Monday 24 October 2016

The Edge: Blaise sets a new trend on the King's Road and Alannah's engagement news

Published 18/04/2016 | 02:30

Miriam O'Callaghan and daughter Alannah McGurk
Miriam O'Callaghan and daughter Alannah McGurk
Blaise O'Donnell
Hollywood star Victoria opted for an early night after IFTAs.

A depressing thought to ponder over your Sunday breakfast: I think if Blaise O'Donnell left the country for good I would have to fold my tent and steal away in the night . . . (See how you feel then, eh, when you don't have me to kick around any more?)

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But, in truth, Blaise O'Donnell seems to leave the country every other month, doesn't she?

She always seems to be stealing away to someone stylish on foreign shores.

Blaise - one of the O'Donnell siblings who didn't know her parents in Gorse Hill in Killiney were millionaires - was in Barcelona three weeks ago for her glam gal pal Sarah Rothschild's hip hen. (There was a lively dinner off La Rambla - with Blaise trend-setting as ever in a metallic silver mini, a white cape and heels. Yes, it is possible to look stylish in a white cape.)

And not long before that she was in Las Vegas and then Hawaii. And since I'm on a roll I better mention that last summer she was also in Italy - to wit Capri, Sorrento, Positano and along the Sorrentine Peninsula generally on a boat looking for that special sea view that would perhaps remind Blaise of her beloved Gorse Hill.

Closer to home, she was also at a swish formal dinner party in a friend's house in Dublin with a bunch of glam gal pals.

Someone should give Blaise her own TV show. I mean - I practically give Blaise my entire column every week.

And so to the point.


Blaise kept up her air miles with a quick trip to London last weekend.

She and her sister Alex were spotted in Jak's restaurant on the King's Road.

I know you are simply dying to know, so I'll put you out of your misery and inform you that Blaise was wearing a white tuxedo jacket with a monochrome mini-skirt while Alex wore a cape style coat with a fur trim.

My apologies.

I have to go and lie down in a darkened room now.

Alannah and Finn's engaging times

It looks like Miriam O'Callaghan will have a big day out. No - not when she inevitably moves into Áras an Uachtaráin one day.

The RTE current affairs goddess's big day out will be eldest daughter Alannah's wedding to boyfriend Finn Breathnach.

I can't reveal as yet the date, but I can tell you that Alannah and Finn got engaged on April 3 in Dublin.

The beauty, who swapped modelling to become a top barrister, looked besotted in the picture posted on Facebook of her and her husband-to-be.

Indeed he looked besotted too.

Someone who knows Finn well described him thus: "He's a very nice guy. Played football for Galway."

I might go further and describe him and his fiancée as Love's Young Dream incarnate.

Naturally, I wish Alannah and Finn every happiness and lots of parties before the big day to celebrate their good news.

Twink re-defined the concept of celebrating last week at fab Fiorentina Restaurant on Parliament Street when she brought her controversial and complicated poodle-haired beloved to The Travel Department's 20th birthday bash.

When I say Twink's controversial and complicated poodle-haired beloved, I'm not talking about her ex husband David Agnew but her incomparable dog, Teddy.

Bob Haugh, the young dynamo who set up the superb The Travel Department two decades ago, also had Marty Whelan (who does annual opera trips to Verona with the company and his programme on Lyric) at his beano last Wednesday.

But back to Teddy, who, of course, became world famous when he was dog-napped - and only recovered after an international search that possibly involved Interpol and the FBI.

It was a miracle when he was returned safely to his superstar owner.

Twink's appearance at The Travel Department's dinner was a small miracle in itself.

She was up all night doing one of her sugarcraft cakes and only went to bed when she heard Marty's voice on Lyric.

Let me take this opportunity to reassure Marty that Twink meant she was so tired and his voice was so soothing it put her to sleep.

I can't be sure, however, whether Marty put Teddy to sleep.

Let me take this opportunity to reassure Teddy that the phrase about Marty putting you to sleep is a joke about going to a lovely slumber next to Twink - and is absolutely nothing to do with Marty having the power of life and death over you.


Victoria skips the fun at Lillie's

How cool is Madeline Mulqueen? No, I'm not joking.

My spies at the 2016 IFTA Film and Drama Awards Ceremony - which took place last weekend in the Round Room of Dublin's Mansion House - tell me that the model changed her outfit after the awards to attend the after-show party in Lillie's Bordello on Grafton Street with her Hollywood movie-star boyfriend Jack Reynor.

Perhaps far more interestingly, Van Morrison and Liam Neeson headed home early after the ceremony.

Victoria Smurfit also had an early night and went back to her bed in the Westbury Hotel before she flew back to Los Angeles at 7am last Sunday. They missed all the fun in Lillie's.

Those who enjoyed the post-IFTAs buzz in the VIP library in the world-famous nightclub included - deep breath - Chris O'Dowd, James Flynn and Juanita Wilson, Amy Huberman and her actor brother Mark, Sarah Greene and her family, plus the aforementioned Madeline Mulqueen and Sing Street star Reynor. Other famous Irish faces who weren't at the IFTAs but who came to the Lillie's after-show party with friends included comic Katherine Lynch, novelist Amanda Brunker and magician Keith Barry and his wife Mairead Foley.

Presidential visit to a very Kerry event

BEING a Kerryman, in my opinion, is the greatest gift that God can bestow on any man.

"When you belong to Kerry, you know you have a head start on the other fellow," John B Keane once opined.

Fellow Kerryman, film-maker Patrick O'Neill would doubtless agree with this assessment.

He might even add that his new movie The Uncountable Laughter Of The Sea is further proof of God's gift.

But I will let you be the judge of that.

The Irish premiere of The Uncountable Laughter Of The Sea is being held at the Omniplex in Tralee next Wednesday at 6pm.

And it's no ordinary premiere either. Patrick informs me that President Higgins and the first lady, no less, will both be in attendance on Wednesday night.

That's all very well - but will Patrick's Dutch supermodel girlfriend Frederique van der Wal (left) be in the Kingdom too?

Jodie and her 15 hens enjoy champagne afternoon tea in Mount Juliet

Mount Juliet? I beg your pardon - I'm a married man.

Sorry, I was briefly visited there by the ghost of Terry Keane, the late, great former writer of this column before moi, once upon a time, a long time ago.

What I meant to say, in fact, was that top model turned top nutritionist Jodie Wood held her hen party at Mount Juliet in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, last weekend.

The azure-eyed brunette wore a white lace dress and was accompanied by some 15 hens. Not just any hens either, but I'll get to that in a minute. Okay - I'll tell you now: Leah O'Reilly (engaged to footballer Daniel Jones), model and singer Michele McGrath (in a black and white dress) among them.

Jodie and her posse enjoyed a champagne afternoon tea and three-course meal in the hotel's restaurant before this movable feast moved on to The Left Bank nightclub in Kilkenny to bop off some of the calories from the earlier posh nosh in Mount Juliet.

Lest we forget, the whole point of the high-end fun in Kilkenny last weekend was that Foxrock beauty Jodie is marrying rugby star Will Matthews in the summer.

The lovely pair topped up their tans for the big day with a holiday in Spain a couple of weeks ago. And why not?

Luvvies put out for opening night at Gate

Who's afraid of Michael Colgan? Not I. Sure, I had dinner last week with the moustachioed impresario. He was just returned from London where he met his bessie mate Michael Gambon.  Colgan, however,  didn't seem his normal exuberant self.

This might have had something to do with The Gate's imminent production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The play's esteemed author, Edward Albee, who is 88, was a tad slow to give permission apparently.

Indeed for Colgan to finally secure this play, something of a coup, he had to agree to a list of conditions as long as the menu in The Unicorn.

One of them being Albee's decree that he individually pass every member of the cast and production team, to say nothing of his insistence on a minimum of - count 'em - seven previews. This is why for the first time ever The Gate is holding an opening night on a Thursday, April 28. (I hope the Luvvies, who are used to their Tuesday night premières, aren't too put out with a Thursday.)

Everyone from Joe Duffy, Gay Byrne, Marty Whelan and Pat Kenny et al are expected on the night to see the Edward Albee-approved cast of Denis Conway, Mark Huberman, Fiona Bell and Sophie Robertson perform.

Hopefully Mr Colgan will have a more relaxed look on the night.

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