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Panto legends have had a bitter falling out

Panto legends Linda Martin and Twink have had a bitter falling out, the Herald can reveal.

They may be the 'grande dames' of Irish theatre and have shared the stage for more years than they care to remember, but it's handbags at dawn after a spat erupted between the two stars behind the scenes of their hit production and the pair haven't spoken in weeks.

It seems there were hot flushes on both sides after tensions reached boiling point between the two leading ladies while they were co-starring in Menopause The Musical.

And this evening, Eurovision Linda (62) confirmed that she is no longer on speaking terms with Twink, (59) whose real name is Adele King.

"It's true, I haven't spoken to her for several weeks," she said. "Something happened a number of weeks ago but I consider myself a professional and I'm trying to move on from it."

And she insisted that the spat had nothing to do with Twink opting not to continue with the production, which led to her being replaced this week by British actress Sue Hodge.

"That's a completely separate issue, that was genuinely down to her asthma," she continued.

She was also adamant that the tension between them never spilled over on the stage and their spat happened behind the scenes.

"It all happened outside the production and our producer Robert knows exactly what happened, verbatim. But in my view, you don't have to socialise with someone just because you work with them. And that applies whether you're on stage or work in a bank. It was just one of those things," she continued.

Twink has endured a troubled few months, given that she has been receiving treatment in Mount Carmel Hospital after suffering a bad reaction to her allergy medication as well as breathing problems.

She discharged herself to attend the funeral of Gerry Ryan but is now recuperating at home, after confirming she has pulled out of work commitments until September.


She has also been battling to save her Knocklyon home from repossession and last month fought off an order from the Bank of Scotland, but described it as an ongoing worry.

Meanwhile, a backstage source has revealed how there has been tension between the two -- who also worked together on RTE's You're A Star -- since last January. "They had a bit of a personality clash and they fell out and weren't on the friendliest of terms after that," he said.

For professional reasons, they had to put their differences aside and continued working alongside each other on their smash-hit tour.

There was apparently a brief reprieve in tension after the pair appeared on Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show on February 6.

They were left fuming after he made unwelcome remarks about their ages and also asked Linda about cosmetic surgery and whether she regretted never having children.

"They both had a word with him afterwards and were definitely united in the fact that they were very unhappy with how the interview went with Brendan.

"There was a thawing of relations between them and it seemed like things might be okay again," she added.

Things came to a head last March though when the pair had another run-in at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

"There was some more sniping and things were said in the heat of the moment. Things have been tense between them ever since. But you have to remember, these things happen from time to time when you're working with someone full-time and doing a musical tour is very intense as you're seeing someone 24-7.

"There's bound to be minor blow-up's every now and then, that's just the nature of the game," the source added.

When contacted by the Herald, show producer Robert C Kelly said he never personally witnessed any tension between the two performers.

Twink was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Herald.