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Smitten Leigh happy to go public with her co-star hunk Emmet

ACTRESS Leigh Arnold has finally gone public with the new man in her life.

The Foxrock beauty (30) set tongues wagging last night when she turned up to the glitzy opening of Buck Whaley's new VIP bar on Leeson Street with hunky actor Emmet Scanlan in tow.

And while the pair were more than happy to air their blossoming relationship at the event, a coy Leigh was determined she would not be pictured with her new beau.

The Diary spotted the petite brunette coming over all camera shy when she was approached by photographers outside the club, preferring instead to dash inside on her own.

"I'm having a nice time and that's all I'm saying. There is someone special on the scene but I'm keeping him to myself for a while," she said.

Leigh, who was rumoured to be dating director Nick Thomas just weeks ago, later forgot her concerns and walked through the plush club hand-in-hand with her other half.

"They arrived together but as soon as they saw the cameras, Leigh bolted inside without Emmet," said an onlooker.

"He seemed to have no problem with getting a picture taken together, but she was adamant it wasn't happening.

"Inside they sat with a bunch of friends and enjoyed a few drinks and a catch-up.

"They weren't openly affectionate with one another, but they did hold hands while going to the bar for a drink," they added.

The couple, who were first spotted on the town together last November, are said to have found love while starring opposite one another in new Irish film, Charlie Casanova which sees Leigh play dad-of-one Emmet's wife.

This new romance is Leigh's first since she and Marcus Sweeney went their separate ways last September.

The couple, who had been one of the city's best known celebrity pairings, split after ex-restaurateur Marcus moved to Dubai for a marketing job.

Meanwhile, Leigh is getting her teeth stuck into the role of a sexy vampire queen. The former Clinic star has just nabbed one of the leading roles in Mariana -- a vampire drama which emerged from RTE's online competition StoryLand. It has already developed a cult following among the nation's sci-fi loving 'tweenies'.

"I play the vampire queen which is really good fun. It's great getting to play someone who's slightly evil -- it's not the kind of role I normally get," she said.

Her new man, meanwhile, has appeared in a number of independent movies, including 3 Crosses which co-starred Samantha Mumba and also Studs with award-winner Brendan Gleeson.

Other guests who stepped out for last night's grand opening included hostess of the venue Sara Kavanagh, RTE's Laura Woods, Dublin's 98 DJ Siobhan O'Connor and Anne Doyle's other half, Dan McGrattan.