Thursday 17 January 2019

Brippa help celebrate birthday life of Brian

Dowling presents: Brian will be joined by old pal Pippa O'Connor as he welcomes 100 guests to his 40th party
Dowling presents: Brian will be joined by old pal Pippa O'Connor as he welcomes 100 guests to his 40th party
Nick Cave
Bound for the Big Apple... Noelle McCarthy (centre) with her daughters Zoe (left) and Aifric
Conor McGregor
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry after the announcement of their engagement last November
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

A thought for the day as you apply the sun cream in the back garden while opening a bottle of Chablis perhaps.

Brian Dowling won Channel 4's reality show Big Brother in 2001, Ultimate Big Brother in 2010 and subsequently presented Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.

Given the President of the United States of America Donald Trump was most famous for his reality show The Apprentice, should our Brian consider running for President of Ireland one day? (Brian has better hair than Trump but could the one time Ryanair "trolley dolly" hold a room like Michael D?)

So, is Our Brian's big party in House on Dublin's Leeson Street this afternoon to announce that he is running for the Aras? Alas, not, but almost as important: it's his 40th birthday.

Brian's bling beano - which kicks off at 2pm and runs until 8pm officially - has been carefully organised by the birthday boy and his choreographer husband, Arthur Gourounlian.

Brian is set to have 100 (only 100? he must have left thousands off the final list!) of his closest friends and family attend this afternoon. That list of the 100 closest, of course, includes Pippa O'Connor and husband Brian Ormond. What list in all seriousness, I ask you, wouldn't be complete without Brippa?

The glam grandees in House's beautiful Glass House and Garden will be treated to everything from beef and sriracha chicken sliders, spinach pine nut and feta tartlets, beef and chorizo meatballs along with goats cheese and tomato bruschetta, all washed down with Brian's very own signature cocktail 'The Briantini'.

Another Brian - Ormond - could happily claim this drink for himself too. What's not to love?

Last weekend in the same venue, footie legend John O'Shea marked his last game for his country with a soiree for 80 (only 80?) friends and family.

Chief among them were his beautiful wife Yvonne and his mother Mary O'Shea, to say nothing of Ireland internationals and Burnley stars Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady.

An Taoiseach keeps his cool and ends up in hospital

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Nick Cave
 

Leo Varadkar's status as indie hipster Taoiseach remains unchallenged. Although he did end up in hospital in the process. Royal Hospital Kilmainham, that is. For Nick Cave's show last Wednesday night.

In all honesty, could you imagine Enda Kenny at Nick Cave singing along to The Mercy Seat or Stagger Lee? 'There's something I have to say before you begin/You'll have to be gone before my man Billy Dilly comes in, Mr Stagger Lee...."

"Nick Cave was really good," the coolest An T ever told me. That's Leo not Enda, sillies. "I'm not a hardcore fan but enjoy the macabre and he was at his best. Kilmainham is a fabulous venue for a concert especially on a warm evening," Leo said of Nick on a warm Wednesday.

In terms of other shows, Leo added that he had "no plans to go to Electric Picnic at the moment".

"I'm going to The Happy Prince in the Stella in Rathmines on Monday [tomorrow]. Rupert Everett is over for it. My first trip to the Stella. It's supposed to be impressive. It's been revamped and restored to its former glory."

A bit like Fine Gael under sneakers-rocking Leo, anyone?

Ex-milkmaid Noelle blows off steam in NYC

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Bound for the Big Apple... Noelle McCarthy (centre) with her daughters Zoe (left) and Aifric
 

When, two weeks ago, Dunnes deity Margaret Heffernan brought Noelle McCarthy and her Blow hair salon into Dunnes on Henry Street, I wonder was Mags aware of the connection?

"We grew up on a small, 15 acre farm on Lee Road on the outskirts of Cork. We had a small dairy herd and hens and so we supplied eggs, milk and creams to hotels, restaurants and supermarkets - Dunnes being one of them," beautiful Noelle told me over drinks in the Canal Bank last week. "So opening Blow in Dunnes is a great milestone for Blow and a big leap for me having stocked shelves with milk and eggs with my father JP in Dunnes in Patrick Street when I was 10. I milked cows and fed hens!"

She jets off to the South of France and then New York next week to blow off steam on a well-earned holiday, visiting daughter Zoe (21). Her other daughter Aifric (25) works for Trinny Woodall's make-up range in London. Michael Colgan's ex hardly looks old enough to have two daughters in their twenties. "I'm ancient! I'm 54! I'm single and have been for a year. No time for relationships." When was the last time she was on a date? "I don't go on dates. I just focus on work." That makes you sound boring, I say. "I am!"

MMA's McGregor adds some sparkle to Krystle

A thought for the day as you re-apply the sun cream and open another bottle of Chablis perchance. Is there ever a weekend when Conor McGregor is not in Krystle nightclub?

It would appear not, happily.

The Irish sports deity was in Rangan Arulchelvan and Eileen Wright's famous emporium on Harcourt Street last Sunday night. He came in with James Kavanagh, brother of Conor's coach John.

"He came in and enjoyed himself after Forbidden Fruit. He was friendly to the staff. Conor is a regular," Krystle co-owner Rangan told me. "We love having him in." And who wouldn't?

Harry and Meghan receive a Devine gift from Sligo

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry after the announcement of their engagement last November
 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might have said that they didn't want wedding gifts, but  clearly Caroline Devine  didn't get the memo.

Caroline - who lives in the late Earl Mountbatten's Irish home, Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore, county Sligo - has bought the royal couple a copy of what she told me was the best cookery book she could find, Behind the Half Door: Stories of Food and Folk, by none other than our own Brighid McLaughlin and Kady O Connell.

The lovely and charismatic life partner of the late businessman Hugh Tunney said she has also got new arrival Prince Louis, named after the aforesaid Lord Mountbatten of Burma, godson of Queen Victoria, a jigsaw of pictures of Classiebawn castle in the snow.

She and some of the locals in Mullaghmore have put together a range of prezzies to be sent to the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William for little Louis: among them a book of fairytales, and a blue blanket.

John Barry, a friend of Prince Charles, has commissioned a christening mug for Louis. (I am thinking of getting little Louis a dinner with his namesake - the former Lord Louis of X Factor - for when he is older.)

"We are going to send over the gifts to the royal family," Lady Caroline told me.

She added that many members of the European royal families, "descendants of Queen Victoria", have stayed at Classiebawn Castle down through the years.

Your diarist might even pitch up there during the summer. Caroline's relation, the beautiful Annette Rocca, is said to have stayed recently.

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