Saturday 24 February 2018

What is a 'fake-up artist? Why you should never tell your friend to dump their other half

'Fake-up artists': Emily Blunt and Jason Segel as a couple who get engaged, row, complain about each other, break up and get back together in The Five Year Engagement
'Fake-up artists': Emily Blunt and Jason Segel as a couple who get engaged, row, complain about each other, break up and get back together in The Five Year Engagement
Cup holder: Calum Best on Celebrity Bainisteoir
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Fakery has a lot of traction. Some people claim that fake news helped elect Donald Trump. Meanwhile, some women with fake pouts (Kylie Jenner) are making squillions, and fame-hungry celebrities can employ "fake-arazzi" to pap them when they most expect it.

It's preferable that these photos are taken when they are exercising in ill-fitting gym gear, and stuffing a cake into their mouths, as they will later become the 'before shots' on the cover of their exercise DVD.

But it's a different sort of fakery that has been encroaching on my world and in my head over the past few weeks.

That is the emotional manipulation that is the trademark of the 'fake-up artist'.

That friend/sibling/colleague/over-familiar stranger on the bus seems permanently on the cusp of a break-up but never actually follows through.

You sit there and play the part of the supportive friend, nodding as you refill their glass of wine.

With their confidence restored, they return to their other-half impassioned and emboldened - they are going to tell them exactly what they think. This is it! They have had enough! They're throwing in the towel!

But they don't do that, do they? Instead they go home, have sex and post a picture of themselves on Facebook watching Netflix in matching onesies.

To quote the late Amy Winehouse, what sort of head f**kery is this?

Perhaps it's that time of year - everyone has either gotten engaged or is breaking up.

And so we are caught in this horrific no man's land of relationships - where it's easy to see everything that's wrong with your partner (they ate all the Quality Street Toffee Pennies and bought you a sports bra as a Christmas present) while everyone else seems to be in newly-engaged bliss.

It's why the past week has been dubbed Divorce Week by lawyers - when we decide enough is enough - 'tis the season for a split.

While this time is troublesome for couples - it's more dangerous for their friends.

I currently have three 'fake-up artists' in my life - all of whom are deep in relationship crises.

It's tempting to tell all of these people how little I think of their other halves, but I know that's the worst thing I could do.

That's partly because you don't have to like the people your friends date: of course, it's preferable but it's not essential.

The main reason for my caution is because when a seasoned 'fake-up artist' gets back with their partner (and they inevitably will), they will tell them everything you said.

Every last detail. The fact that you think they are emotionally stunted, wear crap jeans and have no personality.

This will all be reported back verbatim. Worse still is that you will be portrayed as proffering this information up unsolicited. The 'fake-up artist' never ever puts these things in context.

"We were just sitting there when Kirsty said you seem like the sort of person who pulled the legs off spiders when you were a child," they'll say as they kiss and make up. "I don't know why I listen to her." And then BAM! You're the fall guy.

This happened to one of my mother's friends once. She told her ex-BFF exactly what she thought of her other half - "no one likes him and he has a weak chin".

Weeks later, the couple announced they were engaged. As you can imagine, this has made all social encounters over the following 15 years excruciatingly uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Don't be suckered in by the 'fake-up artist' - nod sympathetically, and order them another gin but stay vague and subtly change the subject.

It's the only way to get out of this no man's land in one piece.

CBB won't outflank Calum's love of GAA and Georgia...

Cup holder: Calum Best on Celebrity Bainisteoir

Calum Best is a fascinating individual, isn't he? I doubt if he could have existed in any other era, when being a reality TV show regular wasn't a sustainable profession. This week Calum, the son of footballer George, entered the Celebrity Big Brother House for the second time in two years.

In January 2015, Calum finished in third place behind Katie Price and Katie Hopkins.

While he may have missed out on the top prize, Calum must be the most seasoned reality TV veteran in the world.

His telly CV includes the following I-Can't-Believe-They-Actually-Made-That classics; Totally Calum Best, Famously Single, Fool Around With... Calum Best, Paris Hilton's British Best Friend, plus Calum, Fran and Dangerous Danan, in which Calum travelled along America's Route 66 with Hollyoaks actor Paul Danan and Westlife bodyguard Fran Cosgrave.

Then there was Celebrity Total Wipeout, Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Celebrity Love Island, Celebrity Salon (which sparked his brief love affair with Georgia Salpa) and Celebrity Bainisteoir (which sparked his even briefer love affair with GAA).

Calum has also gained notoriety for giving up sex for 50 days and 49 nights in 2008 (although that was for a reality TV show), having hair transplants, and launching a clothing line, Ibiza Boys' Club.

But back to TV. While I am sure Calum will deliver TV gold in the CBB house, I don't think anything can outflank his appearances on Irish shows Celebrity Salon and Celebrity Bainisteoir.

The former because it resulted in a truly great showmance - Georgia and Calum - until he cheated on her with Donna Air. The latter because Míchéal O'Muircheartaigh gave Calum a rousing locker-room pep talk. "I felt like I was at church and he was preaching," Calum said afterwards.


"Some thought I was a lesbian, that’s how single I was."

Dancing with the Stars host Amanda Byram on life before she met her husband Julian Okines. She knows lesbians can be in relationships too, right?


Kitten heels

Vogue has decreed that the shoe "provides just the right amount of lift to the derrière while not hampering movement".

Trendy turnips

The root vegetable is going to be a big deal in 2017. Trust me.


Aran geansaí overload


A la Donald Trump Jnr and clan. Too much cable knitting for any family.

Cake Culture

Bringing in birthday cakes and 'I'm back from holiday' treats to the office is no longer okay, warn dentists. "Happy birthday - here's some kale" doesn't have the same ring to it - does it?

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