By Eileen Murphy
All things Irish are hot, hot, hot these days: music, art, dance and literature, to name just a few. Now we can add to the list hunky Irish model Paul Treacy, whose smoldering good looks have won him work with such international fashion giants as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.
The 23-year-old native of Tralee, Co. Kerry, fell into the modeling game by accident, he says.
"My younger brother Shane sent a picture of me to Assets [a modeling agency] last year in response to an advert," he told the Irish Examiner recently.
"I got a call back to go for an interview. It hadn’t been thought out and I didn’t realize that so much would happen so soon," he said.
"So much" includes posing for fashion shoots with high-profile photographers, hitting the catwalk in the Klein and Hilfiger gigs, and being featured in the popular American teen magazine Seventeen.
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He recently scored the cover of the glossy monthly, posing with pop princess Christine Aguilera. (We can only wonder if the blond diva told him that she was half Irish.) The two hit it off like a house afire.
"I got along really well with Christina and, at the end of the shoot, I gave her my number," confessed Paul. "I was surprised, but delighted, when she called me later that evening."
We gotta confess, we were surprised and delighted to see that that kind of modesty in our new, favorite pin-up boy. Especially since your typical guy, even if he has a face like a smacked arse, is convinced that he’s a dashing ladykiller. But we digress . . .
Treacy said Aguilera knows how to impress a date.
"I was picked up by limo and we were out all night. We just hit it off," he grinned. Being a gentleman, he kept the details to himself.
Having dipped his toes into the modeling world, the former Ballybunion beach lifeguard plans to keep his feet planted firmly on the ground.
"The parties are amazing. You’re very well looked after, but people don’t realize that, as a model, you have to pay for so many things," he said.
"All I want to do is get my money together and buy a house in somewhere like Bali and have a family." Put your hands down, girls — he’s not looking for volunteers yet. But whoever does wind up with Treacy will want to pack lightly.
"I do love New York," he said. "But I don’t think I could actually live here.
"Ideally, you would do January, February and March in Miami, then come up to New York, do Japan for the summer and then go to Australia," he ticked off. "It’s a global market," he explained.
So, one naturally wonders, are there any more at home like him?
Actually, Paul is the eldest of three boys, all of whom are uncommonly handsome and all of whom love to surf. His younger brother, 18-year-old Nigel, has also taken up modeling, and his handsome mug can be seen decorating Kellogg’s Variety Pack cereals in Ireland. It must be something in the water.
No more "Games" (Patriot or otherwise) for Ford
Those of you who’ve been holding your breath, waiting for the next installment of author Tom Clancy’s "Jack Ryan" series to hit the big screen, can breathe out now. The good news is that "The Sum of All Fears" will start shooting soon. The (sort of) bad news is that actor Harrison Ford will not be starring this time around.
The Hollywood Reporter has, er, reported that Ford doesn’t like the script for the upcoming techno-terrorist thriller, so he’s giving the project a pass.
This raises two questions: first, isn’t he getting a little long in the tooth to reprise his famous "Indiana Jones" character, as ’tis said he wants to do? And second, does this mean he liked the script for his previous Ryan outing, "Patriot Games," in which all the Irish people are wild-eyed maniacs?
Just enjoy the ride
It’s nice to know that even though the Westlife guys are on the road to pop superstardom, they haven’t lost their boyish sense of humor. This week’s Westie diary in the Sunday World reveals that they "took poor Shane for a ride" while the band was stationed in Disneyworld. A rollercoaster ride, to be precise.
It seems that while Shane was in Ireland doing the family thing at his sister’s wedding, the rest of the band was enjoying VIP treatment at the Florida theme park. A tour guide took them on a — you guessed it! — tour of the facility, jumping them past long lines of regular folk so that the boys could sample the attractions.
Well, boys being boys, their favorite ride was a new one called the Rock ‘n’ Roller, a coaster that accelerates from zero to 60 miles per hour in two — count ’em, TWO — seconds. So when Shane, who’s no fan of rollercoasters, returned from Sligo, they knew they just had to get him on the ride. By any means necessary, of course. So they told him it was one of those virtual reality rides — nothing too fast, just a doddle, really, trust us, would we lie to you, etc. Heh-heh-heh . . .
But let’s let Nicky tell it.
"He got into the rollercoaster beside me and put the security strap over his head. Then he said to me, ‘We’re getting very buckled up for a virtual reality ride.’
"It was then that I had to break the shock news to him. ‘Shane,’ I said, ‘this is like a mega rollercoaster ride.’
"He looked totally freaked out, but it was too late," recalled Nicky.
Relax, everyone. Shane had a blast, and we’re sure Nicky didn’t need all those front teeth anyway.
Now, lest you think that the guys are just hanging out in Florida for some rest and relaxation, think again. The band has been performing at Disneyworld, and most of their free time has been spent signing autographs for adoring fans (OK, adoring girls). And with all the Irish in Florida, they’ve been catching up with people from home, which has been a treat — literally.
"Lots of people gave us Irish chocolate that they brought over," writes a grateful Nicky. "They say, ‘You’ve been on the road for a long time, so we’ll give it to you.’ " (Nice sentiments, but not even Bono could get us to part with a Raisin & Biscuit Yorkie.)
The band also met up with some Scottish fans who couldn’t believe their good fortune.
"We come to Florida on holiday and our dream comes true," gushed one of the Glasgo-nauts. Awww — we guess they’re like that in Scotland.
A half pint of plain is yer only man
Now it can be told: the real reason Madonna likes living in London has nothing to do with honing her fake British accent or flirting with Prince Charles. She’s there for the Guinness.
Well, sort of. The singer, who’s living in Blighty awaiting the birth of her second child, has revealed that she likes London because she can walk down the street relatively unmolested. An added bonus is that she can stop into the odd pub for a bevvy without causing a ruckus. But she doesn’t fool around with the wine list which, in most pubs, consists of either "the red" or "the white."
"You’ve gotta drink Guinness," she said. "I like the small glasses. That’s enough for me."
Fling around the collar?
We’ve always said, it’s as easy to love a white-collar man as it is to love one with a blue collar. But the producers of the popular Irish series "Ballykissangel" seem to be taking things just a little too far.
The show, which began production on its sixth season last week, has introduced yet another hunky young priest into the fictional Wicklow town, and he’s guaranteed to set feminine hearts a-flutter. The newcomer is Australian cutie Robert Taylor, who will play the new curate, Fr. Vincent Sheehan. This must mean that dreamy Fr. Aidan is out the door, and crusty Fr. Mac will have to show the new guy the ropes. Again.
We’re not sure why the writers keep giving us (and the poor BallyK ladies) cute priests to swoon over. Aside from the "been there, done that" aspect — could anyone ever really live up to the Peter and Assumpta storyline? — isn’t there something strange about holding up celibate characters as sex symbols? (Note to self: check with Sinead . . .)
Anyway, there are more changes afoot in the sleepy Wicklow town. Mick Lally, best known as Miley on "Glenroe," will join the cast, as will Susanna Doyle, daughter of the late BallyK star Tony Doyle. We hate to sound like a stick-in-the-mud, but we confess that we stopped watching regularly after Ambrose bought the farm and Niamh and Sean inexplicably broke up. Too confusing.
He loves her, she loves him . . .
A couple of readers wrote in regarding last week’s story concerning Michael Flatley and his pneumatic gal pal, Lisa Murphy. Specifically, they were concerned about reports that the lovebirds had had "a barney," according to a source close to the couple. What, they wondered, was "a barney"?
Really, we thought the term was self-explanatory, or at least, obvious in the context of the sentence. But for those of you who need an explanation, here goes.
"A barney," as most people know, is a huge purple dinosaur who inspires severe nausea in everyone but small children and merchandising executives. To have "a barney" is to dance around like a lumbering oaf, singing insipid songs to the tune of "Knick, nack, paddy whack." Or something like that. Are we clear?
Double vision for Lynch, no vision for fans
Apparently, the women in the Lynch family (of Boyzone, B*Witched fame) do everything in pairs. While twins Edele and Keavy teamed up to sing in one of Ireland’s most successful pop bands, their elder sisters, Tara and Alison, decided to get married together. Same time, same church, same reception hall. Different grooms, of course.
Security was tight as the two Lynch brides and the rest of the family made their way into the church. Hundred of fans gathered outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of Boyzone heartthrob Shane, the B*Witched cuties and their younger sibling, Naomi, who’s in the band Buffalo G. Adding to the star power, blushing bride Tara was formerly a singer with the now-defunct band FAB.
Unfortunately, fans didn’t actually get to see anything, since bouncers from an English magazine — which bought exclusive rights to pictures from the nuptials — blocked everyone’s view. Complained one disappointed mother who’d brought her young daughters down to the church, "It’s scandalous, because these are the fans who buy all the records." Amen, sister.
Now, that’s our kind of gang
Talk about a dream cast, we hear that Liam Neeson is thisclose to signing on for a part in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film, "Gangs of New York." If he does take the part, he’ll be joining major heartthrobs Daniel Day (Don’t call me Irish!) Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio in the film about a 19th century anti-Catholic gang.
Now, Leo’s a little too much the callow youth for us, but Liam and Daniel on screen together — yee-haa! Sounds like the best screen pairing since, oh, Liam and Ewan MacGregor in "The Phantom Menace," or Liam and Aidan Quinn in "Michael Collins," or Liam and Tim Roth in "Rob Roy" or Liam and Mel Gibson in "The Bounty" or Liam and . . . well, you get the idea.