By Eileen Murphy
Whoever first observed that life imitates art certainly said a mouthful, as we can see from this week’s most heartwarming story. In the same month that Adam Sandler stars onscreen as "Little Nicky," son of a wings-and-halo angel and the actual, capital-D Devil, we hear that two similarly tempered British pop stars are infanticipating, to use a quaint old Hollywood term.
We’re sure you’ll be as thrilled as we were to hear that lovey-dovey singers Nicole Appleton of the Brit band All Saints (think B*Witched with funny accents) is expecting a baby with Oasis bad boy Liam Gallagher.
The Saintly Nicole apparently likes guys who can carry a tune, since she was previously engaged to Gallagher’s nemesis, singer Robbie Williams. You might recall that Liam fiendishly disrupted the recent Q Awards show in London by shouting that Williams deserved a "Q for queer" award, and that Robbie’s girlfriend, Aussie singer Kylie Minogue, was "a lesbian." (Guess who’s not counting on being named godparents.)
Anyway, the Daily Mirror reports that the tuneful two-o have been dating for five months, since Liam split from his wife of three years, actress Patsy Kensit. The baby is said to be due in June, and the couple is said to be "over the moon." As for marriage, well, Liam’s in no hurry to rush things.
"One thing at a time," he told the News of the World.
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Although Liam’s public behavior is often boorish, his ex-wife once insisted that he’s a terrific father to their son, Lennon.
In fact, she said, after the baby was born, Liam got up with him in the middle of the night and was "the first person to change Lennon’s nappy."
Of course, Patsy might not be as kindly disposed toward her bad boy ex after she hears that he thinks Nic will make "the best mum in the world."
Lawyer Corr-ners the market
Irish pop princess Sharon Corr will break the hearts of millions of red-blooded male fans when she marries Irish lawyer Gavin Bonner next year.
The photogenic fiddler, who shares her sultry good looks with siblings (and band mates) Andrea, Caroline and Jim Corr, will be the first member of the group to marry. The wedding will cap a busy year for the group, which is planning a world tour in 2001.
And for those of you who still pine for a Corr, well, fellas, the odds are dwindling. Caroline is pretty much off the market (translation: serious long-term relationship). But the youngest sister, 28-year-old Andrea, is still footloose and fancy-free.
Rosie to the rescue
Martha Stewart has one. Oprah Winfrey has one. For Pete’s sake, even Jane Pratt has one. So why shouldn’t Rosie have one? Huh? HUH?
No, we don’t need to lighten up on the caffeine. We’re just really excited at the thought that chat show host Rosie O’Donnell is branching out, spreading her wings, getting her props, as the kids say these days. The New York Post reveals that the comedian has just signed a deal with Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing to lend her name to a new woman’s magazine, to be called Rosie’s McCall’s. RM will rub elbows on magazine racks with celeb titles Martha’s "Living," Oprah’s "O" and Jane’s "Jane."
Of course, if that name seems a little familiar to you, it should. The ‘zine will be a revamped version of the veteran title McCall’s, and will pick up the older title’s 4.2 million circulation. O’Donnell will serve as the editorial director.
"It will be less spiritual than Oprah’s, and more realistically craftsy than Martha’s," O’Donnell announced. "Celebrities will be involved, but they won’t be a focal point."
So, we wondered, will Rosie’s eyes be following us from the shelves of every newsstand we pass?
Not a chance, says the comedian. She’ll appear on the cover of the first issue, which is due out in March, but will be seen only sparingly after that.
"I’m a person, not a product," she said. But of course. That’s why it’s called Rosie’s McCall’s.
B*Witched casts a sexy spell
Like caterpillars shedding their drab cocoons for flamboyant butterfly wings, the members of Irish pop band B*Witched plan to transform their image from dacent-looking young Irish girls to sexy pop vixens.
"Our new image is really exciting because it’s so different and a lot more grown up," said the band’s senior member, 26-year-old Sinead O’Carroll.
Central to the group’s image transformation is their newfound fascination with G-strings — for practical purposes only, of course.
"If you just wear a normal pair of panties, they end up like a G-string by the end of the day, anyway," giggled group member Lindsay, who admits to a fondness for leopard prints.
Bandmate Keavy agrees.
"You can’t let anyone see your knicker line," she said solemnly.
The band is hoping to attract a host of new, older fans after the disappointing sales of their recent album, "Awake and Breathe." But they realize that they can’t afford to alienate their core audience (or their parents). Which is why they were smacking themselves on the head after getting banned from the TV channel Nickelodeon.
During an appearance on the kid-friendly network, Sinead playfully told the interviewer to "feck off." Twice. (Oh dear!)
As you can imagine, outraged parents immediately lit up the station’s telephone switchboard to complain about Sinead’s smutty mouth. The poor girl was mortified.
"They wouldn’t let us back on the show," she said.
"I was really upset because they didn’t understand that ‘feck’ in Ireland doesn’t mean the same as the other f-word, with the ‘u’ in it," she explained. Hey, we say po-tay-to, she says po-tah-to . . .
"We don’t want to be The Beatles. Music has changed so much since then you’ll never beat them or be them. . . . I don’t think radio stations will be playing our music in 20 years’ time. Music like ours is so here now, gone tomorrow or in a few months or a few years. They might play a song from us once in a blue moon but it won’t be like The Beatles."
— Westlife’s Nicky Byrne
Ronan Bowdlerizes MacGowan
What is happening to the world of Irish pop? On one hand, we have those B*Witched, er, ladies cussing up a storm in front of impressionable young fans. And on the other hand, we have Ronan Keating washing Shane MacGowan’s gob out with soap. Metaphorically, at least.
What has our knickers in a knot (sorry — we can’t seem to stop referring to that B*Witched story) is the news that Ronan has had the temerity, the nerve, the unmitigated gall — stop us if we’re getting hysterical — to cover of Shane’s most brilliant songs, "Fairytale of New York."
Now, the idea of Keating singing anything written by MacGowan boggles the mind. But what adds insult to grievous bodily injury is that the squeaky-clean Keating decided to change some of the words. To wit: "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap, lousy faggot" has become "You’re dumb and you’re silly, your knickers are frilly!"
Oh, only kidding. But he did change the last bit to "you’re cheap and you’re haggard," which — call us picky — doesn’t even rhyme with "maggot." Really, there must be some kind of law against this type of thing.
For the benefit of those who didn’t major in English, we should explain that Bowdler was a 19th Century editor who took it upon himself to "clean up" that bawdy old genius, Shakespeare. Not only did he clean up the language, he also, thoughtfully changed the endings to many of Shakespeare’s greatest works. This left many Victorian theatergoers under the impression that Romeo and Juliet lived happily ever after, Othello invented that game with the black and white disks, and Hamlet, of course, lent his name to the sandwich with Swiss cheese and mustard. So you see the obvious parallel between Shakespeare/Bowdler and MacGowan/Keating. And you thought you’d never learn anything by reading this column . . .
"Dublin is Europe’s bitchiest capital."
* Ronan Keating, responding to criticism over the delay in providing promised mobile cancer awareness ambulances funded by the Marie Keating Cancer Awareness Fund.
"Shima" shimmies no more
When your father’s the guy who runs the country, your mother’s a social column fixture and your sister’s a top model who’s engaged to a pop star, it’s only natural to crave a bit of the spotlight yourself. Which is, we’re sure, why Cecilia Ahern decided to take her shot at entering the glittering world of pop stardom. Unfortunately, you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and melody-makers . . .
We hear that the talented Cecelia has hung up her microphone for now, and is concentrating on her journalism studies at Dublin’s Griffith College. She was, understandably, disappointed when her band, Shima — a coed quartet for which more than 400 teens auditioned — failed to win the Song for Europe competition last year.
Friends say that Cecelia is still smarting from the band’s failure, and doesn’t plan to perform for a while. She’s even opted out of taking part in one of the Christmas pantomimes, which means she must be pretty upset. Who wouldn’t want to trade witticisms with Dustin the Turkey?
U2 secret bash at Irving Plaza
Attention, all U2 fans: New York radio station WXRK 92.3 FM has announced that it is sponsoring a private, free, one-hour U2 concert at Irving Plaza on Dec. 5. Tickets are available only through the station on a call-in-and-win basis. Only 1,000 lucky fans will get in — the rest of us will have to wait for the official tour, which kicks off in March 2001 in Miami.
Boyzone bites the dust
Well, it was bound to happen some time. After months of denials, it’s finally come to pass: Boyzone is n’ more.
The News of the World reports that the band’s manager, Louis Walsh, was overheard saying at the recent MTV Europe Awards: "It’s the end of the road for Boyzone. They have split up."
The paper reports that Walsh continued: "I no longer manager Boyzone, which is a fact. I only manage Ronan now."
We’re sure the Boyz will be OK, since most of them have moved on to solo careers. And the fans will survive, since, presumably, they can spend their money on the new "Rugrats in Paris" soundtrack. And as for Louis, well, he’s got Ronan, Samantha Mumba and Westlife. And Ronan, well, he’s got a solo album and Westlife. And the circle of life continues . . .