Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Curragh Racing

The Curragh Racecourse was bustling on Sunday with attendance figures well up in the thousands as racegoers travelled from far and wide to attend the Boylesports Guineas Festival. Personally it was the first flat racing meet that I’ve attended this year, and marked the beginning of what is set be a great season.

Caroline Morahan looked wonderful in a summery yellow ensemble as she mingled around the reserved enclosure in her role as Fashion Ambassador for Horse Racing Ireland. The “Fashions on the Turf” campaign was in full swing and the style brigade went all out to impress.

Meanwhile in the hospitality of the Derby Club Room I spotted TV presenter Alan Hughes, who was with Debbie O’Donnell and Karl Broderick. The three of them had just arrived from Galway where they had attended the Cari charity ball in the Radisson Hotel the previous night. Also there were Blanaid Morris from Boylesports, fashion stylist Sonia Mohlich, TV news anchorman Alan Cantwell and Tamso Doyle from HRI.

The Curragh, home of the classics, has a variety of meets on over the next few months, with some of my favourites being the Audi Derby, the Budweiser Irish Derby and Dubai Day, all of which take place in July (and FYI ‘derby’ is pronounced ‘darby’ here in Ireland).

For more info checkout

Enjoying the Boylesports Festival day at the Curragh are (l-r) Sonia Mohlich, Frances Winston, Anne Boylan and Debbie O'Donnell.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Garden Party

After the L’Oreal Colour Trophy Awards (party of the year, etc.) I just had to take some time off dear readers. I know you don’t begrudge me a little break so I won’t bore you with the details, least to say a great time was had by all.

One recent break I will tell you about though is one I had a couple of weeks ago. I retreated to the country and the hospitality of my good friend Andrew Rudd and his family. Their home is a beautiful big old country pile called Busherstown House, near Roscrea in Co. Tipperary, where one can get up to all sorts of country pursuits.

After a stress free drive from Dublin (it pays to leave just after lunch before the mass Friday evening exodus), there was just enough time for a few gin and tonics before we awaited the arrival of the other guests. Twelve for dinner no less (followed by a late night).

We were all up early on Saturday morning, however, to participate in a photo shoot for Image magazine. Editor Melanie Morris travelled from Dublin with a photographer to capture us enjoying the delights of a summer garden party and croquet on the front lawn, the results of which can be seen in the August edition. You’d be a fool to miss it.

Some of the aforementioned guests included Lizzy Aders of Circa magazine and barrister Will Hamilton, David Staines, Harry Whelehan and his wife Rachel Meagher with their children Lily and Harry, Malachy Geelan and PR guru Sinead Ryan, entertainment agent Naoise Nunn, his wife Ashley and their sons Dylan and Jude, Ross Robertson and Naomi Carroll, Richie Stokes, Dave Drumm and Tanya Myles.

Incidentally, you too can enjoy a weekend at Busherstown. I can’t promise you’ll be appearing in a glossy magazine spread, but The Belfry (an annex off the main house) can be rented throughout the year. For details click here.

Speaking of garden parties and country pursuits, don’t miss the action this coming weekend at Ballinlough Castle in Athboy, Co. Meath. The Garden Party is the first big outdoor music event of the season and will definitely attract the beautiful people.

A bit clubby, a bit reggae, some dub and electronica, some of the artists featuring are Asian Dub Foundation, 2 Many DJs, Groove Armada's Andy Cato, The Orb, Aim, Tony Humphries, Carl Craig, Booka Shade, Buck 65, Superdiscount live, Fat Freddy's Drop, SoulJazz Soundsystem, Alexander Robotnik, DJ Marky, Spank Rock, Cartoon, Neosupervital, Bodytonic Soundsystem and lots more.

Akin to the excellent Electric Picnic there will be loads of extra-curricular entertainment. Just what bank holiday weekends were made for. Check out for more info and I'll see you there.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards

Lisa Corbally and Andrea Laurent at the L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards.

Shay Dempsey and Dylan Bradshaw having a ball at the awards.

Mark McCauley form winning salon Kazumi, pictured with his wife Suzanne Donnelly.

TV presenter Pamela Flood looking most elegant at the L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards.

Yours truly with the gorgeous Sandra Bogwell at the L'Oreal bash.

Dearbhla Keenan and Kate Synott enjoy the champagne reception at the L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards.

It was wall to wall glamour at the O’Reilly Hall UCD last week as the fashionista’s of Ireland rubbed shoulders with the crème de la crème of Ireland’s hairdressing industry, at the much anticipated Grand Final of the L’Oreal Colour Trophy Awards. An event not to be missed, every year it just gets better and better and is definitely in my top 5 of the best social events in the country.

Top hair stylists from the most premium salons across Ireland battled it out for the coveted award in three categories: Men’s Image, won by Dylan Bradshaw; Next Generation, won by House of Colour Dublin 2; and of course the L’Oreal Colour Trophy Award won by a triumphant Kazumi! Meanwhile leading woman’s magazine IMAGE added yet another touch of style to the proceedings, awarding just one special salon – Toni & Guy Galway, with the IMAGE award.

The winning team from Kazumi

Guests were treated to a lavish champagne reception and 5-course dinner before sitting back to watch the glamourous event unfold. Among the glitterati present were style queen Pamela Flood, who looked as ravishing as ever with a chic up-style, Gary Kavanagh and Michael Doyle of Peter Mark, party girl Frances Winston and Social & Personal’s Richard Kavanagh and Sandra Bogwell.

Olivia Morahan and Anne Boylan, Leesa Maher and her husband David were also there to enjoy the House of Colour catwalk show before dancing the night away, as were fashion stylist Sonia Mohlich and her partner Alan Bruton of REDS, who had attended the £3 million L’Oreal 50th Anniversary bash in London the week before.

This year’s winners have fought long and hard to achieve this accolade, succeeding first in the Eliminator and now in the Grand Final. With judges such as acclaimed hairdressing greats Shay Dempsey, Zoe Irwin, Maeve O’Healy - Harte and Ian Brady, their win really is an amazing acheivement, meaning that their talents as hair stylists have been noted by the most discerning and accomplished people in hairdressing.

The sky is now the limit for the winners – as the L’Oreal Colour Trophy and Men’s Image trophy holders get set to take part in 2 cutting edge photoshoots – one in Dublin and one in New York! Meanwhile the young up-and-coming winner of the Next Generation is preparing for a significant year in their career – with esteemed L’Oreal Professionnel training and great PR opportunities.

The official after show party was hosted in stylish club Lillies Bordello, with many of the guests continuing the celebrations well into the morning. I believe it was nigh on impossible to get a hair appointment in Dublin today.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hello, hello ... a place called Vertigo

Enjoying the evening at the Vertigo Bar launch were Rebecca O'Neill and Eimear Rigby.

Dearbhal and Declan Leavy pictured at the Vertigo launch party.

Dublin is not short of trendy watering holes to quench the thirst of the movers and shakers, and now there is another to add to the roster. Celebrating it’s launch party last week, The Vertigo Bar on Cardiff Lane (just off Sir John Rogerson’s Quay) is a funky new space, designed as a fusion of East and West, and named in tribute to U2 whose Dublin recording studio is just around the corner.

This area of town is set to become a hive of activity as a slew of beautiful (and expensive) new apartments are popping up all over the place, some of which have penthouses with the best views in the city. The Quality Hotel has just opened it’s doors next to Vertigo, and the new state-of-the-art Grand Canal Theatre is already under construction.

Built on two levels, Vertigo offers a more intimate area on the mezzanine floor, which is complete with seating booths and soft lighting, in contrast to the double height space in the main bar area.

Among the guests on the evening were Avril Collins and Norman Pratt, Jonothan Sultan and John McKibbin, artist Freddie Jones, David Faulkner, FM104’s Jodie King and Kate Candon and Rebecca O’Neill of TV3.

Needless to say I was suffering from Vertigo the next day.

Kate Candon and FM104's Jodie King at the launch party for the new Vertigo Bar on Cardiff Lane, Dublin 2.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Designs on Chocolate and Football

Mid-week on the Dublin social scene is always busy, and Wednesday was no exception. There were a plethora of events and parties across the capital but as I have not yet mastered the art of omnipresence, I picked the best 3 and went along to them. First port of call was the gorgeous new gastro empire that is Fallon & Byrne on Exchequer Street. This place has everything - a wonderful food hall with a juice bar on the ground floor, an amazing wine cellar and a promising restaurant on the first level.

My mission, however, was on the top floor (it's a big building). After climbing the big old staircase (I discovered later that there was an elevator) I was greeted by the vision of models bearing gifts - chocolate to be precise. The champagne party was hosted by Lindt chocolate and the guests were encouraged to meet Lindt's master chocolatier Stefan Moyart. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to meet the man of the moment as he was constantly surrounded by a crowd of girls. However, I now know the real way to a girl’s heart.

Among those attending I spotted another Master, master tailor Louis Copeland, looking dapper as ever; Roisin Ni Mhordha was in great form, as always, and was accompanied by her good pal Viv Maguire; Paul Trainer with Laura Mannion, who is off to sail yachts around the Caribbean for the summer and Andrew Rudd popped in with TV presenter Kathryn Thomas, who stayed briefly before rushing off to her Style event which she was hosting in Cocoon in aid of the charity Respect.

I had to rush off too as my good pal (and FM104 colleague) Fergal Breen and I were late for the Habitat / House and Home Student Designer of the Year Awards, which were taking place in the flagship Habitat store on Dame Street. I just missed the presentation but am delighted to inform you that the winner was Karen Morgan from Thomastown, who attends the Crafts Council of Ireland Pottery Skills Course in Kilkenny. She was chosen out of nearly 200 entries submitted from design students nationwide and designed a contemporary pestle and mortar, which reflects her interpretation of the theme ‘city life'.

While there I met up with socialites Norman Pratt, Avril Collins and Tamara Gervasoni and together we ventured over to Robbie Fox’s club Renards, where he was hosting a party to celebrate the revamped Renards Sports Bar. I’m not a massive football fan, in fact I’m not a football fan at all, but the atmosphere was pretty electric as the guests enjoyed the UEFA Championship Final on the plasma screens that dot the place. Robbie was in super form as were Michael O’Doherty and actor James (Jimmy) Nesbitt, who’s in town filming at the moment.

Not wanting to take up valuable room for real footie fans we made a hasty retreat after a few Heinos and I headed home to enjoy my Lindt goodie bag. Give me chocolate any day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Arbiters of Style

The Irish interiors industry was set alight last night with the launch of The Interiors Association (IA), the new and innovative organisation for the interiors industry in Ireland. Officially launched at a stylish reception hosted by designer Peter Willis in Habitat’s flagship store, the event was well attended by leading lights from the world of interiors.

Established and run by professional interior designers and interior architects, the IA is a progressive multi-faceted support network, open to the growing number of professionals and students in the commercial and residential interior architecture and design industry in Ireland. The aim of the association is to provide a focal point for the commercial and consumer sector seeking information on Irish interior designers and to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience among the growing body of qualified and professionally accredited members in the industry in Ireland.

Over the coming months, the IA will hold several networking and learning events for interiors professionals, hosted by guest speakers in the design and architecture industry. It is hoped to hold an awards ceremony late next year, which will reward existing and up-and-coming Irish talent in the interiors industry.

Among those who enjoyed the Bombay Sapphire cocktails and delicious wines from Eno Wine were Elaine Butler, celebrity designer Neville Knott, Mary Ryder, Sarah Cruise, Martha Lovett, Fergal Breen of Irish Dev with Sarah Paterson of Paterson-Browne Interiors, Naveen Jakulla of Anthony Reddy Architects, Michelle Byrne and architectural expert Deirdre Conroy.

For more information on The Interiors Association log on to

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hi Ho Silver

Newbridge Silverware are synonymous with high quality, stylish giftware, life style ranges and above all jewellery. Long associated with such prestigious events as Miss Ireland and the Rose of Tralee, they have now joined forces with the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) to sponsor the Student Silverware Design Awards, which took place at a champagne luncheon on Monday.

There was a buzz of excitement in the Fitzwilliam Hotel, as the five finalists awaited the results and the invited guests inspected their amazing designs, which were modeled by top models Andrea Roche and Sarah McGovern. MC for the afternoon (and judge) was TV star Pamela Flood, who interviewed each finalist (all of whom were girls) and found out more about their inspirations and aspirations.

The competition was open to NCAD Metals area 2nd/3rd year student who were given the brief to create a design for the Newbridge Silverware 2007 jewellery range using the theme of SHAPE. The competition offered talented students a unique opportunity to gain insight knowledge of how Ireland’s leading design company manages and operates design, product analysis and goes about market research.

Following an initial six week design development phase, 5 finalists were selected to have their designs developed for industrial production as part of a short industrial work placement at Newbridge.

Joining Pamela on the judging panel were Newbridge Silverware CEO William Doyle, fashion designer Aideen Bodkin, fashion journalists Deidre McQuillan of The Irish Times and Sive O'Brien of Image Magazine, all of whom had a most difficult task in selecting the winner.

In the end though it was Sadhbh McCormack from Rathmines, Dublin, with her collection "Silver Leaf ", who scooped the top prize. As well as receiving the prestige that comes with winning the award, she will have her winning design purchased by Newbridge Silverware to be manufactured and marketed in 2007. Sadhbh’s winning design will also be donated to the National Museum of Ireland to become part of the NCAD permanent precious metal collection.

I am thrilled, I never expected it but I have thoroughly enjoyed this project and this is just the icing on the cake" she said.

Adorned by the rich, famous and fabulous, Newbridge Silverware is a mark of good taste and with this unique partnership between education and industry, to foster excellence in design, we can be sure that that good taste will continue for many years to come. Silver linings all the way…..

Friday, May 12, 2006

King of the Castle

Siobhan O'Dowd and Richie Stokes pictured at Ballinlough Castle in Athboy, Co. Meath at the launch of the Midlands Music Festival.

Concerts at castles have always been popular in this country, but aren’t we a bit sick of the same old same old? Kudos then to John Reynolds who continues to scour the country for cool new venues for the music loving massive. Ballinlough Castle in Athboy, Co. Meath is the newest kid on the block for this Summer, and I took a trip down there recently for the launch of the Midlands Music festival.

Owned by Nick and Alice Nugent, the 17th century stately pile sits lakeside on acres of prime land. It’s location, a mere 45 miles from the capital, ensures it will be an ideal place for concerts, the first of which is the aforementioned Midlands.

Topping the bill on Friday 28th will be the legendary Kenny Rogers, who has also asked that the Irish public choose the songs he should perform at the festival. E-mail your list of KR favourites to, and you could be in with a chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to the gig.

Joining Kenny on Friday will be Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith and Louden Wainwright III among others. Saturday sees Van “The Man” Morrison take to the stage, with the likes of Don Mclean, Dwight Yokam and Glen Campbell also performing.

Enjoying the sunshine at the launch were co-promotors John Reynolds and Darryl Downey, Richie Stokes and Siobhan O’Dowd, Jon Dardis and his wife Denise, David O’Dornan with his fiancé Tara and TV3’s Lorraine Keane.

However, before contemporary country rocks the foundations of Ballinlough a one day dance music event, The Garden Party, takes place on Bank Holiday Sunday, 4th of June. Headlining will be Asian Dub Foundation, 2 Many DJs, Toots and The Maytals and The Orb, among an exciting line-up of others. More anon.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


TV presenters Liam Ni Cormichael and Sinead Kennedy at the hilfiger 1st Birthday bash.

Julie-Anne Furnival and Laura O'Brien enjoy the Hilfiger Denim party at the Trinity Street store.

Happy Birthday Hilfiger Denim

The super funky Hilfiger Denim store on Trinity St. celebrated its first birthday last night, with DJ extraordinaire Mo Kelly on the decks mixing Hilfiger sounds. It was a balmy evening in Dublin (don’t get to say that too often) so the fashionistas kept cool with bottles of Corona and lime. Deep-south soul food set the theme for the night with crispy tortillas, tex-mex mini-burgers and lollipop lamb cutlets. Thank you mam.

Occupying the popular space on Trinity Street, which also happens to be the home of legendary music mag Hot Press, the Hilfiger Denim store has become a mecca for style conscious boys and girls. The preppy look is signature, but there is more than plenty on offer should you wish to deconstruct it.

RTE presenter Brian Ormond and TV3's Alan Hughes mixed with stylists from every walk of Ireland’s fashion scene while Karl Broderick, Julian Benson and Tamara Gervasoni checked out the latest Hilfiger Denim looks for Summer. Man-about-town Norman Pratt held court with Avril Collins and Roisin Tierney – Crowe, while Sinead Ni Chonaill was full of the joys of Summer and looking forward to her trip to L.A. next week.

TV presenters Liam Ni Cormichael and Sinead Kennedy, publicists Sarah Andrews and Gina Kelly, Irish Tatler editor Jennifer Stevens, Mark Walton and stylist Gillian Fox were also in attendance.

Adding to the buzz of the night was a TV crew from Annamoe Productions who were filming a piece with Emily Houricane for a documentary on how Dublin has changed over the years (there were none of your fancy launch parties when I was young, etc.).

A hot topic of conversation among Tommy lovers was the opening of the latest Tommy Hilfiger store in Dubai during the week, which of course will be of interest to the DublinDubai jet-set crew.

Sure, Dublin has changed, and all for the better.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Stylish duo Triona McCarthy and Cathy O'Connor enjoy the "Afternoon with Amarula" lunch in Bijou restaurant recently.

Brunching & Lunching

Last Friday I was lucky enough to kick start my weekend (more about that later) with a pleasant brunch in l’Ecrivain with none other than Loyd Grossman. Famous for his many TV shows, range of high end foods and sauces and his intellect, the inimitable Loyd is the perfect person to have at a table, or indeed entertaining a room.

I previously dined with him in The Merrion last year, on one of the hottest days of the year. He must have a knack for bringing good weather with him as every time he is in Ireland the sun shines. Friday was no exception.

His new range of chutneys have recently been launched here in Ireland and are a roaring success, as are his pasta sauces and soups, so publicist Tara O’Connor informed me. I believe her. I use them all regularly. I just hope Loyd believed me too instead of thinking I was some sort of sycophant. There were plenty of those in the room already, as one restaurant critic pushed his way through a crowd so that he could be seated next to the Master Chef.

Among those I spotted at the brunch (which went on till well after lunch) were Debbie O’Donnell of TV3 with Sybil Mulcahy, who is in full bloom of pregnancy and looks great. Writer and broadcaster Quentil Fottrell chatted with Ernie Whalley, Mary Irwine enjoyed the morning with Karen Koster and Triona McCarthy swapped beauty tips with former Prudence Beauty Ed. Declan Leavy.

Another lunch I attended recently was hosted by Edward Dillon & Co., importers of fine beverages. My kind of people.

They are celebrating the launch of Amarula, South Africa's premium cream liqueur, and their 'Afternoon with Amarula' at Bijou Bistro, Rathgar, was indeed a great way to spend an afternoon. The event featured Amarula delicacies including desserts as well as Amarula Cocktails and coffees. Only for the coffee I can tell you we’d all have been to Amarula (and back).

Jazz Duo, David and Josh, provided some chilled out music to help guests such as the beautiful Roberta Rowat, stylist Cathy O'Connor, Triona McCarthy (she’s a popular girl), young up and coming models Colm Farrell and Emily O'Donnell and many others relax and enjoy the lazy afternoon.

It’s a shame every morning and afternoon couldn’t be like my evenings.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cinco de Mayo / Confetti / Tomango

Thursday night was a busy one around town. There were a number of parties and social gatherings taking place, with a few outside of town too. I decided to opt for the fun choice and attend the frivolous, let’s have a laugh parties. I wasn't disappointed....

First stop was the Old El Paso “Cinco de Mayo” bash at Break for the Border. It was actually the eve of Cinco de Mayo, or Mexico Day, when Mexicans celebrate the Mexico victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

An authentic six piece Mariachi Band had the crowd up and dancing from the first few bars. Old El Paso chips and dips, El Jimador Tequila Margaritas, and chilled Sol Beer fuelled the atmosphere, with a crowd that included Triona McCarthy, TV chef Andrew Rudd, Roisin Ni Mhordha and Frances Winston. Viva Mexico!

It was a dash down to Cineworld for a special screening of the latest Brit flick, Confetti, which stars comedy greats like Martin Freeman (of The Office), Jessica Stevenson (of Spaced), Felicity Montagu (Alan Partridge), Stephen Mangan (Green Wing) and the ubiquitous Jimmy Carr.

The film is basically a mockumentary that follows three couples as they battle it out to win the coveted title of `Most Original Wedding of the Year' and the subsequent problem that arise from the organization of said weddings. The entire production was shot without script and improvised, a la Curb Your Enthusiasm. The best comedic performances in Confetti come from Alison Steadman as a meddlesome mother, and Vincent Franklin and Jason Watkins as camp wedding planners.

My good friend Ciara Elliott is delighted with the marketing tie in which sees her magazine, confetti, featured heavily in the movie. Indeed, copies of the top selling Irish magazine were distributed at the world premiere in London’s Leicester Square recently.

After the screening we jumped on a wedding bus and traveled to the after party at the suitably OTT bar and club, Howl at the Moon, which was decked out to look like an OTT wedding reception, complete with balloons, wedding cake, wedding DJ, caricaturist et al. I met legendary astrologer Fergus Gibson, who was on hand to impart his wisdom on the wedding guests. I’m looking forward to a bright year ahead!

Among the wedding guests enjoying the Jameson cocktail reception were Sonia Harris and Nalini Nathan, Keith Gill, Richie Stokes, Anna Lavery and Nick Costello, who has just joined Warner Bros. as a consultant.

Much later in the evening I ventured out to Tomango nite club at the White Sands Hotel in Portmarnock, where they were hosting a VIP party to celebrate their re-launch. I remember being in Tomango once many years ago and I can tell you that it’s current incarnation sees the place transformed into a completely new club.

Over the past 26 years Tamango has been forever re-inventing itself to keep up with the young and trendy but maintained its reputation from the Northside to the Southside of Dublin. Recently undergoing a multimillion-pound refurbishment, the interior now embodies a marriage between East and West with a universal decadence that reflects a modern day club. The new VIP bar is all very slick with one room designed with hand painted Manhattan skyline divided by an Eastern room with hand painted mosaic walls with lush sofas and plush cushions.

Nicky Byrne of Westlife was there celebrating his birthday with wife Georgina and Miriam Ahern and Cecelia. Socialite Niall McCrudden (who owns the Insight Opticians group), boyband ZOO, Siobhan McClafferty and Valerie Roe, whose brother Philip is the club’s new GM, were all there. Conor and Jackie Haughey, actor George McMahon, Dick Massey and Karla Elliott all danced the night away to the tunes of top DJ Tommy Stewart.

Tomango, where the gang goes (all night long).

John Kavanagh and Naomi Carroll at Old El Paso's "Eve of Cinco de Mayo" party in Break for the Border on Thursday.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


The greatest rugby talent in Ireland attended the 4th Annual BT IRUPA Rugby Player's Awards Dinner at The Burlington Hotel last night. A Heineken drinks reception preceded the dinner and awards, which are voted for by the players themselves.

Hosted by Craig Doyle, the ceremony saw five awards presented in the
presence of some of the game's best known names including Brian O'Driscoll (who brought along the Triple crown Trophy), Gordan D'Arcy, Felipe Contepomi, Anthony Foley and Ronan O'Gara.

Categories and winners were:

IRUPA Green Giant Newcomer of the Year – Andrew Trimble
IRUPA Tyrone Crystal Try of the Year – Shane Horgan
IRUPA Club Energise Sport Unsung Hero Award – Neil Best
IRUPA Hooke & MacDonald Hall of Fame Award – Jeremy Davidson
BT IRUPA Players Player of the Year Award – Paul O’Connell

Among the 700 guests were MC for the evening Risteard Cooper, former Miss Ireland Yvonne Ellard, comedian Barry Murphy, Kim Murphy, Justin Fitzpatrick, Michael O’Leary and HRM’s Rachel O’Sullivan.

As one female guest explained “it was a ballroom full of testosterone”. And a single girls dream no doubt!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

MI III Premiere

Tuesday evening saw the Irish premiere of Tom Cruise’s latest blockbuster, Mission Impossible III. A rip roaring, explosive, hold-tight-now movie, it will, no doubt, be a massive success. A good, if all too brief, performance from our very own Jonathan Rhys – Meyers continues the Irish onslaught on the silver screen.

In a nutshell, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active duty and now trains new IMF agents. However, he's called back into action to confront the most vicious villain he's ever faced - Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an international weapons dealer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Hunt assembles his team - his old friend Luther Strickell (Ving Rhames), transportation expert Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), background operative Zhen (Maggie Q), and fresh recruit Lindsey (Keri Russell) - to travel the globe pursuing Davian and rescue Hunt's love, Julia (Michelle Monaghan). The best of the MI movies so far, in my opinion.

At the premiere in the Savoy I spotted Keith and Lisa Duffy (who were delighted with the success of the recent charity gala event), Caroline Downey, TV3’s Elaine Crowley with Romy Carroll, John McKibbon and Jonothan Sultan, Rebecca Burrell and stylist Cathy O’Connor, Marty Whelan and Andrea Dillon – Horan.

Mission Impossible III opens nationwide on May 5th.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Smart Telecom TV Now Awards

An unprecedented host of stars from the UK's top soaps arrived to the Mansion House in Dublin last Saturday night for Ireland's first TV awards ceremony - the Smart Telecom TV NOW Awards, which were presented by international star Amanda Byram.

Amongst those who attended were Coronation Street's Wendi Peters (Cilla Battersby-Brown), Bruce Jones (Les Battersby-Brown), Kate Ford (Tracy Barlow), Susie Blake (Bev Unwin), Sally Lindsay (Shelley Unwin), Jennie McAlpine (Fiz Brown) and Anthony Cotten (Sean Tully).

Also in attendance were Emmerdale's Lucy Pargeter (Chas Dingle), Adele Silva (Kelly Windsor), Emily Symons (Louise Appleton), Matt Healy (Matthew King) and Roxanne Pallett (Jo Stiles), while representing Eastender's was James Alexandrou (Martin Fowler) and Lacey Turner (Stacey Slater).

Most of the big stars names of Irish TV, from RTE, TV3 and TG4, also glammed up for what was one of the glitziest events of the year so far.

Proudly collecting their gongs were:

Favourite Soap – Coronation Street

Favourite Male Soap Star – David Mitchell (Fair City)

Favourite Female Soap Star – Patsy Kensit

Favourite Soap Couple – Bruce Jones & Wendi Peters (Coronation Street)

Favourite Reality TV Show – You’re A Star

Favourite Drama Series – The Clinic

Favourite Documentary – Bill Malone’s Return to Tsunami

Favourite News Presenter – Claire Byrne (TV3)

Favourite Weather Presenter – Martin King (TV3)

Favourite Irish TV show – Podge & Rodge

Favourite Male TV Presenter – Derek Mooney

Favourite Female TV Presenter – Kathryn Thomas

Lifetime Achievement Award – Louis Walsh

A host of celebrities and well-known faces were also in attendance including Lucy Kennedy, Orlaith McAllister of Big Brother fame, Fran Cosgrave (who is delighted with the success of his new autobiography), Linda Martin and Brendan O'Connor. Actor George McMahon enjoyed the evening with his girlfriend Lindzi Cowap, while Dustin the Turkey insulted all and sundry.

One of the highlights of the evening was The X-Factor's winner Shayne Ward’s performance of his two hits That’s My Goal and his latest single No Promises.

Amanda Brunker looked great, as did Siobhan O’Dowd and model Andrea Roche. Magician Keith Barry, editor of TV Now Deborah McGee, publisher Michael O’Doherty, Rhona Bradshaw of Smart Telecom, Sonia Harris and Nalini Nathan also turned out for the event, after which many of the guests retired to popular hot spots Renards and Lillies.

Honouring the best in Irish TV, these are true 'people's awards', as all winners were voted for by the Irish public. The response from the public was overwhelming with over 35,000 votes counted.