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Saturday 16 December 2017

Society: Strictly business as usual for Norah

Norah Casey has signed up for Strictly Against Breast Cancer. Photo: Barry McCaul
Norah Casey has signed up for Strictly Against Breast Cancer. Photo: Barry McCaul
City Jet Air Hostess, Michael Riggs, Sharon Bannerton at the launch of Dublin Fashion Festival 2015 in City Hall.
Abigail and Clyde Carroll pictured at the launch of Dublin Fashion Festival 2015 in City Hall
Annemarie Hora pictured at the launch of Dublin Fashion Festival 2015 in City Hall
Daniel Day Lewis
Stones in His Pockets Playwright Marie Jones pictured with her husband Ian McElhinney
Kathryn Thomas, left and Aoibheann McCaul at the RTE new season launch at the Smock Alley Theatre. Photo: Damien Eagers
Claire Byrne
Megan Mullally
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Energetic media dynamo, Norah Casey, is putting her very toned foot forward to take part in the third Strictly Against Breast Cancer on November 21.

The running, mountain-climbing publisher/author/TV personality is among the first tranche of hopefuls who have committed to the fun-filled charity event which was won last year by Annie Gribbin, owner of Make Up For Ever and her dance partner, former international rugby referee, Alan Lewis.

Amongst those hoping to clinch the trophy at the Convention Centre in two months' time will be chef Oliver Dunne from Bon Appetit in Malahide, former rugby international Shane Byrne, model Holly Carpenter and TV3 weatherman, Deric Hartigan.

It was ironic that I caught up with fast-moving Norah this week just as she was sitting down for a few minutes to have her hair done at Dylan Bradshaw's.

We couldn't do lunch because that's when she goes running for 40 minutes and, after a quick shower, she's back at her desk at 2pm, working on her new book and upcoming TV show which is focussed on start-ups, and the shout-out for that goes out next week.

"I'm due to climb Kilimanjaro in a couple of months and I've been up and down Carrauntoohil and when I kissed that big grey steel cross, it was the most exhilarating feeling in the world," said Norah. She is training with the explorer Pat Falvey who is just back from a 22-day climb in Russia.

"Pat is brilliant, he's great to train with and we are trying to do a little documentary about self-belief and if you think you can climb, you can. I'm a good example of somebody who decides to do crazy things and goes out and does it."

And, as if her schedule isn't busy enough, Norah signed up to be the Go Red ambassador for the Irish Heart Foundation's heart health month in September and she is the cover girl of their new magazine in a fab red dress (see left).

As for the dancing training, Norah is bobbing away. "I'm lucky to have a 16-year-old who comes down every evening and says, 'Oh my God mum, have your heard this, have you heard this?' so my playlist would be quite current. My dancing style would not be old fashioned and like most women, after a couple of glasses of wine, I think I'm fabulous. I'm delighted to be doing Strictly because it will put some discipline on my training," said Norah, before she dashed off, perfectly coiffed.

Why Fashion Week is about to fly high

By Bairbre Power

The fashion pack headed to City Hall on Wednesday night for the launch of the week-long Dublin Fashion Festival which runs September 7-13.

If guests were impressed by the beautiful ceiling of the dome of the former Royal Exchange building, decorated with stucco ornaments, they swiftly stopped gazing skywards when the amazing fashion show devised by Jules Fallon of 1st Option Models began.

Designer Lya Solis, from the nearby Powerscourt Centre, stole the show with her white dress and her black leather trousers and Pippa O'Connor Ormond, the face of the DFF, wore a fab Reiss jumpsuit from Arnotts.

Among the guests I spotted was Michael Rogers of CityJet, accompanied by the airline's PR, Sharon Bannerton.

Clyde Carroll from DublinTown who run the DFF, welcomed CityJet as a sponsor. "Like ourselves, CityJet are supporters of Irish Design and this year, will support the next generation of young Irish designers," aid Clyde. Expect the big reveal on September 9 at the Young Designer of the Year show at College Green.

Day-Lewis's underpants steal style show

By Kirsty Blake Knox

'Now those are Oscar-worthy underpants," Jim Sheridan quipped at the opening of a new exhibition Costume in Irish Cinema 1987-2015. 

And he wasn't lying; Daniel Day-Lewis's leopard print undies were certainly proving to be a talking point.

Day-Lewis wore the memorable pants in 1993 flick In the Name of the Father and now the undergarments are proudly on display in the Little Museum of Ireland as part of their latest stylish show.

Curated by costume designer extraordinaire Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh and Veerle Dehaene, the exhibition celebrates the weird and wonderful clothing worn in our most iconic Irish films.

From Meryl Streep's floral dresses in Dancing at Lughnasa, and Brendan Gleeson's Calvary cassock to Colin Farrell's tatty Intermission threads and the sequinned gúna Cillian Murphy wore in Breakfast on Pluto - it's a treasure trove of sartorial splendour.

"Costumes are the fabric that hold a movie together," Jim Sheridan said. "They help actors get into character and set the tone and the feeling and the era of the movie. It's an integral part of it all."

Sheridan has finished shooting his latest feature film The Secret Scripture and is now busy writing a screenplay and developing his drama about Synge Street.

Designer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh was beaming as she hurried about the room. Eimer most recently created the costumes for Whit Stillman's Love and Friendship starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny.

The film was shot around the grounds of Russborough House and Eimer says working with the queen of laissez faire cool Chloe Sevigny was quite the experience.

"She is such a fashion icon so it was fantastic to dress her," Eimer said.

Members of Ireland's fashion squad mixed with movie buffs who leafed through continuity books packed full of behind-the-scene photographs of Julia Roberts in Michael Collins. Several of us were sorely tempted to try on the papier-mâché head Michael Fassbender wore in Lenny Abrahamson's Frank but we managed to restrain ourselves.

"These are the relics of these films," Veerle Dehaene explained. "The only tangible things left once a film has wrapped. We should treasure them."

Marie's first directing gig will also be her last

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Marie Jones, the woman who wrote award winning stage play Stones in His Pockets, has discovered the secret to a long and successful marriage; steering clear of your other half.

Jones' husband is none other than Game of Thrones actor Ian McElhinney - a man who spends a great deal of time flitting to various corners of the globe.

"He has been going to the States and the UK for different projects. I never seen him - that's why we're probably still together," she laughed.

Jones was in town this week to chat about the Gaiety Theatre's staging of her comedy Fly Me To The Moon which opens on September 2.

"It was my first time directing and it will be my last time directing," Marie said. "It was a fleeting career. I'm glad I did it but I'm in no hurry to do it again."

Marie will head to Annaghmakerrig in the coming weeks for some RnR. "There you have the luxury of thinking about a line for two hours."

Dobbo not ready for his close-up

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Stalwart of the RTÉ newsroom Bryan Dobson is not ready for his close-up.

The anchor seemed more than a little concerned that Six One will be going HD this autumn.

"I have very mixed feelings, about it," he confessed. "I don't want every pore, crack and wrinkle in HD. I will be in make-up for hours."

All of RTÉ's key players were crammed into Dublin's Smock Alley for the station's autumn launch.

Ryan Tubridy, dubbed "The Messi of Montrose" by MD of the station Glen Killane, was on hosting duties and hopped about the place.

Mairéad Farrell had returned from her honeymoon in the Seychelles looking suitably refreshed. "It was everything a honeymoon should be," she said.

Ray D'Arcy was brimming with excitement about his new chat show and Claire Byrne talked about her and fiancé Gerry Scollan's postponed wedding plans.

"We have no wedding plans, it's been hectic" she said. "We are swamped with two kids under the age of two."

Marty Whelan was absent (busy toasting his 30th wedding anniversary with wife Maria) but Sinéad Kennedy was representing the Lotto crew.

Stomping the polo divot in the park

By Bairbre Power

Princes William and Harry love their polo and a lot of the Irish chukka pukka enthusiasts travelled over to Cambridge last month for the Audi Polo Challenge which is one of the biggest events on the social calendar in the UK.

It was a swish event and guests got to mingle with Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne who was a schoolmate of Prince William at Eton, and Dr Who actor, Matt Smith, who attended with actress Megan Mullally who played the hilarious Karen Walker in Will & Grace.

Now the attention moves to Ireland for the exclusive 'Pink Polo in the Park' which takes place in the Phoenix Park on Friday September 11. Weekend magazine's resident style guru and TV personality, Darren Kennedy will be one of the judges of the Best Dressed Competition. He hopes to attend the event with Roisin Tierney-Crowe.

Denis Connolly of Tinakilly House is catering the three-course lunch attended by 250 guests and there will be the traditional divot stomping in the interval.

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