Tuesday 16 January 2018

Good golly Miss Dolly: how Parton causes a stir

The queen of country can light up a room but she's no fool and knows just how to play the media game, writes Barry Egan

It is possibly the biggest regret of my life. Dolly Parton asked me to go for dinner in 2002 and I declined. Just what I was declining with the legendarily endowed ("I'm the only person who ever left the Smoky Mountains and took them with her," she used to joke) singer I'll never know. We had just finished a very flirty, very touchy-feely, interview in her suite at the Shelbourne hotel in Dublin in which she had joked about her allegedly open-ish marriage with husband Carl Dean, when Dolly suggested dinner.

At least that's what I think was on her mind.

It would have been something to brag about -- my hot dinner and perhaps a little more with the bountiful, top-heavy, 5ft 1in legend from the Smokey Mountains, Tennessee -- for the rest of my existence.

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