse for drink, standing at the entrance to their VIP tent, thinking it was his own. Seeing the reaction on their faces, the interloper soon skedaddled.

How do I know this? Because I spent a very enjoyable few hours with Norman (whose little brother sings in a band called U2) and Geraldine last weekend, where the tale was imparted while watching Riptide Movement on the Saturday afternoon from the vantage point of the big Bacardi tent, and also in the VIP area.

Earlier future, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had said to me, in reference to it being his first time at the Electric Picnic: "Why didn't I come before?"

He should have asked Miriam O'Callaghan. She comes every year and was at the Picnic last weekend with her twin daughters Georgia and Jessica. Last night she was in Belfast with husband Steve. They went for dinner in a local restaurant. "We went to see Van Morrison on Cyprus Avenue last week," Miriam told me. "Belfast is wonderful these days." Today she is off to the Aran Island to do a report for Prime Time on island life.

And there was me thinking island life was an album by Grace Jones.

Mary's lessons in playing until the final whistle

Some of us would probably  want Irish politicians to do a long puck off. Or words or sentiments  to that effect.

Personally, I wouldn't include Mary Mitchell O'Connor - who is mad about GAA -in that general dismissal of our much-maligned public representatives.

At Croker last Sunday for the big game, the popular Fine Gael TD told your diarist that she was "disappointed that neither Galway nor Mayo won at the weekend.

"However I hope now that my adopted county, Dublin, take the honours on All-Ireland Football Final Day and beat Kerry."

The blonde, who is originally from Galway, added that she has fond memories of her father and uncles going to All-Irelands in the 60s - "and the excitement when Galway won the three in a row.

"My sisters and I always wanted them to bring us home the crepe hats with a peak, and if they got wet the dye just ran down your face," she recalled.

Mary has a GAA certificate in how to teach Gaelic Football. "I did this during my tenure in Skryne National School in county Meath and I had the pleasure of teaching Trevor Giles and Mick O'Dowd."

She adds that her sons Conor and Steven played for Seneschalstown under-age teams.

"In the 90s I brought them to the Meath v Dublin matches. The excitement. One thing I learned from these matches is you do not give in until the final whistle.

"That's what I intend to do in politics."

She can only hope that the nation doesn't tell Enda et al to, well, puck off at the election.

Daithi downcast in Moran's On The Weir

If anyone was in Moran's On The Weir restaurant last Sunday evening in Kilcolgan, county Galway,  and spotted a particularly downcast Daithi O Se staring into the middle distance with his lovely  wife Rita, allow me to explain.

The normally upbeat RTE star's mood was because Galway had been beaten in the hurling final by Kilkenny in Croke Park. Daithi travelled up for the game, then returned home afterwards to dine with Rita at The Weir.

"For the first time in my life, I had a Galway flag flying," the Kerry man - who now lives in Salthill in Galway with Rita and their young son Michael Og - explains.

"It was a good game and good fun, A huge Galway crowd. So we were down after the match," Daithi explained.

His mood will noticeably improve this week when his mother Caitlin arrives from Dingle. After she has spent a few days in Galway there will be a clan trip back to Kerry.

"We intend to go racing in Listowel and go to see Billy Keane. I haven't been down since his mother Mary passed. We had great craic with her last year at the racing festival."

Doubtless being in the Kingdom will cheer up Daithi.

Louis keeps up with all the  celebrity juice in London

My neighbour in Portobello, Bryan Dobson has just returned looking tanned and svelte after a family holiday in northern Portugal.

I met the hugely charming RTE newsreader in Montrose last week as he got on his bike.

Almost as tanned and svelte as Dobbo was Morah Ryan. She is just back from a family holiday herself - this time in Florida. "Everyone is settling back home," she told me, adding that her son Rex had been in Edinburgh with his one-man show Pilgrim.

"So I'm delighted to have him back home. He's doing a week in the Viking theatre. I'm looking forward to that."

Louis Walsh, who always looks tanned and svelte - well, he does have a second home in Miami - tells me he is off to London for an interview with Keith Lemon on ITV2's Celebrity Juice. Once he returns, Walsh will knuckle down, he says, to write his long-awaited bitch-fest. I mean, autobiography.

Now that's what I call real celebrity juice.

My favourite artist, Pauline Bewick, seems to run on a special kind of juice of her own making. Two weeks ago, the ageless blonde bombshell launched her latest exhibition,and book 80: A Memoir (a terrific read full of salty revelations including fascinating details of her relationship with my fellow redhead, the legendary Luke Kelly) at the Taylor Galleries.

The party afterwards in the RHA Gallery featured cabaret artist Rose Lawless whose risque repertoire includes a song about the BVM (for the heathens among you, that's the Blessed Virgin Mary - not a new German car) and the Archangel Gabriel. Suffice to say the chorus included the words - Up the Pole! Up the Pole! The highlight of the night was when Pauline's daughters Holly and Poppy got up and did a South Seas dance for the 100 or so guests, The proud mother looked amazing in white. I haven't even mentioned that she's 80.

Rachel earns her frequent flier points

Whenever I think of the Irish weather, I think it is some cruel joke played on the nation by God...

Deirdre O'Kane, who knows a thing or two about jokes, jetted to Mallorca in the Mediterranean recently for some decent weather. The Irish comedian and actress went there with her husband, producer Stephen Bradley. "It was the first bit of sun we've had. Such a relief!" she laughed, though, for once she wasn't joking.

Meanwhile Rachel Allen, who lives in Shanagarry in east county Cork, jetted off on Wednesday to Singapore - the superchef is doing a veritable whirlwind tour of Asia to promote her new show with BBC World.

After promo stints in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Air Miles Allen, as I call her, then flies to Sri Lanka to hook up with husband Zac and their kids who fly out separately to meet her and enjoy a week's holiday. The whole Allen family get back into Dublin at 8am on September 24, whereupon Rachel goes straight to the ploughing championship in exotic Ratheniska, county Laois, where she is doing a cookery demonstration at noon.

Then a few days at home in Shanagarry before Air Miles Allen is off again - this time to France to watch her son Lucca racing as part of the Irish team in the World Karting Finals in Le Mans.

Does his mummy ever slow down?

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