Friday 15 December 2017

'My first crush was Daniel Radcliffe!'

Miss Ireland had a thing for Harry Potter, while Pippa Middleton fancied her history teacher. Irish celebs tell who first caught their eye

Puppy love: Aoife Walsh loved Daniel Radcliffe
Puppy love: Aoife Walsh loved Daniel Radcliffe
The object of Aoife Walsh's affection
Pippa Middleton liked her history teacher
Paddy McKenna was infatuated with Sharon Ní Bheoláin
Sharon helped improve Paddy McKenna's Irish langugage skills
Emma Manley liked Ronan Keating
Derek liked Emma Bunton;
Cathal Murray liked Winona Ryder
Jarlath Regan fancied Tiffani Thiessen
Deirdre Reynolds

Deirdre Reynolds

As one of Britain's most eligible bachelorettes, Pippa Middleton certainly has no shortage of admirers.

The Duchess of Cambridge's little sister has been dating stockbroker Nico Jackson since February.

But Her Royal Hotness has revealed how it was her history teacher who first caught her eye when she was a school girl.

Reminiscing about her school days in Spectator magazine, Pippa (30) confessed to a crush on her hockey coach, Richard Markham – who also taught history to both Middleton girls at Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

In her "confessions of a sporty schoolgirl", she wrote: "When I close my eyes and think about school sports, I envisage myself on the hockey pitch, stick in hand, a luminous gumshield locked on to my chops and a bandana across my forehead.

"I can also hear the booming voice of Mr Markham, our fierce but undeniably fanciable coach, urging us all on."

Super-fit Pippa, who was captain of the school hockey team, added: "We Middleton girls were always at the starting line – albeit reluctantly – fuelled by Lucozade tablets and bananas.

"Rain was inevitable and we'd get caked in mud from head to toe, in our tiny athletic shorts."

New aunt Pippa caused a sensation as chief bridesmaid at sister Kate's wedding to Prince William in April 2011.

Even R&B artist Usher swooned: "I don't think there's a more beautiful, more stunning, more talked-about woman in the world."

However, the former object of her affection Markham, now a 41-year-old married father-of-two, has remained much more tight-lipped: "I am unable to comment on former pupils."

From Backstreet Boys to Sharon Ní Bheoláin, here the stars reveal their first crush.

Dervla and Derek Burke, Crystal Swing

(Dervla) "My childhood heartthrob was Nick Carter from The Backstreet Boys. I used to watch him on MTV all the time, and dreamed of being his girlfriend. I just loved his blonde hair!"

(Derek) "My first crush was Baby Spice. Growing up, Dervla was a huge Spice Girls fan. For years, she brought a Spice Girls lunch box to school, and that's where it all started! I remember seeing Emma Bunton and thinking she was stunning."

Paddy McKenna, Weekenders, RTÉ 2fm:

"At five years old, I had it bad for a classmate called Tracy, who had brown hair and freckles. Sadly, she had no interest in me whatsoever, despite my best efforts to woo her with ham sandwiches and strawberry milk. Later on, my first celebrity crush was Sharon Ní Bheoláin. As soon as I saw her presenting Nuacht in the mid-nineties, my Irish language skills began to improve rapidly. When I got my first job at RTÉ, my desk was right beside Sharon's. I couldn't speak for about a month! But she's great craic, and I managed to get over my shyness in due course."

Emma Manley, Fashion Designer

"My first crush was my tennis coach, who was at least 40 years older than me. Even though I was only six, I was very vocal about how much I 'loved' him! There were definitely tears when my parents explained why I couldn't marry him. The first celebrity I ever fancied was Ronan Keating. However, I won't be going to Boyzone's 20th Anniversary Tour later this year – that crush is very much in the past!"

Jarlath Regan, Comedian

"Five-year-old me went around telling everyone that I was in love with a girl called Margie Smith, despite never even speaking to her. I was obviously into older women, because she was in Senior Infants and I was in Junior Infants. Finally, one day she came up to me and shouted: 'Stop telling people I am your girlfriend!' Even at that age, I remember thinking: 'Fair point, I should probably stop doing that'. Meanwhile, I don't know a single guy who watched Saved By The Bell in the nineties and didn't have a crush on Kelly Kapowski [actress Tiffani Thiessen]."

Miss Ireland, Aoife Walsh

"My first crush was Daniel Radcliffe who played Harry Potter. I was about 12 and completely obsessed with the books, so when the movie came out, it was love at first sight! I used to cut out pictures of him from magazines and stick them in my diary. Looking back on it now, I totally cringe, but I was only young and still had a lot to learn about boys!"

Cathal Murray, The Weekend on One, RTÉ Radio 1

"Childhood summers in Athlone were spent vying for the attention of the Spanish girls who came here to study English. My first real crush was a girl called Carla when I was 11. My name in Spanish is Carlos, similar to her's which I thought was a solid base for a summer fling. She didn't agree.

"Love may be an international language, but something got lost in translation for Carla and I. That, and the fact that Spanish girls don't tend to go for pale, freckled Bon Jovi fans. After that, I moved on to lusting after Winona Ryder instead."

Irish Independent

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