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New & Noteworthy: Dancing: dangerous ground

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

There never seemed to be much love lost between original “Riverdance” costars Jean Butler and Michael Flatley – two totally different personality types, two healthy egos – but now we can definitely say that the bloom is off the rose, or something to that effect.

We hear that Butler has run into some trouble with her own dance show, “Dancing on Dangerous Ground.” The Sunday World reports that the show, which starred Jean and former “Riverdance” star Colin Dunne, has run into “serious financial difficulties” and “has been declared bankrupt.”

“It’s devastating for Jean,” a source revealed. “But she’ll bounce back.”

A source close to Flatley said that Butler rang her old costar to ask if he’s invest some money into her show, but he turned her down.

“She rang looking for a dig-out,” said the source. “But Michael isn’t in a position to offer any help.” We can’t help wondering if this might be a bit of payback. In the aftermath of Flatley’s abrupt firing from the cast of “Riverdance,” Jean made no public comment. Her loyalty, rightly, was to the show that made her a star. Flatley may have seen it differently.

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The source obviously couldn’t resist a little dig at the rival dance show.

“Unfortunately, there are winners and losers in this game,” the source concluded.

Flatley’s take on Jean’s situation has been vaguely sympathetic, but curiously detached.

“I haven’t seen her since ‘Riverdance,’ ” he told the paper. “I don’t really know her, but I have nothing but compassion for Jean.” Yeah, well, that and a token will get her on the subway.

Speaking of Flatley’s exes, it seems that the relationship between Michael Flatley and his busty babe, Lisa Murphy, is well and truly over, or, as they say, out of sight, out of mind.

When a reporter from the Sunday Independent cornered him backstage after his “Feet of Flames” performance in Hungary and asked about his “Ex,” Flatley replied, “My ex-wife is fine.”

Before the scribe could get a word in edgewise, Flatley continued, “I will always love her and, before you ask, everything that happened was my fault.” Who wouldn’t love a guy who’s so gallant?

By the way, Michael makes his triumphant return to Ireland next week, when he brings his flamin’ feet to Stormont. But there’s one landmark that he seems in no hurry to visit: the couch in Dublin hotspot Lillies Bordello.

“Ah, the Lillies couch,” he grinned. “That’s old news.”

Those of you with long memories will recall that during the original run of “Riverdance” in Ireland, Michael held court practically every night in Lillies with lovesick legions of leggy lovelies. Geez, it was practically a tour bus attraction.

Hot wheels, numb skull

What happens when a 24-year-old guy has a big, fat bank account and a skinny little IQ? They become race car drivers. Actually, we should amend that: they become not-very-good race car drivers.

Case in point: Boyzone alum (yeah, yeah, the band’s on hiatus, they’re getting back together, blah blah, blah) Shane Lynch. You know, the one with the multicolored hair, shaved eyebrow and the extremely-10-minutes-ago nose ring. Now that he doesn’t have to waste time practicing his dance steps, he’s devoted himself to racing cars. Which seems like a nice hobby, except for one thing: he keeps crashing.

Shane had two close calls this month: once while filming a TV show about racing, and once while racing through a forest. Let’s put it this way: we won’t be asking him for a lift anytime soon.

Shane’s first mishap came when he hit a corner while going 80 mph on a racetrack.

“I braked too late and was going too fast,” he said. “I fought it for about three seconds, but the car was just fishtailing all over the place and I couldn’t stop it in time.”

Fortunately for Lynch, he spun off the track into gravel, which slowed him down enough to regain control. “I didn’t crash, [but] it could have been worse,” he admitted.

Shane wasn’t as lucky the second time around. After spending a day racing with friends on a wooded track, Lynch changed out of his racing gear. But he couldn’t resist one last lap so, dressed in his civvies and shod only in a pair of trainers (sneakers to us), he jumped back into the car.

“As I raced along, my foot slipped out of the stirrup and got caught up under the wheel. It ripped all the ligaments in my ankle apart,” he said.

So, Shane’s now flat on his back, waiting for his ankle to heal, with his wife, Easther, “waiting on me hand and foot,” he reveals.

So, has he learned anything? one might wonder. Well, of course he has.

“Racing isn’t dangerous,” he said. Duh.

Bono’s Benz: going once, going twice . . .

In the market for a lightly used Mercedes Benz? Maybe a sporty 450SL model with a double bumper and cool cowhide interior? One previous owner, like-new condition. Includes floor mats, cup holder and “My other car’s a Trabant” key ring. Going cheap at, oh . . . what was that last bid?

That’s right, kids, Bono’s 1980 Benz is just one of the items being auctioned off to raise money for Postcards from Ethiopia. PFE is a relief organization that is helping fund Concern Worldwide’s emergency relief program in that African nation.

The last time we checked, the bidding on Bono’s car had reached _13,500, which made it the big-ticket item of the bunch. But if the Benz is a little out of your price range, you might want to place a bid on, say, one of Andrea Corr’s sexy stage outfits (it should easily fit one of your Barbie dolls), or perhaps you’re colorblind, and would love to get your mitts on the red suede suit Ronan Keating wore on last year’s MTV Europe Awards. Robbie Williams kicked in a framed, signed T-shirt commemorating his appearance at Slane Castle last year, so if you’d like a touch of the Ego, you know where to put your cash. Current high bids on the pop star duds are _255, _100 and _260, respectively.

Want to help but on a tight budget? Naomi Campbell donated a red coat that’s a bargain so far (_50), so if you or one of your friends is really tall and slim, you can buy the coat and, well, look at it a lot. There are plenty of other items on the block, but time’s running out. Dust off that credit cards and point your browser to www.ebid.ie.

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