Tuesday 10 December 2019

The Edge: John Delaney and Emma English heating up Marbella

John Delaney and Emma English
John Delaney and Emma English
Talented: Antonia Caffrey’s new exhibition opens in London on Dec 4th.
Rested and radiant: ... and back in Dublin, the nation’s most beautiful brunette, Morah Ryan.
Joie de vivre: Claudine and Robbie Keane.
Je ne sais quoi: Lisa and Keith Duffy
A fine bromance: John Hurt, who was in Dublin last week, with Michael Colgan. Photo: Matthew Thompson.
Graham Norton
Keelin Shanley
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Ger and Lisa should look to their laurels. John Delaney and Emma English are fast becoming the romance of the year. And not just in this country either - but the power of their love is now spreading further afield, to foreign climes, all the way to... well, read on mes amigos.

On Friday morning, the couple du jour flew on Aer Lingus to Malaga in southern Spain. And from there the boss of the FAI and his gorgeous model cum fashion show organiser girlfriend travelled further south to (did you guess it already?) - Marbella. It is a truth universally acknowledged that we all end up in Marbs at some point in our lives, si?

And so it proved on Friday for the two love birds who made their nest in the 5 star Gran Meliá Don Pepe hotel on Calle de José Meliá.

After heating up Marbs with their passionate intensity, John and Emma jet home to Ireland this morning.

In truth, John and Emma's feet have hardly touched the ground since they started their famous romance earlier this summer. I think the phrase I'm searching for is 'on Cloud Nine.'

"I've never been happier," John told me on Tuesday, wearing the face of the man who looked like all his birthdays had come at once, courtesy of Ms English.

Lest we forget, last month in House on Leeson Street Emma threw (with my assistance) a surprise birthday party for John's 47th birthday - with a Teddy Bear's theme: cake, cocktails, music because John, as she told Brendan O'Connor on the Saturday Night Show recently, is her teddy bear.

On Tuesday night, Emma and her Teddy had a sing-song in the bath after the triumphant Ireland v USA game. No - sorry, that's a typesetting error: John and Emma had a sing-song in the Bath pub on Bath Avenue on Sandymount to celebrate Ireland's win over the Yanks.

Others who joined them in the Bath included Ronnie Whelan, Denis Irwin, Kevin Kilbane, Elaine Crowley and Sara Kavanagh, among others. Earlier that night, everyone from Ken Doherty to Paul McGrath and Jimmy Magee to models Gail Kaneswaran, Emma Waldron, Faith Barnett, Lisa Hogan, to TV stars Elaine Crowley, Martin King and wife Jenny McCarthy joined John and Emma at the Aviva for the launch of the rather swish new Jack Charlton Lounge at the famous stadium in Dublin. Sean Costello and Frank Naughton sang The Fields of Athenry in front of 400 invited guests.

Praise where praise is due: the whole smart shebang was organised by brilliant Galway girl and project goddess Catherine Tiernan, the former head of sponsorship, O2 Ireland, who danced all night with her husband Ken at my wedding in July.

How long will it be, I ask you, before John and Emma are dancing at their own wedding? I'm considering giving up asking Mr Kean and his squeeze the same question. (Please don't - Ed.)

Stars due in London for Antonia's bash

Their critics might say that Virginia Macari and Kas Dahl don't know whether they are coming or going. But gorgeous Virginia and her controversial beau definitely flew into Dublin from their Marbs bolt-hole on Sunday.

The primary reason for their visit was to attend the Sunday Independent's LIFE Magazine Christmas party in the rooftop bar of the Marker Hotel in Grand Canal Dock on Monday night. (All shall be revealed in Ireland's most popular magazine soon.)

Virginia and Kas, who are flying back to Spain today, were staying in a nearby penthouse in the same block that Georgia Salpa also lived in. The petite Irish supermodel, who was in Dublin last week, flew out to Dubai last Saturday for a photo-shoot. And why not?

Speaking of why not, I imagine lots of the Irish beau monde - and probably The Simon Carmody Community and Johnny Ronan too - will be private-jetting off to London on December 4th for the private opening of the fab new exhibition by Antonia Aviva Caffrey at the Embassy Tea Galley on Union Street. Talented Antonia is, of course, the daughter of Paris-based Irish businessman Oliver and his abstract-artist wife Yona.

The reason I am so super-confident that so many big names will make the journey to London is that at Antonia's last exhibition in 2009, at the aforesaid Mr Johnny Ronan's Connaught House space, everyone in Dublin from Guggi to Shane MacGowan and his muse Victoria Mary Clarke showed up.

I bumped into hairdresser-to-the-stars Alan Bruton of Reds in the Shelbourne the other night. He had just got back from a quick break in Gozo in Malta. He told me that he and his wife-to-be Suzy are spending Christmas in New York. And why not indeed?

I'll get my coat.

Morah Ryan takes it Eze sur la Côte d'Azur

She hadn't gone away, you know. Actually, she had. But she appeared to get rid of her phone; hang on, we'll get to that. . .

I speak, of course, of Morah Ryan. (In fact, there are times when I speak of little else but Morah Ryan.) I can solve the mystery of just where the country's most beautiful brunette was last week. I mean - where else are you going to go to have the mystery of where the nation's most beautiful brunette was last week solved to your satisfaction?

The reason I sound even more melodramatic than usual is that I hadn't heard from my Morah in three months. So you can only imagine how glad I was when she cleared up her brief state of being incommunicado.

"All's golden," she told me (I thought she was talking about my tresses at first.)

"I've had no phone for ages and I'm only back in action now," she said. Morah added that she was on hols in the South of France. No doubt she took it Eze over there.

Gerry Ryan's widow flew back from St Tropez on Tuesday after a week of r'n'r (that's rest and being radiant not raving and rambling).

When I enquired was Morah on the Côte d'Azur with her beloved brood - Lottie, Rex, Bonnie, Elliott and Babette (a name that seemed perfect for the South of France, wouldn't you agree?) - Morah told me: "No, just a girlfriend."

Naturallement, your diarist asked her did she get a good sun-tan on the French Riviera.

And, bien sur Morah's reply came with the wit that made Gerry laugh so heartily throughout their long time together: "Bit difficult with all the thunder and lightning!"

Robbie 'n Claudine on the Green

He might have only played the last 12 minutes for Ireland against Scotland in Glasgow last Friday night but, still, Robbie Keane - one of the country's greatest servants on the field of play - more than  earned his 5-star dinner the following night in Shanahan's restaurant with his stunning wife Claudine.

The internationally acclaimed striker and his model partner brought some joie de vivre to the legendary establishment in the 250 year old Georgian building on Stephen's Green.

Indeed Keith Duffy and his equally lovely wife Lisa also provided some je ne sais quoi when they dined in 37 on Dawson Street on the same night.

Afterwards, Robbie and Claudine retired to House on nearby Leeson Street. The two of them, and a group of friends, arrived at 10.30. They had champagne and cocktails. Robbie and Claudine left at 2am for their second home in Abington in Malahide.

The following morning, they flew back to their first home in Los Angeles, where they attended MLS playoff during the week: they're clearly Keane on footie.

Hurt locker on Waterloo Road

Let's call it the House of Luvvie. All last week, John Hurt stayed with Michael Colgan at his house on Waterloo Road. I'm imagining neighbours' jaws dropping with suitable theatricality as they saw the world-famous actor and the almost as well-known artistic director of The Gate (both moustachioed) coming and going all week.

I can only assume Colgan is as good a host as he is an artistic director. Be that as it may, on Wednesday night he took Hurt to Bellucci's restaurant for dinner a deux.

Earlier that night, Hurt enjoyed a performance of Wuthering Heights at The Gate. How kind of Colgan to bring Hurt to watch one of his own shows but I suppose Hurt was in Ireland to do a director's symposium at the Gate last week, so why not take in a performance of a play while he's at it?

Emily Brontë's tale of Heathcliff and Catherine appears to pale in comparison to the fine bromance of Colgan and Hurt. At the opening night of the aforementioned Wuthering Heights on Tuesday (attended by the likes of Pat Kenny, et al) Colgan told me: "It was a huge hit in 1934 when Micheál MacLiammóir did it. We are going to be a big hit this time too".

On Thursday Colgan's famous house guest went off for the afternoon to visit his son Sacha.

Brought to book by Graham and gang

Truth is stranger than fiction: witness the novel carry on in Kildare Street recently. So it will be a delight to hang out with real writers next Wednesday when I'll don my tux to wine and dine with some of the finest minds of Irish literature -  like Paul Durcan and Roddy Doyle -  at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2014.  

lways an uber glam event, this year Keelin Shanley and Evelyn O'Rourke will be handing out the literary laurels, with one Brendan O'Connor doing a cameo.

Among those expected to grace The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel's red carpet on Upper Leeson Street in the hopes of bringing home a prize are Jeffrey Archer, new daddy Brian O'Driscoll, Paul Howard, Cathy Kelly, Sinead Moriarty, Cecelia Ahern, Majella O'Donnell (with husband, wee Daniel, to support her) to name but a few.

Actually, my new VBF Graham Norton is definitely coming, so that is as good a reason as any to grab your autograph book and stand outside the hotel formerly known as the Burlo hoping for the great man's signature.

Other guests who will be just - like me - showing up to enjoy the proceedings include Anne Doyle, George Hook and John Murray.

Sunday Independent

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