By Eileen Murphy
Irish pop pinup Ronan Keating found out just where he stands in the celebrity pecking order last week.
The former Boyzone star was in a London TV studio rehearsing for his appearance on "Top of the Pops" when Madonna arrived to do the same thing. But though Ronan had no problems letting the Material Girl watch his performance, she was apparently feeling rather bashful. When it came time for her to sing, she had her people clear the studio. Star and all that he is, Ronan found himself out on his keister.
Ireland on Sunday captured Ronan’s reaction.
"I found it all very funny," he laughed. "I just couldn’t believe it when they asked me to leave.
"I thought they were joking."
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And what single was Ronan there to perform? Why, "The Way You Make Me Feel," of course. Such delicious irony.
Passport to the stars
Quick: what do Prince Charles and The Edge have in common?
Normally, the answer would be simply two arms, two legs and a pair of XY chromosomes. But now, we hear, there’s something else. The two men also carry the same type of official travel documentation.
Yes, we were fascinated to read that the Irish guitar god carries a British passport. Edge grew up in Malahide, Co. Dublin, but as any U2 trivia buff worth her salt could tell you, he was born in Wales back in 1961. This makes him, technically, a subject of old what’s ‘er name.
As an Irish resident, Edge is free to apply for an Irish passport, but that would mean giving up the one with her majesty’s signature on it. Bandmate Adam Clayton, also born in England, holds an Irish passport.
Edge is probably holding on to the British passport for sentimental reasons, just like Irish Americans who carry both Irish and American passports. Irish law dictates that people born in the UK but residing in Ireland can hold only one passport, unlike residents of Northern Ireland.
Edge was unavailable for comment, but Bono’s gone on record saying that "Edge is more turn-of-the-century, H.G. Wells era and very British in his way. Edge wouldn’t [give up his British passport], which is very interesting and very Welsh of him."
Speaking of the U2 frontman, we hear that he and his wife, Ali, are expecting their fourth child. The baby, due in June, will join siblings Jordan, 11, Eve, 9, and Elijah, 15 months, in cheering on Daddy’s world tour, which is set to kick off in March.
And speaking of the world tour, we can tell you that P.J. Harvey has confirmed that she will play several opening gigs for the band.
Tempest in an RTE cup
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: the lower the ratings, the thinner the skin. So it comes as no surprise to us that Irish broadcaster Pat Kenny is mad enough to bite through an iron bar over remarks made by his "Late Late Show" predecessor, Gay Byrne.
It seems that Gaybo, who now hosts the Irish version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," poked fun at Kenny’s relatively low ratings while on rival chat show "Gerry Kelly" the other night. When the host asked Gay about the "Late Late’s" less than stellar numbers, Gay quipped, "Don’t laugh at the afflicted!" As the audience (and Kelly) roared with laughter, Byrne quickly added that he was only joking.
Well, try telling that to Pat Kenny. When he got wind of Gay’s remarks, Kenny went ballistic. Calling Byrne’s attitude "sad," Kenny told reporters, "You’d think he’d have learned at this stage of his life how to be gracious." Kenny also pointed out that Uncle Gaybo was happy to use his former show a few months ago to publicize his game show gig.
"When he needed the push for ‘Millionaire,’ he was very happy to come on the ‘Late Late Show’ and plug it for all he was worth," sniffed Kenny.
He also pointed out that while the "Late Late’s" actual numbers were down, ita market share was between 50 and 60 percent.
"From a market share view, it’s just phenomenal," he said. And yes, before you ask: that’s his final answer.