By Eileen Murphy
Sad news this week for Ireland’s favorite singing siblings, The Corrs. They were devastated this week by the death of their beloved mother, who considered herself the band’s "number one fan."
Jean Corr, 57, died in an English hospital last Wednesday while awaiting a lung transplant. Her husband, Gerry, and four children, Andrea, Caroline, Sharon and Jim, were at her bedside when she passed away.
Corr was reportedly the inspiration behind her childrens’ musical careers. In her youth, Jean and her husband had performed in a band called Sound Affair and were regulars on the Irish dance hall circuit.
Corr’s body was flown back to Dubdalk, Co. Louth, for the funeral service and burial. The Mass, in the family’s local parish church, was attended by 1,000 mourners, including celebrities like Bono, Larry Mullen Jr. and Paul Brady. She was buried next to her son Gerard, who died in a traffic accident many years ago.
Sweetie-V: the sequel
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
Irish producer Noel Pearson is nothing if not loyal to his old friends. Hard on the heels of the news that Charles Haughey’s ex-mistress, Terry Keane, is planning to collaborate on a TV documentary that will expose the seamy side of their affair, Pearson has announced plans to make his own film about the subject. And by all accounts, it will be markedly different from Keane’s breathless pillow talk.
According to the Sunday World, the Pearson project will show Haughey, the disgraced former taoiseach, in a positive light. Though this seems like a Herculean task, given Keane’s sordid revelations on the "Late Late Show" and the corruption documented in Kevin O’Connor’s best-selling expose, "Sweetie," Peasron plans to concentrate on Haughey’s political life.
The only obstacle to the project may be the beleaguered Haughey himself. He is said to be dragging his feet, and reportedly pulled out of two similar propositions.
For what it’s worth, Keane has had the temerity to weigh in on what her former "Sweetie" will do.
"I’m certain that however much he may tease them, the final answer will be no," she told the Sunday World. Well, she would know, we suppose.
Youngster of the year
You may still be a bit queasy after the Thanksgiving meal-a-thon to make it through this next item, so proceed with caution. We know we’ve brought you way too much Boyzone news of late, but they’re just so darned entertaining, we can’t help ourselves.
It seems that Ronan Keating has been named one of Ireland’s People of the Year. In fact, he was named Young Person of the Year (though everyone knows the carefree days of teendom are far behind him) and he received an award from none other than Taoiseach Bertie Aherne.
"I’m very honored to be given this recognition," chirped the Boyzone frontman. "I like to think that I’m an ambassador for my country when I go abroad, speaking well and helping people to think well of it."
Well, we’re not so sure about that last bit. As we recall, Ronan ended his hosting stint at the MTV Europe Awards with the tired old chestnut, "God gave the Irish drink so they wouldn’t take over the world!"
Kate: Hell’s Angel
We’re not sure how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but we do know how many it takes to put an entire television cast on pins and needles. The answer is one, if the cherub in question is ex-"Charlie’s Angel" star Kate Jackson, and the cast in question is that of the hit CBS show "Touched by an Angel."
It seems that Jackson was hired to do a guest spot on the popular show, which stars Derry-born actress Roma Downey and real-life minister Della Reese. But the normally celestial atmosphere quickly turned hellish as Jackson started pulling rank and refused to leave her dressing room.
An insider close to the production told the Sunday World, "The set is as wholesome and clean and Christian-like as the episodes themselves." But Kate "cursed like a sailor," the source added. "When [she] came to the set, it was like a dark cloud descended."
Roma reportedly did her best to get along with the elder "Angel," but privately complained, "She’s going to drive me nuts."
After a marathon filming session — in which it took four hours to shoot a single scene because Jackson kept yelling "Cut!" — producers decided that enough was enough. Jackson found herself on the wrong side of the pearly gates, the show found a different guest star, and Roma’s angelic smile beamed once more. Though we suspect that, if push came to shove, the Derry girl could have thought up a few choice words for her devilish costar . . .
Pierce Brosnan’s agent has confirmed that 007 will be walking up the aisle with fianceé Keely Shay-Smith "sometime in the next 12 months." Gee, thanks for narrowing that down for us . . .
File this under "don’t blink or you’ll miss it": "Agnes Brown," the film version of Brenan O’Carroll’s hilarious book "The Mammy," opens this Friday for a one-week run at the Sony Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City. Though the film won’t be available to the rest of the country until March, a December opening will allow Oscar voters to consider Anjelica Huston’s performance for the 2000 Academy Awards.
Echo film critic Michael Gray was in Dublin last week for the launch of his first book, "Stills, Reels and Rushes," at the Irish Film Center in Temple Bar. The book, a highly readable and lavishly illustrated examination of the 100 most important Irish films, was recently published by Blackhall Press. Toasting the book at the launch were director Neil Jordan and playwright Conor McPherson.
Pop singer George Michael is releasing an album of cover songs to celebrate the new millennium, called "Songs from the Last Century." Just thought you’d like to know that among the 11 tracks is his version of U2’s "Miss Sarajevo."
Just a reminder: fans of the three Irish tenors will want to grab a rare opportunity to see Ronan Tynan in concert over the next three weeks. The singer, who’s also a doctor and an Olympic world record holder, will appear at Feinstein’s at the Regency, 61st Street and Park Avenue, NYC. For information, call (212) 339-4095.