Saturday 24 March 2018

People: Another gong for Maeve's mantelpiece

Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy
Caroline Morahan
Sylvester Stallone

Award-winning writer Maeve Binchy will have to clear some space on her mantelpiece this week as she is to pick up yet another literary gong.

Award-winning writer Maeve Binchy will have to clear some space on her mantelpiece this week as she is to pick up yet another literary gong.

Binchy will be presented with the prestigious Irish PEN/AT Cross Literary Award at a gala dinner in the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin on Friday night.

Now in its ninth year, this annual award celebrates a lifetime of literary achievement.

Previous winners include Seamus Heaney, Neil Jordan, John McGahern, Brian Friel, Edna O'Brien, John B Keane and William Trevor. Professor of English in UCD and well-known writer Declan Kiberd will present the award at the dinner which is to be attended by over 100 guests including the chairman of Irish PEN, Marita Conlon-McKenna.

Other guests expected to attend are Maeve's husband Gordon Snell, her brother William Binchy and his wife Alice. Writers Deirdre Purcell, Sarah Webb, Suzanne Higgins, Denise Deegan, Marisa Mackle, Tony Hickey, Sam McAughtry and Lia Mills have also been invited.

Best-seller Binchy is the author of over 15 novels and four collections of short stories. The former Irish Times columnist has had some of her novels including Light a Penny Candle (1982) and Circle of Friends (1990) adapted for cinema.

She is also a playwright and her TV play, Deeply Regretted By, won two Irish Jacob's Awards and the Best Script Award at the Prague Film Festival. Also on the mantelpiece is a Lifetime Achievement award which she received from the British Book Awards in 1999.

Ho! It's your round, Sly

Irish former world champion boxers Steve Collins and Barry McGuigan went for a couple of rounds with Rocky Balboa star Sylvester Stallone at the weekend.

However, the 'rounds' in question was just for drinks at the bar as Sly treated the Irish pair and a host of other boxing legends to dinner at London's Fifty restaurant last Friday.

Stallone (60) flew in from Hollywood to promote his sixth Rocky film in 31 years.

An onlooker said: "Sly seemed very interested in their careers and couldn't get enough stories about big fights they had."

Meanwhile, boxing enthusiast and superhoofer Michael Flatley is using Welsh top sports coach Richard Hughes to get back into full health.

The dancer stunned his fans before Christmas when he was forced to scrap the European leg of his Celtic Tiger world tour after being struck by a mystery illness.

Health guru Hughes, a former international cricketer and black belt in Shotokan karate, has also helped Flatley - whose 'feet of flames' are insured for ?38m - in the past. Before Flatley (48) was forced to cancel his follow-up to Riverdance, he said: "Richard got me into the best shape of my life. I'm the leanest I've ever been. I feel fabulous."

The Celtic Tiger tour should resume this year.

All aboard for the Russian express

Off The Rails stars Caroline Morahan and Pamela Flood will lead the fashion brigade for designer Yana K's stylish extravaganza tomorrow night.

The RTE presenters are expected to be joined by top model Andrea Roche and Miriam Ahern at the unveiling of Yana Khromova's Spring Summer 07 collection in the new Floridita club in Dublin.

Yana K is a collection of vintage-inspired styles by the Russian born designer, who has several different collections and looks, all of which are meticulously made in her downtown LA design house.

Her designs have become favourites of top models such as Paris Hilton and Hollywood celebrities such as Beyonce and Nicole Richie.

Fashionistas tomorrow will be treated to the latest instalment by the designer where the catwalk will be filled by little-rich-girl petticoat frocks reminiscent of the Shirley Temple era.

Yana K is distributed in Ireland by Kate Scully Owens from ZUKU.

? Champion phone-thrower Naomi Campbell has reportedly given her manager of 15 years the boot.

The 36-year-old has dispensed with the services of Carole White and she's plotting a spectacular comeback in 2007.

Campbell's last 12 months were marred by claims she beat and racially abused her former maid and threw a mobile phone at the head of her former housekeeper.

Meanwhile, 'Playboy' boss Hugh Hefner has invited footballer David Beckham to join him and his bunnies at the infamous Playboy mansion in a bid to welcome him to Hollywood.

The 80-year-old says: "I think Hollywood is gonna love him. The girls at the mansion have been talking about it and want to be sure that we put him on the party list."

Meanwhile, one of Hef's bunnies says she has 'big plans' for Posh.

I wonder if it entails putting Vicky's pipe-cleaner

limbs to some use around the house?

? Chris de Burgh is reportedly high on emotion over a new project. But he needs some more cash for a film he's co-written which he hopes will increase sympathy for elderly people.

"It's about an old lady in a nursing home who is reaching the end of her days and remembering through her diary what it was like growing up," he said.

"Anybody involved with films will know that the toughest part of making a film is raising the necessary finance. It's a multimillion euro film. Not a massive multimillion euro film - but we are doing OK so far. Hopefully, this will go into production at some stage in 2007."

The Dalkey-based singer revealed that, as well as writing the soundtrack, the full length flick will feature a number of his other songs, including a track from his 1979 album 'Crusader'.

Meanwhile, Chris's daughter Rosanna says she is detoxing for the month of January. The former Miss World was voted one of the top party-goers by 'Social and Personal' magazine last year.

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