Opinion Columnists

Thursday 17 January 2019

Hozier joins bro's bash in party week to remember

Julian Okines and Amanda Byram arriving on the red carpet for the IFTA
Julian Okines and Amanda Byram arriving on the red carpet for the IFTA
Kylie Minogue
Fresh-faced Eoghan McDermott is enjoying his hectic lifestyle in Spain - despite the early starts - while narrating the Australian version of ITV's popular 'Love Island' TV show
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

What a week. And not just for the weather. Hozier helped his brother John celebrate his birthday in House last weekend. The great singer looked cool in a grey T-shirt and black jeans. Robbie Henshaw and girlfriend Sophie Marren were in Host Restaurant in Ranelagh on Tuesday night. Millie Mackintosh was in the Marker that day. Keith Duffy was at the launch of Blow in Henry Street's Dunnes on Wednesday night. Pippa O'Connor and Brian Ormond were in the Intercontinental after the IFTAs (they stayed the night, as did Amanda Bryam and husband Julian Okines).

Elsewhere on Thursday evening, something of the past, of an Ireland long gone, leaked through on Farmleigh Estate. The ghost of Garech Browne was ever present at the launch of Anthony Palliser's Irish Portraits at Farmleigh Gallery.

John Boorman (one of Palliser's subjects) attended (as did Guggi, Paul McGuinness and Kate O'Toole.) The filmmaker would have recalled how Garech threw a bash at his Luggala estate in the 1980s for the wedding of daughter Katrine Boorman to Tom Conran. Actress Tara MacGowran also attended the Farmleigh hooley. Garech in the mid 1960s recorded Tara's father Jack reading Beckett for Browne's Claddagh Records. Paddy Moloney played a solitary tune on Thursday night. Garech had famously asked his pal Paddy to form a group in 1962. Another guest at the soiree James Morrissey is currently writing a book about Claddagh Records and the crown prince of Luggala himself. A good night for Garech.

Irish eyes smiling at Kylie's fab 50th in London

Kylie Minogue

Was she spinning around? You'd have to ask her yourself. Kylie Minogue celebrated her 50th last Sunday in Chiltern Firehouse, London. Top of the guest list were her artistic Irish pals, commercial director James O'Neill (looking slick in Versace) and his architecture company fiance Bryan O'Sullivan, as well as another Irish fella called Graham Norton. Other attendees included David Walliams, Mel B, Kylie's Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan. Did they discuss another duet to match their 1988 hit Especially For You? Perhaps James, who used to sing with the band Bitches With Wolves, might return to the stage and sing with his VBF when she performs at Dublin's 3 Arena on October 7? Kylie unlikely.

Valerie and Denis's feet never touched the ground

Is there any other position for a happily married wife? Valerie Roe spent a week with her husband Denis on holiday in the Maldives with her legs in the air.

Albeit the legs in the air position was because the once-upon-a-time Lillie's nightclub boss-turned-PR goddess Val and equine guru Denis were staying in a villa on sticks above the sea - at the five-star Kuramathi resort - on the tropical island of Kuramathi in the Indian Ocean.

"This was my first proper holiday in three years and as is always the case, it came and went too fast," she told me. I can only hope that could not be said of Denis.

"The first few days were dedicated to work," Valerie, who flew home last week, explained. "We chose this tropical heaven as the location photo shoot for Bellamianta Luxury Tan's 2018 campaign shoot with top UK model Chloe Lloyd, who was joined by her fiance, Union J lead singer Josh Cuthbert." Once the shoot was wrapped, Denis flew in from Dubai (where he was doing a horse clinic) and joined Val for a magical holiday. "It was always on my bucket list to come here," she gushed. "We had seven full days here to do whatever we pleased."

On the way back they stopped in Dubai for two nights to stay with Denis's brother and family who live there.

The couple's son Josh, meanwhile, has been living at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy and School in the South of France for two years.

They are truly the Air Miles family.

Early bird Eoghan loves fun in the sun

Fresh-faced Eoghan McDermott is enjoying his hectic lifestyle in Spain - despite the early starts - while narrating the Australian version of ITV's popular 'Love Island' TV show

She said she was approaching 40, and I couldn't help  wondering from what direction,' Bob Hope once joked. Eoghan McDermott saw the funny side of it recently when I wrote that he had, not only approached, but celebrated his 40th birthday.

Eoghan doesn't look like he is ready for a comb-over, a seniors' golf holiday, putting a rubber mat in the bath just in case he slips, or even going to a meeting for premature ejaculators and leaving early (that's another joke, this time by Jack Benny.)

I sat next to him on a long flight to Vancouver (no jokes about the risk of DVT being slightly higher on flights for elderly people, please) a few years ago to meet U2 and he is a lovely fella.

So when I mistakenly put five years on his age last month, I wasn't surprised that the very popular radio and TV broadcaster took the horrifying error in his stylish stride, even communicating to me from Spain last week.

No - he hadn't gone there on a seniors' golf holiday. "Last week has been pretty hectic," he told me. "Even for a sprightly young man who is definitely not 40! I'm in Majorca, narrating the Australian version of ITV's big hit TV show Love Island. Because we shoot on local time, but broadcast on Australian time, I'm up at 3am every morning," he added.

The fresh-faced 35-year-old Eoghan is usually finished and back in his hotel for about midday. He then preps for his radio show on 2FM, "which I'm continuing with. That starts 4pm Irish time, 5pm Spanish time. When that finishes at 8pm, I go straight to bed as I am up at 3am again".

It puts a new meaning on bed-hopping in Spain. "It is definitely full on, so I'm being very strict. No alcohol. Good food. Midday power nap." (Midday power nap? Is Eoghan sure he isn't 40, after all?)

"Saturday is my one day off. I see as much of the island as I can and maybe have a Mojito. Hopefully I won't crash and burn halfway through. But no complaints. It's a rare and wonderful thing to be too busy in this fickle industry. So I'll enjoy it while I can."

Glad to see Eoghan isn't thinking of retiring just yet.

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