Monday 21 October 2019

The Edge: Carol and Ian don't put a ring on it, but buy home in Algarve together

Carol Anthony says Ian Rush is the right man for her.
Carol Anthony says Ian Rush is the right man for her.
King Daithi will be groomsman at wedding
Donald Trump and his wife Melania.
Grainne is a high-flier.
FAI boss John Delaney and his girlfriend.
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

I'm with Mark Twain on this. "Climate is what we expect - weather is what we get." That goes double for Irish weather, doesn't it?

Cork popstar-turned-business woman Carol Anthony perhaps wisely went to Barbados with her other-half, Liverpool icon Ian Rush, for a break last month. They obviously love the sunshine.

Carol and Ian have just bought a place in Portugal. (Carol has a property portfolio that now expands to five places dotted around the planet.)

The romantic bolt-hole in the Algarve will doubtless be the spot that Ian and Cazza can celebrate their fourth anniversary together in September.

I met the happy couple for a drink in Dublin's Westbury hotel on Thursday last. They were over for a few days of chilling out in their favourite European capital. Ian was the surprise guest at a birthday party in Shanahan's on the Green, while Carol said she was "going to go and enjoy some retail therapy."

Carol and Ian - who lives between Ian's home in Cheshire and Carol's home in London - certainly lead complicated lives. He flew into an overcast Dublin on Thursday morning from a football conference in Oslo, while she jetted into Dublin at the same time from a business meeting in London.

They obviously synchronised their times, because they shared a taxi into the Westbury. Cazza and Rushie are off together to Uefa Euro 2016 in France next week for four weeks. (Ian has just been appointed a new Uefa ambassador.) They are then off to America for two weeks. Only two?

I asked Carol will Ian be putting a ring on her finger any time soon.

"Rings are just materialistic, but you never know," she laughed, but wasn't joking. "Diamonds are a girl's worst enemy - unless you're with the right person! And Ian is very definitely the right person."

Daithi goes solo, but will meet Rita in US

Look up — it’s Daithi O Se. Or at least it will be.  On June 15, the Kingdom’s king of telly is jetting out from Shannon airport to Newark on United Airlines  for a big family wedding in New Jersey.

Alas, the RTE star can only stay for the weekend as he has to return to these shores for TV commitments.

His wife Rita Talty and young son Michael Og, however, have no such TV commitments — unless Michael Og watching Peppa Pig and Dora The Explorer counts.

Rita and the child are flying out to America on June 7  — and will be staying on another week after the King of the Kingdom returns.

The occasion is the June 18 nuptials at the Brooklake Country Club in New Jersey of Rita’s brother Micheal to his beloved Jen Lennon.

On June 19, Daithi has to fly back to Ireland to film the third series of The Taste Of Success. 

“I’m working on the Monday. It’s a pity because there will be a good party the day after the wedding,” Daithi, who is groomsman at the big do, told me when I met him walking with Rita and child on Sandymount beach last week. “I love America,” he said.

The co-presenter of Today, RTE1’s daily afternoon programme, which is off for the summer, laughed when I asked him was he rooting for Donald Trump in the American Presidential Race. 

“It would be a joke if it wasn’t so serious that he might win!” Daithi belly-laughed.

“The election is turning into a farce. I love the States, but Trump is showing what isn’t great about America, even though he’s supposedly trying to make it great again. I hope Hillary wins. It would be better for Ireland.”

Would Daithi ever consider running for office in Ireland one day (like his equally loquacious fellow Kerrymen, the Healy-Raes)?

“I’m too honest,” smiled Daithi,  “for politics.” 

Spoken like a true future politician.

Trump for Smurfit’s 80th bash?

When you’re Michael Smurfit, it must seem like every day is your birthday. So when it really is his birthday,  the great man possibly doesn’t need to push out the boat too far. His 80th birthday is in August and there are certain expectations. . .

For his 70th bash, he took a gang of pals (among them Bill Cullen and Sean Mulryan) on a cruise on his yacht around the Mediterranean for a week; for his 60th birthday, Dr Smurfit threw a beano for 100 friends on the same majestic vessel. There is a tale, perhaps apocryphal, that the paper packaging tycoon was decked out at the party in a replica of the uniform worn by General Patton at the Battle of the Bulge at Christmas 1944  in Ardennes. And why not?

My Smurfit Deep Throats keep me well informed about his 80th bash and just who might be in attendance (Prince Albert, Prince Bill Cullen and Princess Jackie Lavin, of course.)

Most intriguingly though, my well-placed source hears that the good doctor will be extending an invite to Donald Trump to attend his birthday celebrations.

Smurfit had an apartment in Trump Tower in New York and has known the ‘Donald’ a long time. Their friendship certainly pre-dates Trump’s US presidential ambitions. Should the presumptive Republican nominee make it to the party (Dr Smurfit’s party that is), it’s a reasonable bet

that the talk will lean heavily towards their passion for golf, as opposed to politics. As the owner of the K Club, Dr Smurfit doesn’t have to worry about Trump’s Doonbeg.  For while the ‘K’ is a rolling parkland resort, Trump’s club is a links.

Different strokes for different folks, as I always say.  

CityJet PR Sharon on cloud 9 after award

Soap your arse and slide backwards up a rainbow’ — bawdy lyrics that you don’t expect to hear out of the mouth of the man we know as Uncle Gaybo. Notwithstanding this (hilarious) vaudeville song, Gay Byrne’s show at Bray’s Mermaid Theatre on Wednesday was a master-class in entertainment. Don’t take my word for it. Here, this is Dubliner, TV producer Colman Hutchinson, who worked with Gay,  Chris Tarrant and the late Cilla Black over the years: “Gay is the greatest TV host this country has ever produced, but he is so much more than just that,” Co who attended with his wife, told me. “In this show he is raconteur, comic, singer, musician and much more. Gay Byrne National Treasure!” A national treasure of a different industry, Sharon Bannerton, meanwhile, was on Cloud 9  (well — stunning Shazza does look after CityJet, as well as many other high-end clients). This state of blissed-out Zen grace was primarily because her company, Bannerton PR, was awarded the PR/Advertising Agency 2016 award by Business & Finance at the Marker Hotel the Friday before.

Gorgeous Grainne returns from South Africa break with fiance Leon

You probably have the impression that when you are the diarist of the Sunday Independent for the past 13 years your feet rarely if ever touch the ground.

You’d be wrong.

Be that as it may, last Wednesday I was on the 8am flight from London to Dublin when at 30,000 feet  over the Irish Sea I noticed the woman sitting in the opposite row: Grainne Seoige.

We got talking. In fact, we got on like a plane on fire. I was going to ask the pilot to fly around a bit more so that the RTE star and I could talk a bit longer.  (Where is Michael O’Leary when you need him, eh?) Still, I was able to glean that she had just flown in from South Africa where she enjoyed a bit of a break with her beloved Leon Jordaan in Pretoria.

The gorgeous Gaeilgeoir added that she and her Durban-born fiance  — they got engaged in November, 2013, having been dating since October 2011 — are hoping to get their wedding in South Africa finally organised for this year, but it is “difficult to keep everyone  —family and friends in Ireland and South  Africa — happy. So hopefully, this year. . .”

Once the plane landed, the popular Crimecall presenter walked me through passport control, before I left her at the baggage carousel  to pick up her bags. Life is like a carousel, really, isn’t it? 

Ireland football team tackle a big meal in Marcel’s

My apologies. I’m all about the football this week. . .

Perhaps in advance of their Euros 2016 opening game in Paris on June 13, the Ireland team were taken to the French bistro of Marcel’s on Merrion Row last Wednesday night. Some of my favourite — and yours — peeps were there, too. I speak, of course, of my old mate, FAI boss John Delaney, as well as Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane.

The Irish team were treated to a special menu of leek and watercress soup or roast beetroot with goat’s cheese to start, followed by a choice of rib-eye steak, roast chicken or sea trout for main course; and then milk chocolate dessert with something called yuzu curd.

Entertainment was provided by Finbar Furey.  I’m sure the incomparable Mr Delaney didn’t want to show Mr Furey up by getting up to sing on Wednesday evening.

The full squad and background staff were all in Marcel’s. Clearly, no egos were present on the night because there was no special VIP areas roped off, or any of that nonsense, as the players, who hold our dreams for the Euros in their power, ate their watercress soup. I can only say that if the Irish team applied themselves in France in a few weeks as they did to their gourmet grub on Wednesday night then they will make absolute mugs of their opponents over there. Oui bien sûr.

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