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Barrymore strikes it lucky in city gallery

COMEDIAN Michael Barrymore provided a boost for one Dublin gallery last weekend where he snapped up painting after painting.

In the capital to appear on Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show, the presenter spent the afternoon shelling out hundreds of euro on artworks in the Balla Ban Art Gallery in the Westbury Mall.


"I didn't even recognise it was Michael Barrymore at first. He turned up outside looking in the window and next thing he was through the door. It's a tiny little space so he was soon filling it up with laughter and jokes," said Gallery owner Frank O'Dea.

With his mother's family hailing from Belmullet, Co Mayo, the 60-year-old told O'Dea he was particularly interested in landscapes featuring the West of Ireland.

But the first print he purchased was Guitar Blues, painted by the gallery owner himself.

"I would have given Michael the painting but he insisted on buying it.

"After that, he just piled up more works that caught his eye."

Among the purchases made by the former Strike It Lucky presenter were five paintings by Dublin artist Pervaneh Matthews.

"Michael bought so many paintings, I offered to close the gallery in order to help him bring the pictures back to the Gresham Hotel where he staying. But then his agent turned up, to help him carry the pictures."

The tranquil Irish landscapes make have calmed Barrymore somewhat, as his appearance on that night's Saturday Night Show turned out to be a more sedate affair than a 2010 slot in which he pretended to be a sheep, and jokingly claimed to be Jedward's father.