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The Insider: 27/01/2009

- A designer-clad crowd of guests congregated in the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge for the annual Italian Society black-tie ball last night. Among the celebrated figures in attendance was the Italian Ambassador Dr Allessandro Pinto, football legend Marco Tardelli, designer Virginia Macari, TV3's Lorraine Keane and boutique owner Maria Fusco. Guests were treated to a drinks reception on arrival before sitting down to a four-course dinner followed by some live entertainment.

- The Naked Cowboy was in Krystle over the weekend sending temperatures soaring with his scantily clad antics. The guitar-toting celeb, whose real name is Robert Burke, popped into the club fresh from his appearance on RTE's Tubridy Tonight. Also spotted celebrating her rumoured engagement to former boxing champ Mike Tyson was Big Brother's Aisleyne Horgan Wallace.

- We're sure the two Hollywood bombshells are on tenterhooks -- but the competition is hotting up between Angelina Jolie and Kristin Scott Thomas for one of the IFTAs coveted gongs.

The two are in the running for the Best International Actress Award, alongside Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson. The winner will be decided by the public, who can vote on the awards website until February 2. The outcome will be announced on the big night -- February 14.

- Good to see RTE's Leigh Arnold is keeping her head above water in these financially straitened times.

The Clinic actress has revealed that the new casting agency that she set up with industry veteran Pamela Hughes, Take2, is going from strength to strength and taking on extra clients.

- The Dylan Hotel is getting into the sporting spirit of things next month. The southside venue is having a special offer to celebrate Ireland's first 2009 Six Nations fixture against France on February 7. And anyone who presents the original ticket stub from the game will be given a Grey Goose Frenchman cocktail, free of charge.

- And they're off! The countdown has commenced to one of the raciest events on the social calendar, namely the Hennessy Gold Cup.

The February 8 event at Leopardstown racetrack will see Edward Dillon and Jas Hennessy hosting an invite-only lunch, featuring a Best Dressed Lady prize.


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