Judge not, Louis, lest you be serenaded

Sat, Sep 29, 2012, 01:00

THE SOCIAL NETWORK:Polly Devlin didn’t realise when she was launching The Irish at Home in the Wellesley Room of the Merrion Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday evening that her speech was being judged by The X Factor’s Louis Walsh. One of the Mayo man’s homes is featured in the book.

“You’re worse than a bunch of Columbia students,” the novelist announced as she called for silence at the beginning of her speech. She wrote the foreword to the book, which was written by Sarah McDonnell and her sister Jane McDonnell of the Gloss magazine. Polly’s brother, Barry Devlin of Horslips, made it to the launch but her sister, Marie, was in the US with her husband, Seamus Heaney.

Afterwards, Walsh told Devlin that he thought her speech went on a bit.

Edel O’Malley, the director of development at the Children’s Medical Research Foundation at Our Lady’s children’s hospital in Crumlin, was looking forward to attending a charity dinner at Grosvenor House in London on Thursday evening in collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital. The chairman of the committee is Dermot Smurfit. His daughter, Victoria, acted as host on the night in Grosvenor House. Entertainment was provided by Alexandra Burke, Bryan Ferry and The High Kings.

O’Malley told me that the Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, would be attending and that Denis O’Brien and Dermot Desmond had both bought tables. The event, at which tables of 10 were priced at €10,000, was sold out.

Meanwhile, Louis Walsh was in deep conversation with the broadcaster and journalist Tom McGurk. “[McGurk] should have his own show on TV3,” Walsh announced. It wasn’t quite loud enough for the chief executive of TV3, David Redmond, to hear as he mingled.

Walsh retreated to the Cellar Bar at the Merrion after the launch, where a patron serenaded him with a fairly good rendition of The Wonder of You.

“Now you see what I have to put up with,” he told me.

WHO WE SPOTTED

Sarah McDonnell’s husband, Mark Taylor, and their children May and Ted; Jane McDonnell’s husband, Donald Hickey, and their son Hugo; the president of the RIAI, Michelle Fagan; the architect Randal McDonnell, who is the father of the authors; chef Clodagh McKenna; Michael Mortell; Louise Kennedy; former editor of the Who’s Who in Ireland; Maureen Cairnduff; personal trainer Karl Henry; Amanda Pratt of Avoca and her twin girls, Indigo and Holly Star, who are reading law and science, respectively, in Trinity; the former head of the school of architecture at UCD, Prof Cathal O’Neill and his wife, Deirdre; the artist Bernadette Madden

Lots of Hubermans but no O'Driscoll

On Monday evening Amy Huberman invited friends and family to the screening room of the Odessa club, in Dublin, to catch the first glimpse of the second series of Comedy Central’s Threesome, which she stars in alongside Emun Elliott and Stephen Wight.

She spoke about being dropped from the US comedy Animal Practice earlier this year. She played the lead in the pilot episode of the NBC series but was replaced by an American actor.

“I get on with it – I’ve been dealing with rejection for different stuff over 12 years,” she said, before adding, “I’m not going to say it wasn’t a knock for me, because it was public.” She revealed that she has been cast as a teacher in Chris O’Dowd’s Roscommon-based Sky comedy Moone Boy.

First to arrive at the screening were her parents, Harold and Sandra Huberman, followed closely by her brothers Mark, who is also an actor, and Paul. One notable absentee was Huberman’s husband, the Ireland rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll, who was training at Carton House.

Mark told me that he learned on Monday that he will star in the film adaptation of John Banville’s 2005 Booker prize-winning novel, The Sea.

Norma Sheahan, who acted alongside Huberman in The Clinic, sounded busy. She is doing series two of Moone Boy at the moment. “I just did Foyle’s War and I was also in a film the other day with Brendan Gleeson’s son called Standby. I’m doing bits of everything and tipping along.”

WHO WE SPOTTED

Rugby wives Aoife D’Arcy and Dairine Cullen; actor Rachel Pilkington; Love/Hate actor Ruth Bradley, who arrived with her boyfriend, the actor Richard Coyle

A flock of fashionistas

The model Aoife Kavanagh added a touch of colour to the Harvey Nichols autumn-winter fashion show at the Mill Theatre in Dundrum on Wednesday evening. She appeared on the ramp wearing a red silk dress by Beulah London that Kate Middleton wore to a charity dinner at St James’s Palace last year. The crowd in Dundrum seemed to give their approval to the €900 dress, which is exclusive to Harvey Nichols this season.

It brightened up an otherwise eerie Hitchcock heroine-themed evening that was perfectly executed by the stylist Sarah Rickard. On the catwalk there was a homage to Tippi Hedren, who starred in The Birds, in the form of hats with blackbirds made by the Galway milliner Edel Ramberg. There were also nods to Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief and Janet Leigh in Psycho.

The model Lisa Madden hid her disappointment at being eliminated from the final four of Britain Ireland’s Next Top Model two days previously as she sashayed down the ramp.

Emily O’Donnell was delighted that her friend the PR executive Astrid Brennan got engaged to James Flanagan from Clane, Co Kildare, the night before. Brennan gave the show a miss and went off celebrating instead.

The social diarist of Image magazine, Tina Koumarianos, told me that she’s been asked to write the history of the Glenview Hotel in Wicklow. She recalled dining in the restaurant of the hotel as a child with her parents on one occasion. A lady kept smiling over at her father, and he smiled and waved back, thinking he knew her. It transpired that it was Elizabeth Taylor flirting with him. “My father was an extremely handsome man,” Koumarianos said.

WHO WE SPOTTED

Jane Given; Gillian de Lacy of the Four Seasons; Annette Rocca; Jackie Lavin; Norma Smurfit; JP McManus’s daughter-in-law Ann Marie McManus and Elaine Bennett Toolin.

Icing on the cake for Audi

Guests walked away with a €250 voucher for the Audi Centre in Ballsbridge on Thursday evening at the launch of the Audi A3 hatchback. The Audi brand ambassador Rachel Allen has been driving an Audi A6 for the past few weeks.

“It has all these fancy things which I’m only finding out about, and there’s space for hockey sticks and rugby boots and lots of things in the back,” she said.

The TV presenter and chef brought out a book called Cake a couple of weeks ago. The book accompanies her new programme, Rachel Allen’s Cake Diaries, which is broadcast on RTÉ One on Wednesday evenings.

Allen is heading to Singapore next week to work with BBC Worldwide, which sells her programmes in Asia. “I’m going over to do some classes and demonstrations and hopefully get new territories to buy the show.”

WHO WE SPOTTED

Models Teo Sutra and Sheona Harding; Liz Giltinane and her sister the interior designer Judith Giltinane; Caoimhe Delaney from Dunshaughlin.

A start for arts

The new dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Victor Stacey, was at the Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club on Thursday evening for the formal launch of the Irish Decorative and Fine Arts Society by Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan. Stacey told me that his new home, the Deanery, is one of the three oldest inhabited residences in Dublin, along with the Provost’s House at Trinity College and the Mansion House. “I haven’t come across Dean Swift’s manservant or John McNeill Boyd’s dog yet,” he quipped, referring to ghost stories.

The Earl and Countess of Rosse, Brendan and Alison Parsons, who travelled up from Birr Castle, are delighted to be joint presidents of the new society. “Brendan said that he wouldn’t do it without me,” Lady Rosse said.

The head of Sotheby’s in Ireland, Arabella Bishop, is preparing for Sotheby’s second British and Irish art auction preview, which will take place on Molesworth Street on November 2nd and 3rd, in advance of the auction, on November 13th and 14th, in London. She said it will feature Sean Keating, William Leech and Paul Henry.

Many of those attending the launch were heading to the Knight Of Glin Memorial Lecture Day at Castletown House yesterday. It was organised by the Irish Georgian Society, and was oversubscribed, leaving some people – including Lady Rosse, who was a close friend of the Knight’s – disappointed.

WHO WE SPOTTED

Dr Toby Barnard of Hertford College, Oxford University, who gave an inaugural lecture; the dean of Christ Church, Rev Dermot Dunne; barrister Terence Coghlan; Donal Robinson-Ryan, vice chairman of the society; Alison Fergusson of the society; Victoria Browne of the Irish Heritage Trust

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