Monday 20 January 2020

Michael O'Doherty: What happened to Nadia Forde claiming to love her curves?

Nadia Forde
Nadia Forde
Lemon & Duke is venture by the dream team of Rob and Dave Kearney, Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip with business partner Noel Anderson. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland
Al Porter at the Irish premiere of Billy Elliot The Musical atthe Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Pictures: Brian McEvoy
Samantha Mumba
Al Porter
Nadia Forde in Dubai
Nadia Forde attending the Nice Guys UK Premiere at Odeon cinema, Leicester Square
Nadia Forde and Dominic Day

Michael O'Doherty

With the line-up apparently already confirmed for TV3’s forthcoming Celebrity Masterchef, it looks like Samantha Mumba and Nadia Forde are coming back to Ireland to take part in the show.

While Sam’s return to the limelight would be an eye-opener, as she has been living a low-key life in LA for some time, it can hardly come as a surprise that serial reality TV participant Nadia would sign up.

What is a shock, however, is the super-skinny look that Nadia is sporting these days, especially considering the mantra that she shared to the Irish press for so long about being “happy with her curves”. So maybe a stint on Masterchef would do Nadia good – after all, she looks like she hasn’t had a square meal in a while...

Samantha Mumba

Why hold down a real job when you can pose for photos and hawk a brand?

Lemon & Duke is venture by the dream team of Rob and Dave Kearney, Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip with business partner Noel Anderson. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland

At the end of his rugby career, Gordon D’Arcy went back to college to study economics and landed himself a nine-to-five job with a financial institution. Almost uniquely among his rugby contemporaries, Gordon has a job that involves him travelling to an office and applying his brains to his chosen profession.

It used always to be thus, with former stars including Hugo McNeill and Brendan Mullins excelling in business. Not any more, however, do players feel inclined to work for a living, keener instead to use the pulling power of their “brand” for a less onerous life.

This week, news surfaced of another venture by Irish rugby stars – the Kearneys, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip – which to the untrained eye might seem to simply involve posing for a photo outside a new pub, uttering a few banalities about the “stylish but welcoming vibe” and hoping your admirers spend their money there in the (let’s be honest, forlorn) hope that one of you will actually be behind the bar.

The four lads were revealed as the powerhouse behind another glamorously decked-out Dublin pub, Lemon & Duke. Cue another story breathlessly lauding their “business acumen”. Cue another chance for a venue to get acres of publicity courtesy of a photo of some rugby stars posing moodily outside.

But what exactly is the extent of their involvement? Did they choose the location, design the interior, hire the staff and put up the millions to do so?

Take a guess. They will be, in reality, more akin to the dreaded “brand ambassadors”, those celebs who in return for doing a couple of appearances a year are rewarded with a nice retainer in the form of free products or cold, hard cash.

Which brings us to the uneasiest element of this alliance, namely role models to so many teenagers making money out of promoting something as patently unhealthy as booze.

RTE certainly seems to think it unacceptable, as last year it banned a Budweiser advertisement featuring Conor McGregor, believing it might encourage under-age drinking.

While McGregor promoting beer will corrupt our youth, the square-jawed Kearney brothers promoting a pub in a fashionable part of Dublin aimed at the capital’s beautiful young things are, apparently, to be lauded.

One cannot but wonder at the double standard at play, which sees glorified fast-food joints and pubs – major contributors to the nation’s health problems – being the chosen profession of people who are regularly held up as models of healthy living.

I dropped in to Lemon & Duke at the weekend. Sure, it’s expensively decked out, but the dim lighting, wood panelling, deafening music and young girls dancing to I Will Survive made it seem like countless other bars you could mention.

The “welcoming vibe” was in short supply, and notable also by their absence were the four rugby stars, who astonishingly enough weren’t working behind the bar.

It must have been their one night off.

Sitting still could be problem for Al

Al Porter

Al Porter, set to take over Colm Hayes’ slot on 2FM, has revealed that academia was never his strong point, despite bagging an impressive 580 points in his Leaving Certificate.

   “Once I got my results,” he revealed,” I vowed never to sit an exam again.”  Despite this, he enrolled into Trinity, but soon dropped out as he found study and exams were not his bag.

   “Academia wasn’t for me – I was kicked out of the library twice for dancing. I was a performer but nobody encouraged me to go with my gut.”

   All of this suggests that sitting exams may not be Al’s main problem – judging by his behaviour in the library, it is just sitting that he objects to. So good luck with your two-hour stints in the radio presenter’s chair...


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