Sunday 17 February 2019

Farrell family fly to New York to support Colin

Colin Farrell is to be honoured by The Ireland Funds
Colin Farrell is to be honoured by The Ireland Funds
Nadia forde
Irish movie star Victoria Smurfit snubbed Hollywood to spend Christmas with her ex-husband Doug Baxter and their three kids
Designer Peter O'Brien launches a new collection
Louis Walsh is jetting off
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

They don't call them The Air Miles Family for nothing. The Farrell clan will be flying in from everywhere next month to New York.

Dance dreamboat Eamon and his artistic husband Steven Mannion are coming from Dublin (their dogs Bess, Rosie and Lilly in Sandymount will presumably enjoy the free gaff?), while family matriarch Rita and movie producer husband Joel B Michaels are jetting in from Los Angeles, as are lovely Rita's beautiful daughters Claudine and Catherine. They all live in West Hollywood, don't you know?

The reason for the family summit in the Big Apple is that the incomparable Colin Farrell is being honoured at the 43rd New York Gala of The Ireland Funds on May 3 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers. Chairman of The Ireland Funds America, our own John Fitzpatrick, will be in attendance on the illustrious night, as will many other of the great and the good from the Irish American business and cultural community. As well as being there for the proud moment Colin receives his award, Rita, Eamon, Claudine et al will be in Manhattan to give Colin moral and physical support as he will coming out of rehab that week. I wish Colin all the best.

Brippa help Nadia and Dom celebrate engagement

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Nadia forde
 

It's official. Last Sunday was a beautiful Day for Nadia Forde (above). She celebrated her engagement to Dominic Day in 37 on Dawson Street. Arriving at 8pm, Nadia, wearing a black dress, was joined by family and friends - Pippa O'Connor and husband Brian Ormond among them - in 37's hipster-friendly Whiskey Room. Dominic, who plays for Saracens, lined out against Leinster that afternoon in the Aviva. And despite their 30-19 loss, loved-up Dom marked his good news with Nads and his team-mates. You can see why she fell for a man with oval-shaped balls, can't you?

Peter brings the beautiful people to Dunnes

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Designer Peter O'Brien launches a new collection
 

Fashion goes in one ear and out the other, I always say. And then there are the timeless creations of Saint Peter O'Brien. I say 'Saint' because he can do no wrong.

The suave, silver-coiffured Irish couturier is launching his first ever summer collection for Dunnes Stores this Thursday at 6pm on Grafton Street. In fact, it is his first summer collection for almost a decade.

"So I was a tad nervous," Peter told me. "Most designers will tell you they are happier developing winter layers than they are baring the body for sunnier times."

Happily, Peter has been spared "the terrors" of designing bikinis and sun hats and has instead "concentrated on an almost 'season-less' collection of garments that one can wear to a Communion, a board meeting or a night on the town".

Peter, naturally, has a wonderfully loyal group of customers and, as such, he is expecting, among others, guests Deborah Veale, Caroline Sleiman, Sharon Donnelly and her daughter Becky, Mairead Whisker, Louise Stokes from Loulerie, Ruth from Appassionata, as well as Peter's actor friends Marion O'Dwyer and Cathy Belton.

This is to say nothing of the beautiful (if occasionally, through no fault of their own, po-faced) bag-hags of the Irish fashion press.

"These launches get more terrifying as opposed to less so. I shall be there to welcome everyone of course, but if truth be told," Peter told me, and I'm telling you, "I'm far happier with a pencil in my hand drawing at my table than being a social butterfly, with my arthritis more like a social Rip Van Winkle," he laughed.

Louis jets to Los Angeles to meet Lisa Fitzpatrick

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Louis Walsh is jetting off
 

It's grand for some, isn't it? Next week, Louis Walsh jets to Miami for a three-week holiday. I imagine the milk-white-skinned pop impresario from Kiltimagh will pack his (X) Factor 50 sun-screen in the overhead locker of his first class seat. 

"Aer Lingus have three flights a week," said the poptastic Mr Walsh, when I met him in the Intercontinental hotel in Ballsbridge last week, "so it's a nice easy trip for me". Glad to hear it.

After three weeks in his pad in South Beach, the Sun King will then jet to California to visit his old pal Lisa Fitzpatrick, the TV stylist now relocated in the City of Angels.

"I love Lisa," Louis told me, adding that he will also be visiting his beloved friend and employer Simon Cowell in Los Angeles. The high-trousered Mr Cowell is taking him to America's Got Talent. "I'm also going to meet up with Ozzy and Sharon," Louis said in reference to his fellow judge on ITV hit pop show, The X Factor. "There were some lies printed that I wasn't going to be doing The X Factor. Of course I f***ing am. It's done and dusted. Simon rang me. We're getting started in June," gushed Louis.

So, who is getting Nicole Scherzinger's job on The X Factor?

"I don't know yet."

How about Lisa Fitzpatrick? "She hasn't had any hits!"

The secret of Victoria's success in La La Land

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Irish movie star Victoria Smurfit snubbed Hollywood to spend Christmas with her ex-husband Doug Baxter and their three kids
 

Bret Easton Ellis probably summed up the alienation of Los Angeles for some people when he wrote in his first novel, Less Than Zero: "I come to a red light, tempted to go through it, then stop once I see a billboard sign that I don't remember seeing and I look up at it. All it says is 'Disappear Here'."

It is doubtless a testament to Irish movie star Victoria Smurfit - and a testament to the way her parents Caroline and Dermot raised her - that her life in LA is as normal as it gets. It is no secret for Victoria.

She didn't disappear into some La La Land existential void. She came into herself. Easter wasn't celebrated in Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard talking shop with some Hollywood A-listers but at her ex-husband's home with him and their three kids, Evie, Ridley and Flynn.

"I had Easter lamb with the kids and Doug at his," Victoria told me. "It was very relaxed and full of laughter."

It says something about Victoria (and Doug Baxter) that she is still such great friends with her significant ex, does it not? (Their 15-year marriage came to a natural end in February 2015.)

I asked the former Ballykissangel star how she celebrated her birthday last week in Los Angeles. (She doesn't look remotely her age, which I won't mention.)

"I had a party full of people I love," she said. "I felt very lucky to have such a wonderful group of friends from the industry here."

Any other news, Victoria?

"Other than I am the assumed killer on Marcella for ITV and I am just back from filming Once Upon A Time as Cruella in Vancouver for its penultimate episode before it finishes forever - nope."

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