By Eileen Murphy
We’re not sure to make of "Lord of the Dance" star Michael Flatley these days. The dance impresario clearly has a little too much time on his hands.
Since he’s no longer busy fighting the forces of evil, nibbling the shoulders of nubile fairy queens or fixing flutes for weird golden sprites, Flatley finally has time to take stock of his life. And, as he told the Sunday World, he’s not completely satisfied with the status quo.
"I’d love to have kids," the 40-ish dancer said wistfully. "I can’t imagine what it would be like to see their faces light up with joy on Christmas morning."
Well, we suppose that if daddy’s worth an estimated £60 million, it would be hard not to feel perky during gift exchanges. But we’re wondering whether Michael’s met any actual children — he might be surprised to learn that they’re not always so agreeable. Especially when they need a diaper change, or when they’re redecorating the walls with Spaghetti Bolognese. But then, that’s where the other half of Michael’s fantasy comes in: he needs a wife.
And before you ladies get your hopes up, Michael’s looking for someone special.
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"I’d really like to meet somebody who’s highly intelligent, but also warm and passionate," he sighed.
We’ll resist the urge to quibble about the unfortunate choice of the conditional "but" instead of "and," except to note that Michael obviously suspects that acumen and affection are often mutually exclusive. We are happy to note that Michael is a self-described "hopeless romantic."
"When I give dinner parties, I fill my dining room with candles and have violin players, and put roses on all the plates," he confided.
Now that’s all very nice, we’re sure. But when we host all our smart dinner parties in the Bronx, we find that roses on the plates equal flowers on the floor — you gotta move them or they’ll get thorns in the shepherd’s pie. But each to his own — we’re sure Michael even uses the non-disposable napkins, too.
Anyway, Michael is living proof that chivalry is not dead — it’s just wearing a golden headband.
"I believe that a man should always be a gentleman, and a woman should always be treated like a lady," he said.
This courtesy even extends to Michael’s ex-wife, Beata.
"I still send flowers to [her] on Thanksgiving, at Christmas and our wedding anniversary," he revealed. "I tried to bring her a rose home on every single day of our marriage." (You know, when we think about it, the whole "Lord of the Dance" getup looked suspiciously like the FTD florist. But, no matter . . .)
Michael hasn’t been exactly lonely in recent months. Newspapers have reported that he’s been dating Bob Geldof’s ex, Paula Yates, among others. And he admits that he spent a very romantic Christmas with a lady friend.
"We had a beautiful Christmas dinner, with a couple of bottles of Chateau Latour and two violinists playing for us," he recalled.
Now, this raises two important questions. In the first place, what’s with the Chateau Latour hootch we’ve been hearing so much about? Ex-prime mistress-turned gossip columnist-turned snitch Terry Keane practically washed her hair with the stuff. Don’t rich people over there drink anything else? And second, what’s with the violinists again? Two words, Mikey: CD player. All right, it’s three words. But it’s gotta be cheaper than live musicians, and you wouldn’t have to share the Chateau Latour, would you?
So, to recap: fast women, fancy liquor . . . ah, yes! You’ll also be happy to hear that Michael’s discovered the joys of fast cars.
"Have you ever driven a Ferrari?" he asked rhetorically. "As driving experiences go, it doesn’t suck!" Yeah, and world is round, Michael. Thanks for clearing that up.
Of course, Michael’s become sort of a luxury car-nessuer.
"I would have to say that I’ve never driven anything quite like a Rolls Royce," he declared. "Nothing else even comes close."
Well, gee, a Rolls might be nice, but we bet Michael’s never driven anything to compare to a ’92 Nissan Sentra. Especially one with air conditioning and an AM/FM radio with six — count’em, six! — preset stations, and attractive gray fabric upholstery. Believe us, it’s the last word — some might say, the very last word — in personal automotive engineering. Particularly when the passenger-side window sticks when the passenger-side passenger unwittingly rolls it down too far. But we digress. . .
Michael is putting the final touches on a movie (starring guess who?) which he describes as " ‘Rocky’ meets ‘Dirty Dancing,’ " though he insists that the story is not autobiographical. Except, of course, that Michael is a former Golden Gloves boxer who’s done more than a bit of dancing. Geez, there’s no similarity at all, at all.
Last of the Moccasins?
Remember the media frenzy a few months back when our favoritest heartthrob, Liam Neeson, said he was thinking of quitting movies and concentrating on theater or hand-knitting Aran sweaters or something? Well, that story turned out to be wrong, thank goodness. It was just an offhand remark made when he was feeling tired and cranky, and Liam has promised to keep batting his baby blues on movie screens.
But just when we thought it was safe to go back to watching "Entertainment Tonight" comes a story about another Irish-y movie star. Daniel Day Lewis, the hunky star of "My Left Foot," "In the Name of the Father" and "The Boxer" — to name just a few of his films – is rumored to be giving up his successful film career to march to the beat of a rather different drummer. Though there are many vocational options open to him — such as being our devoted love slave — Daniel reportedly wants to be . . . a cobbler.
According to the story that’s making the rounds, Daniel doesn’t want to be the kind of cobbler that gets topped with crumbly bits and ice cream (though you’d never hear us complaining). He supposedly wants to chuck his film career to be a shoemaker. You know, leather apron, little hammer, elves waiting in the wings, etc.
The story got started when Daniel ordered a pair of custom made shoes from a shop in Florence, Italy. He visited the shop and, according to a source quoted in the National Enquirer, became "fascinated" with the process of making shoes.
"He asked [the cobbler] to teach him the skills of cutting, shaping, gluing, nailing and fitting shoes," the source said.
The Enquirer reports that Daniel considers shoemaking to be an intriguing hobby, and that he spends "hours" at the shop, working at a bench.
Daniel’s spokespeople have vehemently denied that his interest in footwear is anything more than a passing interest. Perhaps it’s just research for an upcoming movie. Perhaps he just wants to see how the other (non-famous) half lives. Perhaps he just wants to walk a mile in someone else’s, er, shoes . . .
Gift taxes Bono’s ingenuity
We’ve all heard the story of how Bono and the rest of the U2 lads surprised Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne with a Harley Davidson motorcycle during his last "Late Late Show" broadcast. What we didn’t hear is how much thought actually went into the generous gift.
Apparently, there is a limit of £12,000 on retirement gifts; any amount above this is subject to government taxes. Now, since it would be rather rude to give someone a prezzie that would cost them buckets of money, the boys did a little bargain shopping.
By cutting out the non-essentials, i.e. sunroof*, CD player, automatic windows, etc., they were able to strike a deal for the bargain basement price of £11,000. Which means Gaybo will have some folding money left. Which means he’ll have enough for some leather trousers, a jacket and maybe even one of those leather hats like Marlon Brando wore in "The Wild One."
*NOTE: Before you motorcycle types start writing letters to remind us that "choppers" don’t actually come with sunroofs, please note that this is a literary device known as irony. We are perfectly aware that Harleys come only in hard top and convertible. Sheesh.