Wednesday 21 August 2019

Tea and sandwiches at Gay and Ryan's summit

Pat, Gay and Ryan at The Late Late Show 50th anniversary in 2012
Pat, Gay and Ryan at The Late Late Show 50th anniversary in 2012
Mick and Vera
Yvonne celebrates with John Conroy
Yvonne celebrates with her partner John and family
Lucca Allen and Paul Galvin
Rachel Allen
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Life is like a roundabout at the great existential playground, don't you know? You never know who you are going to see getting on one swing while somewhere else gets off another...

Last Thursday afternoon, the ageless Gay Byrne popped into the InterContinental hotel with a certain spring in his step for lunch with a young fella who would eventually - after Pat Kenny, who I will get to - replace him on The Late Late Show. Ryan Tubridy and Gay enjoyed a cultural repast of sorts in the Lobby Lounge of the five-star Ballsbridge establishment.

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What could they have been talking about?

Hard to tell, but they both looked great, despite the years between them.

Over the course of a 90-minute tete a tete, they had sandwiches with tea and coffee and were very much in shoot-the-breeze mode looking out on the courtyard.

It was a beautiful day for various reasons in Dublin 4, chief among them that Gay - who has had his well-documented health issues - looks fighting fit. In fact, he looked like he could beat young Ryan in an arm wrestle.

Be that as it may, the two legends of Irish broadcasting - the original host of The Late Late Show from 1962 to 1999 and the young whippersnapper who took over the reins from Pat Kenny in 2009 - walked out of the hotel together at 3pm last Thursday - and at 4pm who should walk in, and sit in virtually the same spot, but a woman known to Gay: Ms Kathleen Watkins.

She arrived with daughter Suzy and granddaughter for lunch.

Later that evening, in Rasam in Glasthule, Ryan's predecessor on the Late Late Show, the aforementioned Pat Kenny, had a small birthday dinner to mark his beloved wife Kathy's big day with their daughters.

They had champagne to start followed by lovely food for all and then a birthday cake for the beautiful birthday girl.

Hollywood actress Fionnula Flanagan was also in Rasam last week.

I'm off to play on the swings in Herbert Park.


Mick and Vera will always have Paris

Mick and Vera

I'm with Jack Benny on this. Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air.

Only joking. Man of the moment, the incomparable Shane Lowry, arrived at hipster haunt 37 on Dawson Street at around midnight last Friday.

The sporting giant was possibly celebrating a certain recent success at Royal Portrush Golf Club, with two fellow giants of Irish sport, rugby players Rob and Dave Kearney. They had come from the Butcher Grill in Ranelagh.

Meanwhile, a giant of the art world, Michael Mulcahy, tells me that he is in the early stages of planning an event in Paris that will set the art world on fire in 2021.

No, Mick does not plan to actually set Paris on fire. (That would have been the old, mad Mick, before meeting his beautiful muse Vera.)

He is working on a joint exhibition with Romeo Shresta at the Irish Cultural Centre that will involve Charlie Chaplin's daughter Annie and Marianne Faithfull. In the meantime, Michael is off to Germany in October for a major new work.


Yvonne romps home as John jets in

Yvonne celebrates with John Conroy

Former top Irish model Yvonne Connolly wasn't likely to scare the horses at The Curragh last Sunday, was she? The beauty rode the winning horse Neverushacon - "or as I now call him, Neverrushaconnolly". Ms Connolly herself told me after the race: "He's a legend."

Another legend, John Conroy - the stylishly bearded cinematographer who has been seeing our Yvonne since 2012 - "flew in from Los Angeles for it, and all my friends and family were there to support me too," Yvonne told me, adding that when she triumphed at The Curragh she felt like she had "won the Grand National".

Be that as it may, Yvonne deserved her win. "I sat on my first racehorse in Jessica Harrington's yard three months ago. I trained hard for the Corinthian Challenge in aid of Irish injured jockeys," she said.

Yvonne celebrates with her partner John and family

After the race, she also recalled how she "rode horses as a kid. I took a long break and got back into it last year".

Yvonne is back in the saddle this Saturday at the RDS to compete at the Dublin Horse Show.

"Although I go every year to the Dublin Horse Show, I was 17 the last I competed there," she told me.

"My daughter Ali is also competing for the first time and is really excited."


Paul lines up Lucca  for Dunnes fashion gig

Lucca Allen and Paul Galvin

Southern Spain went a little bit East Cork last week. By that I don't mean that the normally laid-back Andalusians started swanning around like they have a divine right on Earth, like those of the East - and West - Cork variety can tend to on occasion; it was probably more to do with the food.

Rachel Allen

Ballymaloe's finest, celebrity chef and LIFE magazine columnist Rachel Allen, was on a family holiday in Gaucin last week.

"It's a sleepy town in the mountains overlooking Marbella," Rachel told me of the sunny sojourn en famille. She is jetting out to Asia in a few months to see son Lucca race. "He is currently leading the 2019 Asian F4 Championship. I hope he will still be leading when we arrive in October." Rachel added that Lucca recently modelled Paul Galvin's newest collection for Dunnes Stores, called Biker. "When Paul asked me to do this, I didn't have to think twice," Lucca told your diarist.

"His storytelling and style make sense to me, the clothes fit really well and the colour combinations fit right into my lifestyle."

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