By Eileen Murphy
Ronan: zoned out
Now, we can only tell you this next story if you promise not to cry. Because then we’d start to cry, and that would make our mascara run, and that would be the exact moment that Liam Neeson would choose to drop by the office in hopes of getting us to star with him in some extremely romantic movie. But of course he would be horrified by our red nose and racoon eyes and he’d run screaming and we’d languish in obscurity and never win an Oscar and it would be all your fault. So no crying.
Deep breathhhhhhh. OK, we’ll start again.
Ronan Keating has made it official. Boyzone’s original lineup, which includes himself, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch, Mikey Graham and Stephen Gately, is not getting back together. Not now, not ever, not unless his career tanks and he needs some ready money (not that he said that last bit).
“We’re all getting on with our lives,” the toothsome blonde hunk told CD:UK.
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Excuse us, but you promised to be brave. Remember our Oscar.
Although Ronan hasn’t cracked the notoriously tough American music charts yet, he’s enjoying respectable sales in the UK and Ireland. So he sees no reason to take what would be a big step backward.
“Boyzone are not getting back together, he stated. “But if the other guys want to, I wish them the best.”
This, of course, won’t be music to the ears of his former pals, who would prefer to get on with their lives bolstered by the millions of euros they’d earn from a reunion tour and the attendant merchandising. But we’re sure they’re rooting for Ronan to hit it big. In fact, we’re sure they’ll be lined up outside the local HMV to buy the first copies of his upcoming duet with ’60s icon Lulu. Boyz are like that.
For Westlife, dungeons are draggin’
We’re sure that when the Westlife guys decided that they wanted to be successful pop stars, they were willing to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to achieve their dream. But countless hours of rehearsal, constant touring and high-profile weddings are one thing. Slogging about in a medieval dungeon with rats nipping at your heels is quite another.
Britain’s News of the World reports that the Irish pop band spent whole day in the dank and slimy bowels of a castle in Middlesex, England, filming the video for their new single, “Bop Bop Baby.” According to a set insider, conditions were less than luxurious.
“The place was running with rats,” revealed the source. But, even worse than the presence of furry vermin was the — how shall we put this? — ambience of the place.
“[The dungeon] had a disgusting smell,” the insider said bluntly. “The boys said they hated it.”
Fair enough, we suppose. And, by all accounts, they stuck it out, which says something about their work ethic. But we can’t help thinking that we’d expect this kind of complaining from sister group Bellefire. Aren’t boys supposed to like getting dirty?
London club no Oasis of calm
Just the other day, we were thinking that we hadn’t run an amusing Oasis story in a while, mostly because the Gallagher brothers had been keeping a low profile. But just as if he’d read our mind, singer and younger bruv Liam got into a punchout with a bouncer in a London nightclub, bless his pugilistic little heart.
Liam says that he became angry when a bouncer inside the club roughed up his fiancee, former All Saints singer Nicole Appleton. He came to her defense, and soon found himself mixing it up with the beefy security guard, much to the delight of paparazzi outside the nightspot.
But Liam insists that he didn’t start nuthin’ and says he plans to sue the club.
“The doctor has been around today to take pictures of Nicole’s bruised face,” he said.
“We’re preparing a statement for our lawyers,” he said ominously. Which should make a nice change for the legal eagles, anyway.
We’re sure nothing will set your teeth on edge faster than watching someone ticket and tow your vehicle. Well, the no-parking zone and the tire clamp are the great equalizers, as U2 guitarist The Edge discovered last week, much to his chagrin.
The rock star was forced to wave an unhappy buh-bye to his swanky Mercedes as it was towed away from its spot outside Dublin’s City Hall. Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, The Edge had left his car on the street while he attended a charity fashion show with his longtime girlfriend, American bellydancer Morleigh Steinberg.
The Sunday World reports that the star tried to stop the towing company from taking the car, but to no avail. He did, however, earn the sympathy of passersby as he ran down the street after his car. Later, we assume, he coughed up the euro 120 to get his car out of the pound.
In Edgier news, we hear that the guitarist and Morleigh are planning to tie the knot sometime in June. This will be a nice way to celebrate their 10th anniversary as a couple, a union that has produced two children. The Edge was previously married to model Aislinn Evans, with whom he has three children. (Can you believe we got through an entire U2 item without a mention of what’s his name?)
Crowe-ing about Ireland
If Tourism Ireland ever needs to find a replacement for their current ad spokesman Martin Sheen, they might want to consider Aussie actor Russell Crowe. The Oscar-winning actor, who had a famous scuffle with a British TV producer over an Irish poem, says that when it comes to great literature, “Ireland’s a place to be.”
The actor, who recently discovered that his family roots are in County Clare, plans to spend some time in the country, soaking up the local culture. Literally.
“I’ll have some Guinness in its home setting,” he said enthusiastically. “And [I’ll] watch some football, too.” Although, after the rough-and-tumble of Australian football, Gaelic might be a little too civilized for him.
A new operation for Bond
The makers of the new James Bond film were forced to suspend shooting last week when their star, Pierce Brosnan, was faced with a family emergency. The actor’s son, Sean — who narrowly escaped death in a California car crash this time last year — was rushed to the hospital after suffering an accident at school.
According to Showbizireland.com, the younger Brosnan hurt himself while in the gym at his private school in Somerset, England. Doctors discovered that he had an intestinal blockage and peritonitis, a potentially serious condition. They insisted that the teen undergo immediate surgery to correct the problem.
Luckily, Pierce was close at hand, since the new Bond movie, “Die Another Day,” is being filmed at Pinewood Studios in London. A spokesman for the actor says only that “Sean has undergone surgery and is now doing well.”
In more Bond news, we hear that Madonna — after doing everything but putting a severed horse’s head in the producer’s bed — has changed her mind about appearing in the film.
The cinematically challenged Material Girl drove a hard bargain when MGM approached her to sing the film’s theme song, demanding that she be given a cameo role in the movie. And even though the mere mention of her past movie titles is enough to make a statue cry real tears, the producers were willing to risk it.
But now comes word that Mrs. Ritchie is too busy these days, since she’ll be starring in a play in London’s West End. No word yet on whether that nixes the song deal, but we hope not. As singer of a Bond theme, Madonna would join an illustrious list that includes Shirley Bassey (“Goldfinger”), Paul McCartney & Wings (“Live and Let Die”), and Duran Duran (“A View to a Kill”). And just imagine the star power of a video with Madonna, Pierce and Oscar-winning Bond girl Halle Berry.
Show her the money
Talk show titan Rosie O’Donnell is all about gun control, but that hasn’t stopped her from taking aim at fellow celebrities who haven’t pulled their financial weight when it comes to charities connected to Sept. 11.
O’Donnell, who recently ended years of public speculation by announcing that yes, indeed, she is gay, thereby shocking three members of a bridge club in Peoria, was a guest on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” last Monday night. She told host Bill O’Reilly that she turned down the chance to appear on the “Tribute to Heroes” telethon last fall because organizers failed to ask the mega-rich celebrity participants to part with cash. Rosie donated $1 million to the Red Cross in the first few days after the attack, and pledged a further $1 million to other charities.
“The fact that every single person who appeared on [the show] had the ability to give that kind of money, yet did not, and was not expected to by America, stunned me,” fumed O’Donnell.
She also revealed that she called six of her celebrity pals on the morning of Sept. 12, urging them to match her donation. To her astonishment, each one turned her down. (She declined to name names.) Some of the big names on the telethon included Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts (and just for the record, we don’t know who gave what.)
“In America, you should expect your millionaires to give millions,” said Rosie. “Especially if they’re going to stand on TV and ask the peasants for pennies.”
Cranberries box set: tart and sweet
Pssst! Wanna hear (practically) everything The Cranberries have ever recorded? Then hie thee down to the local CD seller and pick up a copy of the “The Cranberries Treasure Box: The Complete Sessions 1991-1999.”
The set is comprised of the band’s first four albums, “Everybody Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We?”, “No Need to Argue”, “To the Faithful Departed” and “Bury the Hatchet.” There are 74 tracks in total, 21 of which were either B-sides or unreleased.
Of course, if you want the complete Cranberries experience, you’ll need the band’s new CD, “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.” Whatever. The Box set goes on sale next week, so don’t be a — dare we say it? — Zombie, zombie, zombay, bay bay . . .
The Oscars: anything but live
We wouldn’t admit this to just anyone, but we can tell you: for the first time ever, we bailed out of the Oscar telecast before it was over.
Now, you have to understand that, for us, the cheesier the awards show, the better. We love the sight of celebrities strutting down the red carpet in outfits thrown together by psychotic stylists. Russell Crowe in a frock coat? Gwyneth Paltrow in ill-fitting Pepto-Bismol pink? Geena Davis in see-through sequins and some goosebumps? Bring it on!
We live for the lousy production numbers (preferably choreographed by the queen of bad modern dance, Debbie Allen), and we absolutely adore the poorly scripted banter forced upon Oscar presenters as payment for the lavish goody bags backstage. Hooray for Hollywood.
Unfortunately, this year’s show was dull, dull, dull. And when it wasn’t dull, it was in extremely bad taste.
They lost us from the moment that Tom Cruise took the stage to assure the audience that, even in the wake of Sept. 11, the entertainment industry is vital.
“We make the magic,” he intoned pompously, to thunderous applause from the movie industry audience.
“Should we celebrate the Oscars?” he asked rhetorically. “Dare I say it? Yes! Now, more than ever.” Ugh. No wonder Nicole Kidman dumped him.
We sat through the award for Best Supporting Actress, which went to Jennifer Connelly for her performance in “A Beautiful Mind.” We thought things might be looking up when she walked onstage wearing a hideous beige gown that made her look like Miss Haversham in a community theater production of “Great Expectations,” but, alas, Connelly was the only bright spot in a boring show. Her award was followed by a bunch of technical awards which, though probably well-deserved, are given to people nobody ever heard of who thank other people that nobody ever heard of. Riveting, we thought, as we reached for the remote.