Tuesday 23 July 2019

The Diary: Tubs flies solo for bash and plans to have a tipple or two

Ryan with Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin
Ryan with Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin
Eimear Quinn. Photo; Gerry Mooney
Dawn Porter
Sinead Brennan and Louise Dunne at the Irish launch of the new HTC One (M8) in Lost Society, Dublin. PHoto:Brian McEvoy
Conor McCarthy and Annie Gill. Photo:Arthur Carron
Gillian Culhane and Lorraine Dwyer at an event marking the launch of Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to San Francisco
Caroline Cahill and Jordan McClurkin at the Ralph Lauren Monogramming event at Arnotts accessories hall
Loretta Ní Ghabháin and her fiance Ian Daly at the launch of two new restaurants at Galway’s Meyrick Hote

Kirsty Blake Knox and Bairbre Power

Television's Ryan Tubridy and his other half Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin are busy putting the final touches on their Monkstown retreat. No doubt they are picking out cushion covers, painting walls egg shell white and deciding where to stash all those back copies of the RTÉ Guide.

But while Aoibhinn is away this weekend, TV star Tubs has plans to play.

The Late Late Show host will be flying solo when he attends the TV and Film fest; the IFTA awards this evening.

While Tubs is rubbing shoulders with the crème de la crème of the TV world (and Marty Morrissey), his other half will be addressing academics at some high falutin scholastic convention.

"She's doing the smart gig overseas and I'm doing the wild gig with all the silly people," he explained while wandering about Grand Canal Dock on a sunny Tuesday morning.

"I think everyone is going to let their hair down and go wild."

Tubs hasn't been to the IFTAs in donkey's years and is positive the ceremony and raucous after party will be a rip roaring jape.

Boy has he got that wrong. Last year's ceremony was so drawn out and painful that poor Amy Huberman went into labour after the closing credits. But Ryan is determined to have a good time schmoozing and boozing with the best of them.

"I meet these people on The Late Late Show but it's a slightly contrived atmosphere because I'm 'on', so I'm looking forward to a tipple or two."

The Late Late Show has made it into the Best Entertainment category and will go up against housewife-in-drag Agnes Brown and her brood.

"I don't think I have the slightest chance of winning," Tubridy said. "That's not why I'm going. I intend to have a blast. Have you see the list of nominees? Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. If half of them show up it'll be sensational." Don't hold your breath, Tubs.

While it seems unlikely that Hollywood royalty will descend on the Ballsbridge DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, there is no shortage of Irish celebs down to attend.

Bambi-eyed presenter Laura Whitmore is bringing her mammy, Jack Reynor should arrive with fiance Madeline Mulqueen, Dracula star Victoria Smurfit is flying in and pretty much everyone from Love/ Hate will be there.

Mary Murray, who plays brothel madam Janet, picked up her dress in New York last year and is looking forward to soaking up the glitz and glamour.

"It's going to be like a 'pre-wrap' party for us all Love/ Haters, nearly all the cast are going." Let's hope they have something to celebrate.



Butler's model delivery

Stroppy, supercilious supermodels are nothing new to me in London, Paris and New York, but my ears pricked when I heard about one giving grief to Irish-born Sean Davoren, who is head butler at London's Savoy Hotel.

The clothes horse only requested to bathe in goat's milk, so Sean duly dispatched a car to a goat farm in Wales. Cost of the milk: £65. Cost of the car and driver: £620!

Sean (pictured) regaled us with fabulous stories last Friday night when Cian O'Broin, GM of the Hotel Meyrick on Galway's Eyre Square, hosted a super chic evening to mark two new eateries in the hotel.

Drinks were hosted in the new Gaslight Brasserie and we moved downstairs for dinner in the new Oyster Grill Restaurant, where Sean shared a few gems and entertained us as we sampled five fabulous courses.

But the goat's milk was not a problem for the genial Limerick man, who says he will do anything for a guest, so long as it's legal.

Sean has 35 years' experience as a head butler in many of London's premier hotels, from Claridges to the Savoy.

Centre of attention on the night was local TG4 beauty Loretta Ní Ghabháin, who had just got engaged to her Garda boyfriend, Ian Daly. He proposed with a specially made rose gold diamond ring designed by jeweller Sarah Gray.

We dined on Kilmore Quay scallops with a Dublin Bay Prawn and Tournafulla pudding pouch and enjoyed the end of the supermodel story even more.

So, after dipping her body in goat's milk, the model requested to wash her body down in Evian water! Needless to say, Sean delivered it all with a flourish.

– BP


Command performance

Who remembers 'The Voice'? No, I'm not talking the TV show, but the 1996 Eurovision winning song which propelled the beautiful Eimear Quinn, below, to singing fame.

I'm the cheeky journalist who rang her at 9am on the morning of the contest, woke her up and got a telling-off, but since then we have made up and become pals. Eimear, below, who is married to Noel Curran, DG at RTÉ, has two kids and is just one of a number of super stylish ladies putting their wardrobe together this weekend for Michael D's Presidential visit to the UK next week.

Eimear's teamed up with the designer Maire Forkin, from Fitzwilliam Street, who is creating "something elegant" for the singer to wear.

"I'm really looking forward to this visit," Eimear says.

"I'll be busy because there is a white tie state banquet given by the queen for President Higgins at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, on Wednesday, there is a state banquet given by President Higgins at the Guildhall, London and the following night, I'm performing at the Royal Albert Hall."

I recently spotted the first lady, Sabina, shopping with her good friend, costume designer , Joan Bergin, in BTs.

– BP


It's a new Dawn for O'Porter's talents

Dawn O'Porter, wife of Boyle native turned Broadway star Chris O'Dowd, is designing a range of posh retro frocks.

"I'm calling the collection 'Bob'," she says, "after the '60s haircut." Makes sense given Dawn's penchant for blunt-cut bangs.

The clothing line will be packed full of vintage finds and retro-looking dresses. "If I had my way it would just be stuff from the 1950s, but you can't have it all," she said.

O'Porter is in Dublin today to chat about her new book Goose in that hallowed venue The Twisted Pepper.

Goose is the next in her adult fiction trilogy about two BFFs growing up on Guernsey. The TV host, who used to present 'shockumentaries' such as Dawn Goes Lesbian and Dawn Does Naked, has been touring the UK for the past week and says the response to the book couldn't be better.

But the chatty writer is still recovering from serious jetlag, having recently returned from New York where she watched hubby Chris tread the boards.

O'Dowd is starring in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men alongside James Franco and everyone's favourite Gossip Girl – Leighton Meester.

"It was the first time I had ever seen him on stage and he was absolutely brilliant," she said. "And it's a beautiful play,"

Unfortunately Dawn wasn't in the stalls the night Mother Monster, aka Lady Gaga, dropped by wearing a blush pink fleece waistcoat, leather choker and fluffy flower pot hat. Apparently the dress code was smart casual.

"I wasn't there when Chris met Beyonce or Gaga," Dawn said. "Which is very upsetting." Indeed.

Chin up though; there's plenty to be happy about. Least of all, the good people at Kettle Chips are sponsoring Dawn's book tour. That's something to sing about.

"I am a crisp fiend. There will be lots of crisp sandwiches on trains and buses," she said.

"By the time I'm done I will be fat, fluffy and very happy."



No cancan do at dance party

Sometimes all you want is some good old-fashioned razzmatazz. So I was crestfallen to discover there were no celebratory jazz hands or cancan dancers at the launch of the tenth Dublin Dance Festival.

"What a ghastly suggestion," Julia Carruthers, director of the DDF exclaimed. "That's really not our style.

"I've no problems with jazz and I've no problem with hands," she continued, "but not together." Then she bustled off – spoilsport.

The evening was filled with discussions about "the line", pointe shoes, and to a lesser extent that classic interpretive piece Macarena.

Actress Annie Gill and Conor McCarthy – founder of the Street Performance Championships – chatted to Renaissance man Willie White, while willowy dancer Liv O'Donoghue moved around the room. Director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan made a fleeting appearance. "It's the rehearsal of my production, An Ideal Husband," he shouted as he ran out the door. "I shouldn't even be here."

Across town and The Gibson Hotel had just announced their new artist in residence – urban street sketcher Fin Dac.

Fin, who is usually based in London, will set up shop in the hotel for five weeks while creating two pieces of street art.

"Last time I painted in Ireland, it was considered vandalism and illegal, so it's nice to come back and start with a clean record."

Original power couple Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin joined king of Kerry radio Brian Purcell and Minister Jimmy Deenihan at the launch. "Fin's graffiti-style art has turned some real eyesores into places of beauty," Minister Deenihan said. "Let's see what he does for the Dublin docks." – KBK


It's take-off for those who've left their heart in San Fran

There was no need to bring sheepskins, flasks and sambos when all the intrepid voyagers took off on the inaugural Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to San Francisco on Thursday morning.

They travelled in style and we celebrated their departure with breakfast at the VIP suite at the airport. Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller cut a cake which was appropriately shaped like a plane watched by Minister Richard Bruton. Also in attendance was Facebook Ireland's CEO Sonia Flynn, DAA CEO Kevin Toland and PR executive Heidi O'Sullivan.

Aer Lingus have flown to San Francisco before, but now that it's back on the schedule I think the first-class cabin would be just the place for shrewd ladies to bag a millionaire, given all the techies bound for Silicon Valley.



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