Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Rumble in Rangelagh

Sometimes life as London’s premier Irish community celebrity correspondent can be pretty jazzy. Regular lunches with the actress who plays Mary from “The Royal Family”, cock fighting with Terry Wogan, guiltily bundling a drunken Daniel O’ Donnell into an unsuspecting taxi after another lost night in Brixton; I won’t lie it has its moments.

But every now and then news drifts in about events unfurling in the old country of such awesomeness that you bitterly regret every lunch with Christine Beakley and every Queen’s shilling you sold your slowing warping accent for. I am of course talking about “The Rumble in Ranelagh” the celebrity scandal that is entertaining the Irish nation so much, that for a whole morning the entire country forgot they were going to have to sell their spare kidneys to Chinese business men for bread.

The scandal has everything; pissed former beauty queens, private jets and middle aged businessmen in public scuffles with angry TV presenter girlfriends. In other words it makes the whole Ashley and Cheryl saga seem as titillating as Deirdre and Ken from Coronation Street discussing whether they can get the trust back. This is celeb gossip Irish style and as such involves a lot of alcohol, violence and girls being really pissed off with each other.

The Princess Diana of the piece; Glenda Gilson, is the popular presenter of Expose, the flagship gossip programme for TV3, which is what a TV station would be if it mutated overnight from the free magazines given with weekend tabloids. The villain, former Miss Word, daughter of Chris de Burgh and all round Queen Bee of the Dublin Social scene Rosanna Davison. Rosanna represents the fin de siècle of the Celtic tiger, tanned to within an inch of her pores, hair straightened for a night out, get pissed ,vomit on her rugby boyfriends shoes, life off Daddy’s money- old school. Post economic collapse, RoRo and her friends wander confused around busted Dublin, like ghosts from the Court of Louis the Fourteenth stumbling through Revolutionary ravaged France wondering when the party is going to start again. In many ways our country let them down.

Glenda, despite a sixteen year age gap, had been secretly dating middle aged business man Johnny Ronan. The relationship had been a turbulent one with Johnny at one stage charmingly using that old fashioned device of a press statement to deny any relationship with the former model. It was during one of these rocky moments that Glenda, after a heavy night drinking watching the rugby drunkenly ordered him to come and meet her via some blurry text messages. Johnny arrived and the pair had a full screaming match on the street outside that culminated in Johnny grabbing Glenda’s head and Glenda attacking Johnny right in the rugby balls. To put this in perspective, it’s the equivalent of Fearne Cotton brawling with her secret lover Sir Alan Sugar outside a pub in Golders Green.

The next day, enter Rosanna, Glenda’s Best friend forever, to console the smarting millionaire business man over a few pints and a few fumbles if blurry tabloids pictures are to be believed. The new best friends decide on the spur of the moment to jet off on Ronan’s private jet for a few nights in Marrakesh. As you do. They had tried to get in touch with Rosanna’s boyfriend Wesley Quirke, heir to the Dr. Quirkey amusement arcade emporium but he unfortunately had his mobile turned off. When the pair returned days later, Rosanna was forced to issue a statement stressing her innocence and indignation on any smirch to her character.

The showdown was set for the following Friday’s “VIP” Style Awards where both The White Queen and Red Queen of the Irish social scene were nominated for most stylish Irish celebrity, an extremely competitive category in a country that boasts both Enya and Mrs. Doyle. However at the last minute Rosanna dramatically remembered a skiing trip that had been booked earlier and would make attending anything other than the red carpet part of the evening impossible. Why somebody would book a holiday on social event that justified their very existence was not explained. She also revealed she would be attending solo since as it was only a flying appearance there wasn’t much point in boyfriend Wes escorting her. I’m sure trust fund kid Wesley must have extreme demands on his time.

On the night- caluu, caley, wronged Glenda emerged and in a triumphant , teary, Aretha Franklin playing in the background way scooped the big award of the night, named most stylish Irish celebrity. A compliment indeed considering how famous the Irish are for their style. A sign that good women triumph in the end and in a world still reeling from the news that little Mark Owen is a trouser bandit, we need all the good news we can get.

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