Saturday 21 September 2019

Sophie's choice of celebs at Krystle book launch

New book...Sophie White at launch of Filter This. Picture: Caroline Quinn
New book...Sophie White at launch of Filter This. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Moya Doherty
Rosanna Davison
Victoria Mary Clarke... at ETP
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

IT was like the boom all over again. The great and the good all gathered glamorously around the famous leather bed in Krystle nightclub last Monday night. Everyone from grand dame herself, Kathleen Watkins, (her first time ever in Krystal) to Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, to RTE superstar Marty Whelan and his wife Maria to author and 2FM DJ Louise McSharry, to name but a few, were at the official media unveiling of Sophie White's fabulous new book Filter This.

Louise said, in her speech to launch this much-touted new tome, that "the minute I met Sophie three years ago we became friends, I suddenly became obsessed with her. I realised Sophie was addictive. I couldn't get enough of her sharp wit and humour. I thought Sophie mightn't want to be my friend but anyway all good. I am thrilled that with Filter This others will get to enjoy Sophie's genius." Guests like the aforementioned Marty Whelan (who was excited to be taking up the reins to present once again his long-running game show on RTE, Winning Streak) and Kathleen Watkins (taking time off from writing the next instalment of her book about a certain little fella in Howth - that's Pigin not Gay) enjoyed the lovely food and drink served at Eileen Wright and Rangan Aruchelvan's nightclub on Harcourt Street.

Other illustrious attendees at Sophie's choice evening included the writers Julie Parsons, Emily Hourican and Andrea Mara, TV3 presenter Nadine Reid, fashion designer Helen Steele, spiritual guru Victoria Mary Clarke (her husband Shane MacGowan couldn't, alas, make it), and acclaimed playwright Nancy Harris (whose play The Beacon opens at the Druid in Galway on September 20, until the 28th).

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On the night, there was a lot of talk about babies - the baby in Filter This, the baby that became the book and the real baby that Sophie is expecting next March.

Sophie joked a lot about the bed in Krystle. Those of you, of a particularly sensitive nature, avert your eyes now as I point out that babies are made on beds, though not ones perhaps as glam as the one in Krystle. Joke.

Presumably Sophie was joking, too, when she noted in her speech that "it's amazing to have all my amazing friends and family here tonight saying so many nice things about me - it's like being at my own funeral, which is obviously the dream.

"I dedicated Filter This to my mother, Mary, because I was afraid not to. I want to thank my husband, Seb, for always being so supportive because, well... if he wasn't, that would be really retrograde and backward, of course he should be supportive of my career!"

 

News from Piccadilly to the hills of Donegal

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Moya Doherty
 

Your diarist bumped into impresario John McColgan the week before last on Stephen's Green.

He was coming from rehearsals for Heartbeat of Home, and en route to having dinner with his wife Moya Doherty. Plus ca change!

Then, a few days ago, John texted me from London: "We're on the West End Piccadilly Theatre until October 13 with Heartbeat. We're doing a UK tour next year. The London audiences are excited and moved with standing ovations cheers and tears!"

John will also, of course, be taking Riverdance around the world next year for its 25th anniversary for more cheers and tears.

To prove what a small world it is, his old neighbour in Howth, Kathleen Watkins told me that the aforesaid "Moya Doherty will launch my poetry anthology at the Newman House on October 15. It is the week of my 85th birthday".

Last Saturday Kathleen and hubby Gay Byrne were at a birthday lunch at a friend's house for "our Donegal hill-climbing gang. We walked the hills for 26 years; most can't walk the hills any more".

 

Rosie throws birthday bash for Wes

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Rosanna Davison
 

Rosanna and Wesley's surrogate journey isn't the only journey they're on. Or at least Wes is on. Last Friday, he drove off, along with 190 other fast cars, on Cannonball, a road race around Ireland to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.

Rosanna went with some friends to watch Joe Schmidt's team take on Wales at the Aviva yesterday.

In advance of the game, the former Miss World told me: "I have every confidence in the Irish team this weekend - and the Rugby World Cup in Japan." Ireland's first fixture is on September 22 against Scotland in the International Stadium, Yokohama.

In the meantime, Rosie will be helping her boy-racer hubby celebrate his birthday on September 17 in her favourite Indian restaurant, Rasam in Glasthule. Will there be a theme to the birthday beano by the sea? And will Wes's famous father-in-law burst into song?

"No theme, he wants to keep it pretty low-key, so I can't imagine dad," she said referring to a fella by the name of Chris, "singing in Rasam. But we'll all be going to his Dublin concert in the Bord Gais on October 13 to support him," Rosanna said, before adding that she and Wes are currently "in the midst of some fairly extensive house renovation and baby prep".

 

Victoria remains Faithfull at Picnic

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Victoria Mary Clarke... at ETP
 

Camille O'Sullivan jets back into Dublin this Tuesday. She will have an extra-special glow. The half-French, half-Cork chanteuse has just had two weeks in Canada with her beau, Aidan Gillen (he is filming Project Blue Book).

"We had a few days off Vancouver Island. Nothing upmarket! Just down by the beach after me doing 25 gigs in Edinburgh!" said Camille, who is playing the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on October 19.

Still on the subject of music, Shane MacGowan's lovely wife Victoria Mary Clarke tells me that she went solo to the Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois, last weekend.

"It's also a wonderful opportunity to hang out in nature, ideally in the rain and the mud, in your wellies and walk around the fields, while at the same time meeting people you know" - her sister Vanessa, plus old friends Hugo Jellett, Chaz Preston and Davie Philip - "and people you don't".

A highlight for Victoria was pal Marianne Faithfull's grandson Oscar Dunbar "playing with his band Khartoum".

And where, I inquired, was Marianne?

"In London."

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