Sunday 18 March 2018

The Edge: Baz jets off to Marbs before start of show

Spanish break for Baz Ashmawy
Spanish break for Baz Ashmawy
Still standing: Giorgio Casari will be working at Marcel's
Festival fun: Blaise O'Donnell was at Longitude
New York state of mind: Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman were in Manhattan, and, the week before, in Pichet
Siobhan McClafferty and Julian O'Sullivan have been enjoying their honeymoon in the Turks & Caicos islands
Greek break: For Amanda Brunker
Sailing plans: Dominic Daly
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Fifty Ways To Kill The Mood Of The Country. OK, not quite 50 but here's a few...

1/ The head on Donald Trump - the owner of Doonbeg golf course -makes Johnny Ronan and his badger hairdo look categorically Cary Grant-esque in comparison.

2/ Fine Gael golf classics are nothing like Fianna Fail's Galway tent. Now that's depressing.

3/ The return of The Voice Of Ireland for a fifth series on RTE. Possibly even more depressing than dull Fine Gael golf hoolies.

4/ Irish politicians soon going off on their holiers to sunnier climes while we, the taxpayers, are left behind with no actual summer.

5/ Nadia Forde going to bootcamp to lose weight. She was grand the way she was.

Oh, and I may already have mentioned the lack of an actual summer in Ireland.

But at least the brains behind 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy has got some good news - and some good weather. Baz Ashmawy, for it is he, jets off to southern Spain tomorrow morning for a well-deserved break in the sun.

The good news is that his sublime series starts again on Sky 1 next month.

Beach-bound Baz and his babe-from-Belgrade partner Tanja Evans, will enjoy Marbella for a holiday with the kids before Baz returns for the big launch of 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy Season 2.

Tanja and the kids (Amelia, Jake, Harry, Charlotte, Hannah, and Mahy) are already out in Marbs. Baz will join them on the beach this afternoon. 50 Ways To Apply The Factor 50, anyone?

I ask him the question that was on the lips of the nation: would Baz be bringing the mammy to Marbs?

I mean, swimming with predatory Great White sharks in South Africa and picking up poisonous snakes in South American jungles - as his mammy Nancy did on the first series - might make encountering the Euro-trash of Marbs in their Ferraris and car-crash face-lifts in Puerto Banus on a Saturday night seem, well, just a bit bland. "No, Nancy is not coming over to Spain. I just spent months travelling with her," laughed Baz of his beloved mammy before he set off for Spain.

"So I'm just chilling with the missus and the kids. I'm not sure how long I'll be out there in Marbella."

"When I get back I'll be very busy with the edit of the show and launching the new Mammy series in August."

The happy return of boy Giorgio

Forgive me in advance for my  rose-tinted spectacles, but once upon a time, not so long ago, the Unicorn was to Dublin 2 what the Algonquin Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel was to Manhattan in the 1920s. With Eamon Dunphy as its Dorothy Parker.

It was here at this restaurant on Merrion Row that Harold Pinter had his 75th birthday bash in 2005 and Brian Friel had his 80th birthday party four years later. (Ian McKellen, Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack, Seamus Heaney, and Edna O'Brien pitched up.) It was a magical place where the likes of PJ Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Gayle Killilea, Bono, Johnny Ronan, Michael Colgan, and the aforesaid Dunphy could be witnessed on a Friday, starting at 5pm, enjoying the art of life (the food was never the main attraction) at adjoining tables. Or maybe at the same table. Maitre d' Giorgio Casari was often the centre of this. So I'm glad to say that after a few bumpy years, Giorgio is back. He is currently in Pichet - "replacing the famous Nick" [Munier] - before returning to Merrion Row in two weeks' time. "I'm going to the new Marcel's, the former Il Segreto Restaurant." he told me (Marcel's, like Pichet, is owned by The Mercantile Group). The boy Giorgio added that "it is good be back in town. The court cases are over for me," he said explaining that "they were about filing returns and returning assets, which I did. I can start some sort of normal life. I've been through hell but I'm still standing."

And on such fetching Italian legs too, as his many lady admirers would say.

Blaise and her sister rock the festival look

I want to live in a music festival forever, goes the mantra, usually during the summer. Some of us, however,  want to live in a sprawling mansion with views of Killiney bay forever.

The beautiful O'Donnell sisters Blaise and Alexandra - who once lived up on that very type of mansion overlooking Killiney bay - certainly seemed like they wanted to live in a music festival last weekend at Longitude in Marlay Park. My Deep Throat told me that the girls went with a crew of friends. Getting public transport to the gig, they rocked the festival look.

Blaise wore a cool beaded headpiece and skinny jeans and younger sis Alex was wearing a crown of yellow flowers. And why not? (My Deep Throat also told me that brainbox Alex is studying genetics at Trinity college.)

Bling-bling blonde-babe Blaise, who was with her long-term partner Eoin Baker at the gig, brings with her a refreshing joie de vivre, driving the economic recovery single-handedly at times. Not least because she was spotted last month enjoying herself with a gang of pals in La Bodega in Ranelagh, and the month before in Sophie's in the Dean hotel on Harcourt Street. Whatever about her family's one-time champion - and Vincent Browne's nemesis - Jerry Beades, Blaise should run for politics. She would definitely know how to give the country a lift.

Even a great little country like Ireland where the billionaires' offspring sometimes didn't even realise their parents were billionaires.

Brian and Amy take Manhattan

He once dated for two doubtless blissful years one of the most beautiful girls in the land - former Miss Ireland  Holly Carpenter. So Cian Healy, unsurprisingly, goes to the place where currently the beautiful people go.  Last weekend, on the Friday to be precise, the Irish  rugby legend was in Xico  on  Lower Baggot Street with some friends.  They came in at 1am  and stayed until closing time.

Cian's former captain in the Ireland rugby team, Brian O'Driscoll, was in Pichet on Trinity Street two weeks ago with wife Amy for brunch. The uncontrollably happy couple were in New York all last week, enjoying the sights. You have to admire their passion for living (and each other), don't you? In the last four months or so, they've gone from Dubai to the Royal Box at Wimbledon to the golf at St Andrews in Scotland to taking Manhattan, including U2's show in Madison Square Garden, together.

I'm exhausted just writing about their lives. I need to lie down in a darkened room.

In Manhattan.

Brunker has front to fly over for Greek crisis

Amanda Brunker flew to Greece last weekend. Was she going over to help out on the €86bn European Union bailout imbroglio?  She has the front for it, don't you think?

No, sadly, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande will not be receiving the assistance of The Brunker on this occasion, as the acclaimed author and Miss Ireland 1991 jetted over to Kos last Saturday with her husband and kids simply for a two-week family holiday. No doubt Ange and Franie could have done with The Brunker's help too.

Irish beauty Aisling Quinn, meanwhile, is just back from a quick trip to Singapore.

The model was at the Barclays Asia Trophy with her father, Ireland soccer icon and Sky Sports pundit Niall Quinn. "My mum couldn't go, with her study schedule," Aisling said referring to Gillian. "So I got the nod. Back to reality now."

Still on the subject of Irish pulchritude abroad, Miss Ireland 1990, Siobhan McClafferty, is currently on her honeymoon southeast of the Bahamas.

On the phone from the Turks & Caicos Islands, Siobhan took a break from, well...modesty prevents me from telling you what Siobhan was taking a break from on her tell your diarist that, "it really is beautiful. So laid back and relaxed.

"We hired a car and haven't used it yet because we cycle everywhere. The island is only 32 miles long. But it's like paradise," said Siobhan who married her beau Julian O'Sullivan in Gibraltar a few months ago.

"We couldn't go on our honeymoon after we got married, because Julian had to take up his position in Chicago straight away, so we put it off till now. I'm glad we did because it gave us time to settle into our new house in America."

Dom 'Dom Perignon' Daly to set sail

Now that the country is finally coming out of recession, it is clearly the right time to have something to show off on.

Isn't it?

And if you're looking for a big yacht, then Ronan O'Gara's much-respected father-in-law Dominic Daly is your only man.

Next Thursday at noon in the Carrigaline Court Hotel in Cork, dashing local legend Dom will be auctioning the Makayabella.

Should you buy this boat, you will be guaranteed never to be stuck for conversation over the dinner parties you can host for the D4 and West Cork chattering classes on board.

I say this because your future purchase made headlines last year when it was seized by the Naval Service, Customs and the gardai with 1,025 kgs of cocaine worth millions on board.

"I have auctioned drug boats before ... this one should be particularly interesting," Dom told me.

"I expect to be going sailing in Crosshaven and further before the end of the summer, but not I hasten to add on anything remotely resembling a drug boat," the dreamboat of Montenotte laughed.

Don't be surprised if you see him sailing in the Caribbean.

It's time to launch his new nickname. I'm renaming him Dom 'Dom Perignon' Daly.

Sunday Independent

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