The Edge: No Welsh rarebit for Amanda

TV Star Amanda Byram said she and Welsh TV presenter Gethin Jones are just mates
TV Star Amanda Byram said she and Welsh TV presenter Gethin Jones are just mates

Me and Mr Jones, we got a thing going on? It would appear not.

I have it directly from the -- very beautiful -- horse's mouth. Amanda Byram has categorically told me that her reported new relationship with Gethin Jones, the ex-fiance of operatic chanteuse Katherine Jenkins, is a myth.

Because the tale was over the tabloids all last week about Amanda dating the debonair Welsh TV presenter -- and even flying to Los Angeles with him -- I contacted her in LA, ostensibly to wish her congratulations.

"Really... REALLY?!" she shot back straight away late on Tuesday night. "If you've ever believed a word I have said to you in the past -- you will believe me when I say -- we are HONESTLY TRULY just mates!"

In any event, the 40-year-old Irish TV star, who broke off her engagement to rugby star Craig McMullen in 2012, deserves true love. Memo to Amanda: you won't find it in La La Land.

Jim Corr's back duetting with his ex

A diarist's ears require more music than most (to bring you good stories, you fools). So the words Jim Corr are always guaranteed to cause a bit of pricking up of my shell-likes. The fact that he is working on a long-awaited new album? Interesting, certainly -- but not going to have you lose your pearls in the cornflakes.

That pleasure is to be retained for my news that the male of the Corr species, who once dated former Miss Ireland Andrea Roche, is in the early stages of a second-time-round romance with Rosie Boyle, PR girl/beautiful model with the Alison Campbell Model Agency in Belfast. They were at the ACA (the model agency) Christmas party at the 21 Social nightclub on Hill Street in Belfast last month with Alison Campbell and her famous golfing husband Darren Clarke, but some weeks before that they were together in Vanilla nightclub in Donnybrook.

And as I said, long before that, (2009 to be precise) Rosie and Jim were together. That, alas didn't work out but they obviously remained close.

Now they are in the process of rekindling the lost spark of love. Multi-talented Jim was an emotional rock for Rosie when her father James Boyle died of lung cancer on February 17, 2011.

"Jim was a great friend to my father and helped me deal with his death -- he saved me and brought me out of the dark place I was in," Rosie told me, adding that she is working on a TV documentary about inspiring women in their 40s that will also feature her VBF, Mrs Clarke, among others.

"Jim is a lovely guy, very humble and very misjudged," said Rosie, one of the organisers of Miss Northern Ireland, who hails from Donegal. "His mother was from Donegal too [Jean died of a rare lung condition in November 1999] and he loves Donegal."

They spend a lot of time in each other's company. So much so that a friend of the new couple told me: "They are very, very close, and taking it very, very slow."

The mole in Belfast added. "They wouldn't confirm anything but it is pretty obvious that there is definitely a real spark there between them."

January's the month for birthday bashes

Remember the days when January was considered the month that happiness forgot? The month when the credit card bills came as the Christmas trees went. Forget all that. January is now the month when we look at life and milk it for all it's worth (I know, I know most of our post-Christmas livers are capable only of milk anyway).

Apparently, lots of people get born that never got born before at the beginning of the year.

Like Victoria Mary Clarke, partner of the timeless -- and at this stage, virtually liverless -- partyboy Shane MacGowan. She celebrated her birthday last Saturday night. In town? Well Shane wanted to stay home in Sandymount so Victoria went to see The Delivery Man at The Odeon with her best mate, Sarah Leahy. (Sarah, just back from four months in New York, is the significant ex of John Ryan, who has decamped to Berlin where he is running Broadsheet.ie.)

Or then there's Zoe Rocha -- who is only dying to spend her upcoming birthday at home. Well she does live in London. The newlywed daughter of John Rocha tells me that "there is no place like home".

No question of staying home for Peter Marks' star coiffer Michael Doyle. He is celebrating his 50th in House on Leeson Street with a hair-raisingly chic party on February 2nd. Super stylist Lisa Burgess celebrated her engagement in the same venue last Friday. Or Calum Best. His VBF, fashion show organiser Emma English is organising his birthday party in Belfast. "I might even jump out of a cake for him," the Swords stunner told me.

More delicious than any cake were the Brown Thomas Spring/Summer fashion collections for 2014, unveiled at the store's cool new third-floor restaurant last Wednesday. The show started at 8.30am. Your diarist didn't know whether it was the end of the night before or the beginning of the next day, but the fashionistas looked bright eyed and bushy tailed as they clutched their pearls and noted their must-haves. Everything apparently.

Incidentally, Alannah Weston, daughter of Brown Thomas proprietor Galen, has been promoted from creative director to deputy chairman of the Selfridges group.

Social whirl for Norah and beau

AS you all know, I was thrilled to break the news before Christmas that my old pal Norah Casey had found love. Imagine my delight when I discovered the Dragon was dating a fireman. All those endless opportunities for hot metaphors and flaming imagery.

Anyway, Dublin firefighter Peter has certainly lit Norah's fire since they started dating months ago.

He and the Newstalk and RTE star -- who was spotted filming in Bettystown on Tuesday for the new series of The Takeover -- met in the Shelbourne Hotel on October 18 and have gone from strength to strength, or even dinner party to dinner party, ever since.

They spent the weekend with friend Claire Ronan at her home in Sligo last week. They've stayed with Claire a few times prior to their romantic visit last weekend. "I think Peter is great," broadcaster Claire told me, "straight up, great fun. He is a lovely guy and my kids really like him."

Ireland's most talked about new couple were also at a Christmas bash on December 20 in my house, as were the O'Connors -- Sinead, Mary Mitchell and Brendan, though none of them related -- as well as gorgeous Virginia Macari and her fiance Kas Dahl.

Long lunch for Ronan and co

He says it best when he says nothing at all? I couldn't possibly comment on that, but Ronan Keating was certainly saying it with food recently in the chic 37 Dawson St Restaurant.

The Boyzone star was in for a weekend lunch with his three kids; Jack, Missy and Ali and his girlfriend Storm. There were 16 people in the party in total. They came in at 2pm and left a little after 5pm.

Last weekend, former Liverpool footballer John Barnes was in the same hip spot when he was in Dublin with his wife and two friends.

Around the corner on Harcourt Street, top Irish model Sara Kavanagh celebrated her birthday in 1900 Restaurant -- the city's newest coolest eaterie du jour -- on the same night. She was joined by her boyfriend Greg Pollard and her glam VBFs, Pippa O'Connor and Michelle McGrath.

Later Sara, Greg et al went next door to the Black Door Club where they were joined by Sara's mother Kate and fellow birthday girl Helen Goldin. Actor Killian Scott (aka Tommy from Love/Hate) and rugby player Leo Cullen and wife Dairine Kennedy were also in attendance that night.

News from our man (and lady) in Miami

One of my fave jokes: What's a Jewish-American princess's favourite wine? "I want to to go Miami."

TV talent judge Louis Walsh would surely agree. He headed off to Miami just after Christmas and was spotted dining in Balans off Miami Beach.

Meanwhile, Irish princess in Miami Ciara Egan was out on a hot date last Thursday.

Ciara, vice-president of Quintessentially Aviation in Miami, sadly broke up with her boyfriend over Christmas. (Ciara's sister Mary goes out with, and has a baby boy by, Andrew Strong of The Commitments fame).

This year seems to be all about the new for Ms Egan.

As well as still being involved with Quintessentially, she had just started a new company, More Than Lux, which deals primarily with extremely wealthy Brazilians.

Indeed she put on an event last week in The W hotel on South Beach with Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa.

All Ciara needs now is to meet Mr Quintessentially Right.

 

Irish Independent

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