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Gerald tells of his surprise at winning lifetime gong at UK Variety Club dinner

CELEBRITY solicitor Gerald Kean had plenty to celebrate last weekend when he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the UK Variety Club Awards in Manchester.

The businessman was taken completely by surprise when he arrived at the Palace Hotel in the city centre alongside fiancee Lisa Murphy and found that he was to be on the recipients' list on the night.

Gerald took to the stage alongside well known names and faces such as Calum Best, who was on hand to collect a posthumous award on behalf of his late father George, and Bernie Nolan of the Nolan Sisters, who is bravely battling breast cancer.

"I had absolutely no idea I was getting the award and neither did Lisa. It was a fantastic surprise," the legal eagle explained.

"We were invited over by Chris O'Connor, who looks after the hospitality at Old Trafford and I thought it was strange how overly keen he was to get us there -- but I never twigged.

"There was great celebration after that between myself and the other winners," he added.

Corkman Gerald went on to explain how the celebrations continued on Sunday when he and his bride-to-be cheered on Manchester United as they secured victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford.

The dad of one, who is an enormous football fan, also kept up to date with Cork's progress against Down at Croke Park via regular updates from a pal.

Tomorrow night, meanwhile, will see Gerald take to the catwalk at the Westcourt Hotel in Drogheda alongside celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin, composer Frank McNamara and rugby star Shane Horgan in aid of the suicide charity SOSAD (Save Our Sons And Daughters).

Earlier this year the celebrity solicitor was appointed honorary consul to Ireland for Mauritius. He said at the time he was 'delighted' at the honour.

However, he did not confirm whether he would be heading to the exotic African location for his honeymoon, following his wedding to glamorous Lisa next year.

The loved-up couple were initially rumoured to be planning nuptials in Switzerland or France, but finally decided to get married in Gerald's native Cork.

Earlier this year he insisted that the recent string of celebrity marriage splits hasn't put the couple off walking down the aisle.


Gerald (52) said he was "shocked" by the number of high-profile separations in the last two months but insisted he and Lisa's love will stand the test of time.

"It's been very shocking but I can only speak for myself and I love getting married.

"I can't wait to get married to Lisa. We haven't been put off by all the splits."