Category: Archive

New & Noteworthy Westlife: tears, jeers and a supermodel

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

He may be a handsome young heartthrob in one of the world’s biggest pop bands, but Westlife’s Bryan McFadden is just a big ol’ sentimental softie when it comes to the baby he’s expecting with his Atomic Kitten fiancée, Kerry Katona. He recently revealed that he burst into tears when he saw the scan of the little nipper last week.

But before anyone gets all mushy over Bryan’s broody cooings, we feel honor-bound to report his remarks (as quoted by the Sunday Mirror) about fellow performer Jennifer Lopez. When the Bronx-born diva and the Sligo aces recently appeared on a television show together, the Westies obviously got the short end of the stick — when it came to backstage amenities.

"She had a dressing room for catering, one for eating in, two for her dancers, one for makeup . . . and two for her bum because it’s so big," Bryan allegedly said. "We got chairs in the corridor." He’s lucky Jennifer didn’t hear him, or he’d have gotten a belt in the gob, as well. Bronx girls take no . . . , Bry.

Speaking of Westlife, Sligo’s answer to ‘NSync (and no, we don’t know what the question was) is determined to make us feel as old as humanly possible. Talking about their latest video, for their cover version of the Billy Joel classic "Uptown Girl," Mark advised the band’s young fans to "ask your mam or auntie about" the original, as though it were a Mack Sennett two-reeler or something.

The obviously geriatric Christie Brinkley has been replaced by supermodel Claudia Schiffer (watch it, boys — she’s pushing 30!) and instead of one working-class guy — Joel — there are five. The photo that accompanied the band’s Sunday World diary showed the boys in pristine work shirts and plenty of hair gel. Claudia looked slightly mad in a black dress, red shoes and purple hat, but maybe we’re just not hip to today’s cutting-edge fashions. Better go ask our mam.

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Incidentally, Claudia and the guys got on together like ham and eggs during the video shoot in London. When the supermodel asked where they were from, the boys waxed lyrical about Ireland and Sligo. Claudia, who has seen Irish-themed movies like "The Field," said that she was eager to take a holiday in the Emerald Isle. Hmmm . . . German tourist? In Ireland? She may just start a trend.

Beatlemania for Liam

Don’t know about the rest of you, but whenever we see an item about Oasis bad boy Liam Gallagher in a British tabloid, we get a bit nervous — it must be something to do with all that spitting and cussing he does. So pardon us while we breathe into a paper bag before we type this next little story.

We hear that Gallagher and his pop star girlfriend, All Saints singer Nicole Appleton, have decided on a name for their soon-to-arrive bundle of joy. If it’s a boy, they plan to call it Ringo. And if it’s a girl, they’ll name it . . . well, something else.

That’s according to his mates, anyway. The News of the World reports that Gallagher, who has often boasted that his band is bigger than the Beatles, is determined to name his progeny after his mop-topped idols. Alert readers will recall that his son (with ex-wife Patsy Kensit) is called Lennon.

No word on what happens if the new arrival shows up with two X chromosomes. Georgina, perhaps? Or maybe Paula?

Oh baby! Ronan lets it slip . . .

Remind us never to tell Ronan Keating anything really secret. The Irish pop star let the cat (or is that baby) out of the bag last week, when he revealed that he and his very pregnant wife, Yvonne, will be having a boy.

Of course, you can’t really blame Ro for spilling the beans. The singer was being interviewed by a gang of teenage fans on an MTV special — and you know what teenagers are like. The poor guy was probably hypnotized by the glare off their braces and belly rings. Two more minutes and he’d have given them his checking account number and his secret PIN code.

Ro says he’s thrilled about having children while he’s young, because he’ll have lots of time to enjoy them. And when the kids are young adults, Ronan will still be relatively youthful.

"It will be great when I’m 40 and my son is 20, and we are able to be best friends and go for a pint together," he told the Sunday World.

‘Million Dollar’ mauling for Mel

You didn’t really think that Bono was going to let Mel Gibson have the final word on "The Million Dollar Hotel," did you? After all, the singer has a lot invested in the Wim Wenders movie, which opens in limited release on Friday, Feb. 2.

In the first place, Bono came up with the original storyline. And then he co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Klein. And he makes a cameo appearance in a party scene. And then there’s the soundtrack to consider. So when Mel called the film, in which he plays a freakish FBI agent investigating the death of a rich kid at a seedy motel, "As boring as a dog’s ass," expect Bono to retaliate in kind.

"I think Mel wanted to be involved in an independent project, but that he actually doesn’t like independent films," huffed U2’s lead singer.

Bono is annoyed that, in his opinion, Gibson has done little to promote the film.

"I have a lot of respect for him as an actor, but I haven’t forgiven him for the way Wim has been treated by Lion’s Gate," he told the New York Post.

"[Mel has] a thankless part," mused Bono. "He doesn’t win, he doesn’t get the girl and he doesn’t get to kill everybody."

Wenders is a bit more tactful about Gibson’s relationship with the movie.

"I still love him for having accepted this roll and for being honest about the film," Wenders said. "You can count on him that he’s not just going to say polite things." (You can say that again.)

Bono is angry about the film’s lousy reviews in Europe, particularly in England, where it was released last year.

"It got monstered in England because it’s not part of the smart-ass school of filmmaking," he growled, in an obvious reference to Guy Ciccone — Oops! Guy Richie and the buzz surrounding his latest movie, "Snatch."

"[‘The Million Dollar Hotel’] is quite soulful and poetic," said Bono. Actually, Echo film critic Michael Gray had other words for it — see Page 27.

Samantha: No eejit

Our new favorite celebrity is Dublin pop princess Samantha Mumba. The 18-year- old singer, who’s slated to join the ranks of teen idols like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, seems to have stayed refreshingly normal despite her sudden rise to stardom.

In addition to having a hit in America with her single, "I Wanna Tell You," Mumba will star in a Disney Channel special, which should make her a household name in the U.S. But don’t expect any diva-like behavior from our Sam.

"I don’t understand why you have to be like that," she said recently. "At the end of the day, it’s just a job, and you’d be a dirty looking eejit if you started believing the hype." You go, girl.

Missile movie a dud?

Speaking of movies (it’s all movies and babies this week, isn’t it?) we hear that the new Kevin Costner flick, "Thirteen Days," is foundering at the box office despite raves from critics. One would think that the film, a fact-based drama about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, would get a boost from the Kennedy camp. But apparently there’s been some nasty behind-the-scenes drama that has caused a split between the filmmakers and the families involved in the movie.

The film centers on Kennedy staffer Kerry O’Donnell (Costner) and his role as an advisor during the Bay of Pigs crisis. But the New York Post’s Neil Travis reveals that O’Donnell’s son Kevin "got screwed out of a co-producer credit and is now bad-mouthing the movie."

Producers shouldn’t expect any help from Kevin’s sister Helen, either. Although she provided most of the archival material on which the film is based, Travis reports that Ms. O’Donnell is busy writing a book about her affair with the late Michael Kennedy, who died in a freak skiing accident a few years ago. Which means that we shouldn’t expect to see her going long for a pass in one of the Kennedy clan’s touch football games anytime soon.

‘Troubles’ at Irish Arts Center

They’re doing some amazing things with the Irish Arts center these days. In addition to the fine plays, Irish cabaret nights and a full schedule of classes, the IAC will be screening the fascinating documentary "Daughters of the Troubles" this weekend.

Against the backdrop of Belfast’s violent history, "Daughters" traces the lives of two working-class women — one Catholic, one Protestant. Through interviews and archival footage, we see how they managed to carry on with their lives through 25 years of political mayhem. The documentary was written by the Echo’s senior editor Jack Holland and was narrated by Oscar-winning actress Anjelica Huston. The film was directed by Marcia Rock.

Screenings will take place at the IAC on Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 4, at 3 p.m. Admission is free. The Irish Arts Center is at 553 West 51st. St., NYC. For more information, call (212) 757-3318.

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