By Eileen Murphy
Just in case you were worried that it’s all work and no play for dance impresario Michael Flatley, rest assured that he’s in no danger of becoming a dull boy.
The vivacious blond hoofer, who recently pliéd (or whatever) back into his clog-heeled dancin’ shoes, is busy dating up a storm in Ireland — much to the chagrin of a certain ham-fisted boxer. But we’re getting ahead of the story . . .
It seems that Michael, who has a well-earned reputation as a ladies’ man, bumped into blond and busty accounting student, Lisa Murphy, one evening at his habitual haunt, Lillie’s Bordello. (Relax, it’s a nightclub.) One thing led to another, and soon Lisa was flying down to visit Michael at his newly purchased mansion in Cork. Love was in the air as the couple canoodled (relax, it means acted like besotted teenagers) in public places, much to the delight of photographers.
Fast forward a couple of weeks.
Michael and Lisa are history. As she sits home, no doubt touching up her roots, Michael is spotted squiring another blond Murphy to all the old familiar places. The new squeeze, Elaine, daughter of Irish TV personality Mike Murphy, makes her home base in Mexico but visits the ould sod several times a year. The word is that Michael’s smitten, which leaves poor Lisa out in the cold.
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Meanwhile, Lisa’s ex-fiance is spitting mad about her now-extinguished relationship with the lord of the dance. Former heavyweight boxer Joe Egan, who now runs a pub in England, is convinced that Flatley stole his girl. Egan offered to duke it out with the dancer, who is a former Golden Gloves champion. The challenge fell on deaf ears — Michael’s a lover, not a fighter — and anyway, the romance with Lisa had ended.
But apparently, Lisa, who insists that she’s not pining over Michael, has no intention of returning to Joe Boxer.
"Joe wants me back, but I have no intention of going back," she told the Sunday World. "Me and Michael are just good friends," she added. "There isn’t a relationship, there is just a very close friendship."
This whole thing makes Joe very mad. He and Lisa dated for nine years, and now that the relationship’s kaput, he’s lost the most important thing in his life. Make that the two most important things in his life. You see, while Joe will certainly miss Lisa, he’s distraught at the thought of never seeing "the twins" again. And nooooo, we’re not talking about children. Joe paid for Lisa’s bouncy boob job!
One of Joe’s friends helpfully explained, "Joe says he spent several thousand pounds to have her breasts enlarged, only to have Michael Flatley steal them away."
Joe says that the whole affair has destroyed his admiration for Flatley.
"I was filled with admiration for him when he, through ‘Riverdance,’ took Irish music and dance to heights never seen before," he said balefully.
"To me he was one of the greatest ambassadors Ireland ever had . . . but not any more," he said. "Hell, no."
Another one bites the dust
Well, we’re extremely disappoin . . . er, thrilled at the news that 007 himself, Pierce Brosnan, has finally popped the question — "Wanna get married?" — to long-time girlfriend Keely Shay Smith, who replied, "Yeah! Bring on the preacher!"
Actually, spies tell us that what she really said was, "Yes, but only if you’re definitely over that vixen who writes ‘New & Noteworthy,’ " which caused Pierce to sigh wistfully and shake his head sadly. But whatever — the pair are officially engaged. No date’s been set yet.
Daniel tells his "Story"
Daniel O’Donnell fans (and you know who you are) will be champing at the bit to get their hands on a copy of the Donegal darlin’s autobiography, "Daniel O’Donnell: My Story." The book, co-written with Irish music journalist Eddie Rowley, explores Daniel’s struggle for success, his personal views on life, love and marriage, and his lifelong admiration for country singer Loretta Lynn. The book chronicles O’Donnell’s friendship with Sir Cliff Richard and Princess Anne, as well as his stint as a lieutenant in Satan’s army (oh, only kidding! Sheesh.)
Well, spell the name right, OK?
We’re all for charity concerts and the like, but all the same, we couldn’t help being disturbed by an ad for "Twink’s Turkish Gala Concert." The affair, which was held last weekend to raise money for Turkish earthquake victims, listed as headliners the boy band Westlife and that insouciant turkey, Dustin.
The two acts got equal billing, though Westlife was on top, no doubt because there’s five of them and only one of Dustin. But it reminded us of that classic moment in "This is Spinal Tap," when the band arrives at a theme park to find that a puppet act is billed above them on the marquee.
"I told them you get top billing!" fumed their harried manager. "But, hey — you guys have the bigger dressing room!" he added.
Make that: scuff the floor
Young people in Ireland seem to have two choices if they don’t go on to college: they either join pop bands or dance troupes. Hard on the clicking heels of "Riverdance," "Lord of the Dance," "Feet of Flames" and "Dancing on Dangerous Ground" comes yet another rhythmic extravaganza, "Burn the Floor."
Described — oddly — as "the theatrical version of Viagra," the new show puts a sexy spin on ballroom, Latin and street dancing, according to its star, Dubliner Dermot Clemenger.
"It’s like a rock concert," he explained. "There’s even people dancing the cha-cha in Doc Marten boots and combat trousers." Oy. What’s next: bare-chested men doing Irish dancing in headbands and masks? (Oh, wait ‹ that’s ‘Lord of the Dance"!)