Tuesday 21 October 2014

Nudge, nudge, Twink, Twink

Kim Bielenberg unzips the entertainer's new autobiography

Twink

Adele King, commonly known as Twink, once described herself as a "hermit, a female Howard Hughes". That may not be the overwhelming impression of readers after sampling her autobiography, Twink Unzipped.

Certainly, if her phone messages are anything to go by, she is hardly the shy and retiring type.

The book's title comes from the legendary voice message that she left on her husband David's phone in 2006 after the couple had split – and he appeared in a glossy magazine with his new partner.

As Twink herself puts it: "I told him a few home truths before concluding with the point that it was high time that he zipped up his mickey."

One imagines a few listeners found it hard to hold down their breakfast when a tape of this message was played on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM.

Twink says in her book: "I can honestly say, with hand on heart, that if I had to make that phone call again I would – happily."

Her only regret was that she did not capitalise on the "Zip Up Your Mickey" merchandise that was sold by a quick-thinking entrepreneur.

Bizarrely, Twink tells how she herself ordered many of these products, including a Zip Up Your Mickey clock, which hangs on her wall at home, a G-string, a mug, pens and key rings – all with the distinctive branding.

Far from being a hermit, Twink has been in the spotlight since she was a six-year-old girl and stepped on to the stage in the Gaiety panto, Sinbad the Sailor.

Once described as a "dazzling fish in a murky, small pond", she has been a dancer, musician, showband singer, actress, TV host, panto queen and star of advertisements for toilet rolls.

In 1970, she was second to Dana in the National Song Contest in the year that the young Derry woman's song 'All Kinds of Everything' won the Eurovision.

Although her frequently glittering career brought her to Las Vegas, she abhorred the showband scene back home.

She has said that she finally decided to give up on the showbands after a gig in Cavan when she had to change in a cowshed in the back of a marquee in the perishing cold with rats running around.

On another night at a festival gig, the entire carnival committee came into her dressing room with bottles of stout and sat down as she was about to undress. When she protested, they said: "Ah ha, sure we're all married men."

She said the date is detested in her family as "S**t in the Shed Day".

Twink was clearing out drawers in the shed when she came across one that was locked. When she found the key to open it, she found that it was full of greeting cards.

In among them was a recent card with the message from a child with the message: 'Happy St Patrick's Day, Daddy."

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