Life

Sunday 21 October 2018

The Diary: Mollie fesses up to being speed demon

Mollie King
Mollie King
"The Price of Desire" actress Orla Brady at the exhibition of The Eileen Gray Project Portraits by Julian Lennon
Olivia Wilde for H&M
Claire Whelan, Head of PR & Marketing Bord Gais Energy Theatre & Stephen Faloon, General Manager of The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre during the the official 5th anniversary of the theatre at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Heidi Klum
Vogue Williams

Kirsty Blake Knox and Bairbre Power

It was all about Alfie when I had dinner with Mollie King from The Saturdays in London this week.

Alfie WHO, you ask? Plenty of intrigue here as the 27-year-old, pint-sized blonde has quite a string of interesting beaux, from male supermodel David Gandy to Prince Harry, no less!

The Alfie, in question, is Mollie's adorable dog.

"Alfie is such a star, he is a five-year-old toy poodle, he's just my wing man and I absolutely adore him. Alfie thinks he's a big dog like an Alsatian and he loves to walk with you and act the tough guy."

Mollie has the best, infectious laugh and I can see why the girls in The Saturdays have so much fun.

There was plenty of laughter when we dined at Balthazar's in Covent Garden to celebrate her latest 'Loved By Mollie' edit for the Oasis fashion group.

With two successful sell-out edits under her belt, Mollie has curated a new 15-piece collection that includes a favourite khaki jumpsuit which she wore on Wednesday night (right) with gold heels and we all got a good view of it as she mingled with the guests.

"So tell me something I don't know about Mollie King," I asked, over pre-dinner drinks.

"Well, I've a thrill for speed and all things like that. I'm a bit of a speed demon and I was on the British ski team and I stopped at 17. I don't have any worries about going too fast.

"My favourite discipline was always Super-G (super giant slalom) where you would normally be averaging 70mph," explained Mollie, who skied for the British Alpine squad until she swapped the slopes for the stage, to pursue her dream of becoming a singer.

"I either have a screw lose or something but I literally love throwing myself down the mountain," said the singer, who is just back from skiing in Meribel with no broken bones... and a very attractive tan.

Mollie told me how it was Una Healy Foden's 's daughter Aoife who let it slip that the expected new baby would be called Tadhg.

"It was funny because Una hadn't told anybody the name and I was with Aoife when Una said 'what's in here' expecting Aoife to say a baby but she let slip the name Tadhg so I actually know the baby's name a few months before he was born. I think it's an adorable name."

As for The Saturdays, they will "be recording another album after Christmas so we are doing our own things this year."

Favourite pastimes when she has a free Saturday off is to go for brunch and she has been papped out brunching with Alfie and a very attentive David Gandy.

"My brunch favourites are eggs benedict or waffles," says Mollie, who says she isn't a good cook but she recently had success with Jamie Oliver's mustard chicken .

- BP

A love reunited: Sarah and Orla team up for martial arts drama

Actresses Orla Brady and Sarah Bolger first shared the screen in 1999 romance A Love Divided and now the pair are teaming up for shiny new AMC martial arts drama Into the Badlands.

"Sarah played my daughter and now she's playing my nemesis," Orla explained. "She's marrying my husband so the dynamic is quite different."

The two ladies will share the screen with Olivia Wilde and according to Brady, it's a "cracking script".

The chic actress was full of chat at the launch of The Eileen Gray Project at the Royal Institute of Architects.

Brady plays the bisexual modernist in Mary McGuckian's film The Price of Desire. "I wanted to communicate with her so I sat in her French villa for hours," Brady explained.

Furniture designer Gray is getting a lot of press these days between the film, Marco Orsini's documentary Gray Matters, and the Conservatoire du Littoral's decision to throw open the doors of her legendary villa E-1027.

On top of that, Alanis Morrisette is singing songs about her and there is even talk of a video game.

But this particular evening we were all entranced by a series of photographic portraits by Julien Lennon (the son of Beatle John).

All the shots has been taken in the South of France on set of McGuckian's period drama. "Don't they look like porcelain," McGuckian said while Marco Orsini and fashion designer Peter O'Brien meandered about the space.

From one exhibition to another, I scooted across town to the Solomon Gallery. Scottish artist John Short was showcasing a whole host of colourful sketches inspired by that hallowed bathing ground The 40 foot.

Short, who has had his work published in Vogue and Harpers & Queen, was fascinated by the carefree attitude of bathers.

"I just find the whole thing so fascinating," he said. "They stand there with nothing but speedos and towels on, glowing red from the cold and talking about how wonderful the water is."

- KBK

Going Wilde for the latest H&M designs

Morah Ryan did it last year when she swooped and picked up one of the best frocks of the year from the new H&M 'Conscious Exclusive' limited edition range.

This year, expect all eyes to be on the silk and linen bird-print gown (below) and split sleeve tuxedo jacket worn by actress Olivia Wilde in their adverts which will sell at €199 and €99 respectively, when they reach stores April 16.

Appetites were honed for these seriously gorge pieces when H&M hosted a 'Birthday Bash' at the Dean on Wednesday, to celebrate 10 years in Ireland.

Guests were met at Sophie's with champagne and there were cocktails and yummy food throughout the night.

I really should have recorded RTE weather girl, Nuala Carey, when she sang - very well I might add - with Marty Whelan at the launch of Gusto, an authentic Italian restaurant at the Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley.

It was a fun night with over 150 guests enjoying chef Erion Tao's yummy pizzas from a wood stone oven.

- BP

Corks a-Poppin at Bord Gais bash

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's an overbearing English nanny with a love of hefty handbags and umbrella-based aviation.

The Bord Gais Energy Theatre celebrated its fifth birthday by announcing that classic musical Mary Poppins will be hitting the stage come Christmas.

"And who doesn't love a bit of Poppins and Bert?" general manager Stephen Faloon asked. To mark the anniversary, patrons were invited to a high tea reception at the theatre with pretty pastries and bottles of bubbles.

"It's been five years, we've had 250 productions, 2.5 million punters, we've served 250,000 cartons of popcorn and I have aged about 15 years," Faloon told the crowd. "But it's been worth it - I hope!"

Following on from the success of his all-male Swan Lake, Matthew Bourne will return with his gothic reimagining of Sleeping Beauty while comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Love Me Tender are also tipped to be box-office favourites.

But the real question remains the same; when is Stephen going to release a behind-the-scenes memoirs? "I think it'll be a few more years and a few more scandals before that happens," PR guru Claire Whelan quipped.

- KBK

It's a 'no' to acting and 'yes' to design, especially lingerie, says Heidi Klum

Supermodels are famous for their svelte bodies but their personalities can often be on the, em, thin side!

That certainly wasn't the case with Heidi Klum who I caught up with at Selfridges in London at the launch of her new 'Intimates' lingerie range.

Last time we took tea together was on Bono's penthouse deck at the Clarence Hotel when Heidi walked for Ali's Hewson's charity fashion show at The Point.

Busy with her American TV shows Project Runway and America's Got Talent, the former Victoria Secret's model told me that she wasn't actually looking for a lingerie line but then it fell into her lap, so to speak.

"Benedon were looking for someone to replace Elle Macpherson so they gave me a call and I was like 'this is awesome', I want to do it," said Heidi, who was bright and chatty, despite flying in overnight from NYC.

The German-born, California-based mother-of-four laughed at how actress Kerry Washington liberated wire from her Heidi Klum Intimates bra in order to escape from a room in the TV show Scandal.

"That was totally unexpected and gave the range a huge boost," said Heidi, whose lingerie is stocked at Brown Thomas.

Despite appearing (as herself) in The Devil Wears Prada and Desperate Housewives, Heidi (41) has no plans to go into acting.

"I'm not an actress, I've tried that a little bit and I realised that I'm just not that good at it," said Heidi who is listed in Forbes' list of the World's Top-Earning Models.

"I am confident in design, I am a creative person, I never run out of ideas," says Heidi whose next project is swimwear.

- BP

Vogue steps into Maia's shoes with straight As

She's hung out with Home and Away's Alf Stewart in Summer Bay, made contact with spirits lurking beyond the grave and now TV starlet Vogue Williams, will pack up her pencil case as she resits her Leaving Cert for RTE documentary Vogue Does Straight As.

It's not the only show Vogue is working on; she's also got a four-part RTE 2 series in the pipeline - presumably replacing Maia Dunphy's What Women Want which won't return to our screens this autumn. C'est tragique.

"We shoot the series in June but it's still a bit up in the air," she told me. "At the moment I'm all about studying times tables, the documentary has all my attention."

The model and DJ has become something of a familiar face in the UK thanks to her appearance on Bear Grylls' ITV series Mission Survive.

In one particularly memorable scene, Vogue drank her own urine to prove a) she's as hard as nails and b) she has no taste buds.

"It definitely wasn't one of my finest moments on TV," she said. "And something I won't be testing out again but it has given me more of a profile in the UK." Every cloud...

The stylish presenter will be back on Irish soil next month to judge the Most Stylish Lady at the Irish Grand National in Fairyhouse on Easter Monday. The theme this year is Elegantly Irish.

"The best advice I could give ladies is wear Irish brands and make sure the clothes fit you," Vogue said. "Oh don't be afraid to go glam."

- KBK

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