Thursday 19 October 2017

Twink, the go-to girl for birthday fun - and cakes

The Edge

Twink, panto queen and baker extraordinaire
Twink, panto queen and baker extraordinaire
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Twink's a national treasure we don't see enough of, I always say. Some months we never see her at all. Then, last week, the panto queenie pops up twice in the space of a few days. On Monday she was at a friend's birthday party in the Trocadero.

It was a small dinner for four - Rory Cowan, aka Rory Brown in Mrs Brown's Boys, and Alan Amsby, aka Mr Pussy, among them. Naturally, Twink was the star of the intimate soiree on St Andrew's Street. On Friday, the gang was all together again, albeit around the corner on South Great George's Street in Brasserie Sixty6 (I bet they had fun with that name. )

This time it was Alan Amsby's birthday. They all sat in the window seat and went to Lillie's Bordello nightclub on Grafton Street to continue the party afterwards. "Rory Cowan, my one-time manager, brought us out to dinner," birthday boy Mr Pussy told me. "I hadn't seen Twink in ages and then I met her twice in one week. She was in great form. She is very happy and content with life, and I am delighted for her."

Not as delighted as he was to taste the special cake Twink made for his birthday beano, it transpires. "I still can't get over how gorgeously delicious her cakes are."

With so many panto legends in one restaurant, I can only hope they weren't running around after a few drinks, going "He's behind you!", "Oh, no, he isn't", "Oh, yes, he is."

Guggi's art exhibition takes Paris by storm

It was all go in Paris last weekend. And not because of the French presidential election.

John Rocha jetted over to the French capital for his pal Guggi's exhibition at the Galerie Yoshii, as did actor Patrick Bergin.

Irish businessman Oliver Caffrey, who lives in the city, didn't have to travel far. Andrew Neil, former Sunday Times editor and presenter of the BBC's This Week, travelled from London for Guggi's big art opening on Avenue Matignon last Friday night.

The artist himself travelled over from his Dublin home with his wife Sybille Ungers, who is also an artist. (She very kindly took the picture of gorgeous Guggi for this piece.)

"I have shown in many of the great capitals of Europe," Guggi told me, "So I was really pleased to show here, especially after the sell-out show in New York in January, and the knowledge that people have been gagging for me to appear!

"So, it's pretty exciting stuff. Lock up your daughters!" Guggi laughed, adding that the show , which runs until June 30, consists of a number of paintings that he started about five to 10 years ago but never finished until the end of last year. There are also new paintings, plus new drawings and a bronze sculpture.

"A number of international gallerists and collectors came to the show, along with my friends like John Rocha and Reggie The Dog," Guggi continued.

"Some of my better known friends couldn't make it, as they are rehearsing in Vancouver," Guggi said in reference to a certain group.

And I don't think he meant The Simon Carmody Community either.

Fine Gael's Kate and Catherine on the move

Rising star of Fine Gael Kate O'Connell, who hails from Westmeath, is making the big move. But not to Fianna Fail. Or back to Westmeath. Enda and Leo and the rest of the clan can rest easy in their beds: the party and its future is safe for now.

Kate's big move is in the late summer to a house in Ranelagh that she and her husband Morgan are in the process of buying.

Equally on the move, Kate's VBF, FG Senator Catherine Noone from Mayo jetted to Edinburgh yesterday with some pals from the Oireachtas - among them, Senators Neale Richmond and Maria Byrne - for the European rugby final.

Yesterday morning the Irish Parliamentary team took on their Scottish equivalents at Raeburn Park. Asked if she was playing, Catherine replied: "Yes! Apparently one of the Scottish women is playing for 10-15 minutes. So they'll do touch rugby for that time. Cringe!"

Still on Fine Gael-related matters, Mary Mitchell O'Connor was spotted in Rasam in Glasthule with a female pal. The week before Fiona Nagle - before you ask, I don't know what her politics are - was also in the same restaurant with a gang of girls for what my Deep Throat in Glasthule describe as a low-key dinner.

Fiona is a regular in the restaurant. Well, the food is spectacularly good, outstanding even, definitely award-winning.

Certainly better than the porridge that Fiona's former husband, jailed fraudster Breifne O'Brien is currently getting.

Maeve remembered by Gay in the afternoon

There was a great circle of friends in the Dress Circle Bar of the Gaiety Theatre on Thursday afternoon to remember Maeve Binchy and to launch the theatre's dates (June 6-17) for Minding Frankie - the very first time a Binchy novel will be brought to life on stage. But back to the circle of friends.

Gay Byrne said, that "whenever he announced Maeve to the The Late Late Show audience they all cheered and relaxed". Maeve's husband Gordon Snell said Maeve would have been delighted with the novel's adaptation by Shay Linehan. Maeve would also have been delighted with the turnout that included Kathleen Watkins, Eamon Morrissey, Peter Sheridan, who directs, Jim Culleton and Tony O'Dalaigh.

Book queen Fiona shines at Summer novel launch

Princess Fiona? That has a certain ring to it, doesn't it? But I digress. Fiona O'Brien was surrounded by family and friends for the well-attended launch of her fifth novel The Summer Visitors last Wednesday in Easons at the Stephen's Green Centre.

The book is set in Kerry, where Fiona spent many childhood holidays, so Michael Healy-Rae TD represented The Kingdom and did the honours saying that there was definitely a movie in it given the magnificent location. Well, he would, wouldn't he?

Michael also called on the assembled guests to come up with the finance.

John Crown, former senator and ex-boyfriend once upon a long time ago of Princess Fiona's, read a passage from the novel at the launch.

He was there with his wife Orla, and the couple enjoyed the evening chatting to man-of-the-moment obstetrician Peter Boylan, who was recovering from what you might call a busy few weeks!

Noelle Campbell-Sharp had made the journey up from Kerry, author Cathy Kelly, Fiona's sister Mary McGrath and handsome nephew Jodie McGrath were also there.

It was a celebration tinged with sadness for the beautiful blonde, who dedicated the book to her late partner, the legendary ad man Sean Whitaker, who passed away suddenly last month.

He will be much missed by the industry and, more importantly, by Fiona.

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