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Lord of the Manor

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Well, all eyes were on Dalkey and Sorrento House last week, where some deep-pocketed schnook anonymously forked out _6 million for a house. Though real estate agents might crow about the location, location, location, to us it’s just a semi-detached townhouse with a nice view. But as they say in da Bronx, it takes all kinds of nuts to make a fruitcake . . .

Speaking of real (expensive) real estate, we see that dancer Michael Flatley has also signed on the dotted line, and has bought himself a swanky mansion in the Little Venice section of London. The Lord of the Dance is set to become the Lord of the Manor, having plunked down _4.7 million for the four-story, nine-bedroom house that boasts a steam room, billiards room, underground garage and something called a “swimming pool complex.”

Though one assumes that the pervious tenants left the house in “move-in” condition, Flatley is apparently as much a perfectionist when it comes to his house as he is onstage. The fleet-footed star is spending _1 million on renovations and redecorating – he’s installing a dance studio and having the indoor pool rebuilt. We hear that he joked with the builders about having the swimming pool building designed to lower mechanically to the ground; it took them a while to figure out that he was kidding. We think the sight of all that cash made them a bit lightheaded.

Rumors abound that Flatley got in the top bid for the house over other big stars like Madonna, Barbra Brolin (nee Streisand) and tennis ace Boris Becker. If they play their cards right, maybe he’ll invite them for tea.

The London design world is buzzing about Flatley’s plans for the house. The dancer supposedly wants a very modern look, with lots of marble floors and stereo speakers – all the better for dancing when the mood strikes him.

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The house has a fittingly showbiz history attached to it. It seems that England’s King Edward VII used to house as a bachelor pad, and it was there that he wooed American actress Lily Langtry. And we think it’s a sure bet that royalty will again be hanging around these hallowed halls, looking to woo another famous American. One never knows . . .

Ballykissoff?

Those of us who are fans of the BBC series “Ballykissangel,” a charming comedy/drama set in a rural Irish village, have been having a hard time of it lately – at least, those of us who’ve been trying to watch it on WNJN, a New Jersey public television station. Though we’re sure Fr. Clifford would counsel us to be patient, we’ve come to the end of our rope, and are becoming rather, er, PBS-ed off.

Though scheduled for Sunday evenings at 8, the show is often pulled – without warning – by the station to make way for more popular programming during its frequent fund-raising drives. Calls to the station yield apologies and sympathy, but not much else. Though Fr. Peter might be able to turn the other cheek, we feel this calls for Assumpta-like raving . . .

The decision to pull BallyK seems strange, given the show’s popularity on other stations and its growing audience. Other stations, like WYBE TV-35 in Philadelphia, have built fund-raisers around the show. The show is doing well in the New York area, where it is broadcast on WLIW Channel 21. We can only suggest that WNJN move the show out of its Sunday night spot to a less “prime” time, which might be less frustrating for everyone.

Those who haven’t yet caught BallyK fever can check out the show on WLIW Wednesday evenings at 9 (rebroadcast Tuesdays at midnight); on WYBE (Philadelphia and western New Jersey) on Friday evenings at 9 (rebroadcast Saturdays at 7 p.m.), and on PBS stations throughout the country – check local listings. If you love the show and are a member of a public television station, make sure you let them know. They rely on viewers like you.

Silver and gold

Though we’ve always assumed that the lads in U2 were as rich as Croesus, apparently they’re not quite as well off as they’d like to be. No, it’s not time to start passing the hat after every gig, but they could use a little sound financial advice.

It seems that the boys’ investors have sunk money into some crappy – make that ill-advised – projects: German bowling alleys, laser-shooting games, hotels, the PopMart tour . . . er, scratch that last one.

To get their money affairs in order, the boys have hired Alan Grubman, a New York-based financial powerhouse, as their punt-watcher. He will make all the band’s major investment decisions, as he does for other clients, like Mariah Carey and Billy Joel, neither of whom is clipping coupons.

U2, known for their trust in and loyalty to old friends, will also retain the services of their longtime advisor, Ossie Kilkenny. He will audit the band’s accounts and handle investments for the individual members.

Over the years, the band has earned approximately $500 million – more than the Rolling Stones or even Michael Jackson. Yet, for all their earnings, the band members are not as wealthy as one would assume. Noted a management source who was quoted in the Times of London, “If you look back at their earnings over the past 20 years and ask what they have to show for being the world’s leading band, you have to conclude that they have nice houses and that is about it.”

Well, not quite it. They also have the Clarence Hotel, the Kitchen nightclub and lots of Dublin real estate. They’ve also sunk at least a few million punts into Bono’s extensive sunglass collection.

Briefings

If you have family or close friends in Ireland, get on the phone and tell them to lock up the children and any stray livestock. The sickest, most twistedest and disgustingly funny American import since “Dallas” is winging has hit the airwaves in Ireland. We refer, of course, to the animated show “South Park,” which makes “Beavis and Butthead” look like “The Smurfs” by comparison.

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