A year of love, hate, and runaway TV success

JANUARY

* Rosanna Davison, who won the Miss World contest 10 years ago, and Wesley Quirke get engaged while on a family holiday in Mauritius. Wes presented her with a sparkler worth €40,000 after asking permission from her dad, singer Chris De Burgh. But the nuptials won’t happen until 2015.

* U2 drummer Larry Mullen promises fans that the band’s long-awaited new album will be released in September. Oh no it won’t!

* Hollywood come to Dublin for the world premiere of the new Steven Spielberg movie, Lincoln. The director attended the screening in the Savoy cinema, as did actors Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field, along with a host of other celebrities. But when the lights went down in the cinema, Spielberg, Day Lewis, and a small posse exited through a side door and were driven up to the Merrion Hotel for an early dinner. They were back at the cinema just before the film ended and nobody was any the wiser.

* Folk legend Finbar Furey admits that he is a complete technophobe and has only sent two texts in his whole life.

* At his latest exhibition of paintings at the Kerlin Gallery, painter Guggi reveals that his old pal Bono “wanted to be a painter long before he started singing”.

* Actor Chris O’Dowd vows to hold on to his country accent no matter what. The bearded star insists that “chicks just love it”.

* Model and TV presenter Daniella Moyles suffers a severe “wardrobe malfunction” at an awards show. Naturally enough, nearly every paper uses it but she laughs off her boob.

* Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, meets up with Bono in Dublin, but somehow also manages to make time for a quick chinwag with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and President Michael D Higgins.

* Model Vogue Williams hits back at Twitter trolls who urged herself and her pop-flop husband Brian McFadden to kill themselves.

* Bob Geldof reveals how he has gone on a low carbohydrate diet for a reunion tour featuring his old band the Boomtown Rats — well most of them. The one who trains animals for movies and the one living in Japan bowed out.

* Mouthy Sinead O’Connor claims that the equally mouthy Noel Gallagher of Oasis once proposed marriage to her during a drunken binge.

FEBRUARY

* The Irish Film and Television Awards are held in the Convention Centre. As anticipated, the rough-hewn drama Love/Hate sweeps the board with a total of six gongs. Several of the show’s stars turn up, including Nidge himself, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, and the laddish Robert Sheehan.

At the same event, a heavily pregnant Amy Huberman admits she fears going into labour on the red carpet. But thankfully it doesn’t happen until the next day.

* Radio presenter Tony Fenton, who is recovering from cancer, fears he could be made homeless after being declared bankrupt by the High Court. Later in the month he announces the return of his cancer.

* Sinead O’Connor claims she has been expelled from the Catholic Church and now wants a certificate confirming this from the Pope to hang on her wall.

* Bono’s wife Ali Hewson breaks several ribs in a quad bike accident while on a family holiday in Costa Rica.

MARCH

* Love/Hate actress Caoilfhionn Dunne says she fears a backlash after shooting dead Darren, the character played by heartthrob actor Robert Sheehan. She remains unharmed.

* A benefit is held in Vicar Street for former Wings guitarist Henry McCullough — the only Irishman to perform at Woodstock — who is seriously ill in Belfast after suffering a stroke.

* Model Nadia Forde reveals how she was raised by her granny and has no contact at all with her parents. They split up when she was young but both live in Ireland.

* Former bad boy Adam Clayton of U2 celebrates 20 years free of addictions. We suppose coffee and cigarettes don’t count. Adam once missed a U2 gig in Australia due to being severely under the weather after a heavy night.

* Brendan Gleeson is to star in a new biopic of soul legend Marvin Gaye. No, silly, he’s definitely not in the lead role.

* Former Smiths singer Morrissey is revealed as being a cousin of Irish international soccer star Robbie Keane. Several bizarre photo opportunities follow.

APRIL

* At the races to add a touch of much-needed glamour at Fairyhouse, model Roz Purcell denies she is dating musician/talent show judge Bressie.

* Modfather Paul Weller gives a hearty thumbs up to new teenage Cavan rock band The Strypes. Elton John, Wilko Johnson, and Noel Gallagher follow suit.

* Chick lit writer and rugby WAG Amy Huberman’s new shoe range has brought in nearly €1m in sales to date. What’s next? A line in rugby boots?

* Staying with the serious cash, Mullingar-born Niall Horan of One Direction enters the new Rich List with a personal fortune of €6m.

* Well for some. Wesley Quirke splashes out €200,000 on a 200mph Lamborghini. He looks somewhat ludicrous driving it down Moore Street and Parnell Street. Meanwhile, Rosanna reveals she is off to LA this summer to hang out with dirty old man Hugh Hefner.

* Clean-cut Cork family band Crystal Swing turn down a slot on The X Factor as they’re apparently afraid of being mocked for their toothy, wholesome image.

* Ageing action star Liam Neeson reveals how he deeply misses his wife Natasha Richardson who died in a tragic skiing accident in 2009 leaving Neeson to bring up their two sons.

* Travel writer Paul Theroux describes U2’s Bono as “an ignorant, meddlesome fool” over his views on Africa.

MAY

* Eurovision winning composer Brendan Graham pens a lullaby called Sleep On for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s new baby, due in July.

* Former Miss Ireland Sarah Morrissey reveals how bosses at a London agency told her that she was “too old to model” at the age of 30. !

* The, er, stars of TV3’s Dublin Wives hit out at producers claiming that they still haven’t been paid. Surely it should have been the other way around?

* Today FM’s Tony Fenton claims a new cancer wonderdrug called Ippy is saving his life. he said: “I’m back at work with no side-effects. I feel great.”

* Bob Geldof recalls his first meeting with Bono, describing him as “a fat kid with a funny name”.

* TD Richard Boyd Barrett reveals how his father was actually the late Abbey Theatre director Vincent Dowling, who died this month in the US. His birth mother is Irish actress Sinead Cusack, who is married to greying heartthrob Jeremy Irons.

JUNE

* Love/Hate star Robert Sheehan is lined up to play a young man with Tourette’s Syndrome in a new film called The Road Within.

* Television presenter Sinead Kennedy’s secret ambition is to be a criminal psychologist. But she loves working on the Big Money Game and realises she would probably have to work in prisons if her small screen work dried up.

* Northern Irish axeman Vivian Campbell reveals he has cancer, but vows to play on with Def Leppard while undergoing chemotherapy.

* Kevin Barry pockets €100,000 for his debut novel City of Bohane. The Impac Dublin Literary Award is one of the richest in the world.

* Northern Irish actor James Dornan, star of TV series The Fall, fears his past as a top male model will forever haunt him.

* A Night For Christy is held in the Olympia Theatre to raise money for Aslan singer Christy Dignam’s medical bills in his ongoing battle with cancer. U2 perform via a live link-up from New York. !

JULY

* Yvonne Keating says her marriage to her Boyzone pop star husband Ronan ended the moment she came face to face with dancer Francine Cornell, with whom Ronan had a lengthy and much-publicised affair.

* Oscar winner Glen Hansard admits to feeling like “a mild alcoholic” when he gets home from tour. The Falling Slowly singer says the most important thing is not to go too crazy in the bar after a show.

* Celebrity chef Derry Clarke almost chokes to death on a kamikaze piece of meat while overseeing a barbecue on Sherkin Island in Cork.

* Sinead O’Connor says she wants her ashes scattered (when she dies, we presume) at the River Ganges in India, with just her family in attendance.

* Weather woman Evelyn Cusack reveals how she was once trapped in a toilet in RTÉ and missed her broadcast. She was eventually rescued in time for the 6pm bulletin after her worried mum rang the station.

* Daithí Ó Sé reveals he worked as a circus ringmaster before he joined TG4 as a weather forecaster and went on to be an afternoon presenter. Good training.

* Madonna makes a surprise visit to Dublin to attend the funeral of designer pal David Collins, who she became close to while living in London, where David was based. She later meets with his family to extend her sympathies.

AUGUST

* Grumpy broadcaster Vincent Browne says he is “browned off” with Eamon Dunphy and wants nothing more to do with him. He doesn’t tell us why. Eamon endures sleepless nights.

* Actor Johnny Depp says he is in awe of Shane MacGowan, who he calls “one of the most important poets of the 20th century”. We’ll leave the 21st century out of it then, Johnny.

* Nadine Coyle, the only Irish member of Girls Aloud, reveals she is pregnant, but stays quiet on the identity of the baby’s dad.

* Roz Purcell once again denies that she is dating or otherwise romantically involved with Bressie.

* Model Hazel O’Sullivan takes a swipe at gorgeous Georgia Salpa, who was branded dull on last year’s version of Big Brother. Hazel, speaking after she herself got the boot from BB, said: “At least I proved I’m not boring.”

* Former taoiseach John Bruton reveals that his favourite Bob Dylan song is Mr Tambourine Man, but insists he wouldn’t hold with some of the reportedly drug-influenced lyrics.

* Diageo’s cunning Arthur’s Day is slammed as a cynical marketing ploy, with troubadour Christy Moore among its most vocal critics. He calls it an “alcoholiday”.

SEPTEMBER

* Pat Kenny joins Newstalk after calling the bluff of “the suits” in RTÉ and urges listeners to change the dial. Sean O’Rourke steps in as an able replacement for him on RTÉ Radio 1.

* Caroline Downey, the new presenter of Celebrity Apprentice, reveals she and music promoter husband Denis Desmond have split up. She says: “Denis had an affair. It was over by the time I found out. But we remain best friends.” Denis moved out of their semi-detached castle in Dalkey.

* Musician and talent show judge Bressie denies he is dating Roz Purcell.

* Irish comic Dylan Moran signs a big deal with the ABC network in the US for a new series.

* U2’s Adam Clayton ties the knot in Dublin with Brazilian model Mariana Teixeira. The Edge takes the snaps at the registry office. More partying and a second wedding (this time in church) follows in the south of France. The couple say they plan to live in London.

* Super-hoofer Michael Flatley reveals how himself and Michael Jackson had planned to perform together in a new stage show before the latter’s untimely death in 2009. The mind boggles.

OCTOBER

* Love/Hate fever grips Ireland once again as the drama returns for its fourth season. This time around Nidge (Tom Vaughan Lawlor) is the main man, with poitin-swilling and magic mushroom-munching Fran (Peter Coonan) a close second.

* Former Westlifer Nicky Byrne and Bertie Ahern’s eldest daughter Georgina become parents for the third time. Daughter Gia is welcomed into the world in Holles Street.

* Phil Chevron of The Pogues and formerly The Radiators From Space dies in Dublin after a long battle with cancer. A Humanist service is later held in the Mansion House attended by most of the Irish music business.

* A massive online spat erupts between American wild child Miley Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor, with furious missives exchanged by both. Yawn.

* Xpose’s Lisa Cannon gets a wedding proposal from partner Richard Keatley in Paris. And he proposed again in Dublin when the ring he had ordered finally arrived from New York.

* The Co Wicklow house which 007 star Sean Connery rented for four years in the 1970s and entertained Hollywood pals like Lisa Minelli, Peter Ustinov and Peter Sellers is up for sale again. Violet Hill near Bray is expected to fetch €1.6m.

* Having wrung as much publicity as possible out of it, Roz Purcell and Bressie finally admit that, yes, they are an item. The nation issues a collective “Told you so!”

NOVEMBER

* The month kicks off with a testimonial for Irish rugby star Brian O’Driscoll in the Convention Centre. The usual suspects from sport and showbiz stride the red carpet and later party the night away.

* Paul McGuinness announces that after 35 years he is to stop managing U2. But he will still be involved in a less hands-on role. The silence from the band itself is deafening, leading into the rumour mill going into overdrive. They later issue a statement thanking him for all his hard work on their behalf. Proper order.

* TV beauty Kathryn Tomas is furious that her lovely image is being used without her permission to sell diet pills online. The cheek of some people.

* Former RTÉ broadcaster Caroline Morahan, who has been based in LA for some time now trying to break into the film world, says she would love to work on Love/Hate.

* Thalia Heffernan , just 18 and the model of the moment, jets out to New York where she signs a contract with the top model agency Ford, which also represents the likes of Elle McPherson and Christie Brinkley. Thalia, who sat her Leaving Cert last summer, stays to work on a variety of shoots but will be back in her native Dublin to celebrate Christmas with her proud mum and dad, Gerald and Susan.

* Nadia Forde’s raunchy 2014 calendar is published both here and in the UK. But she is now concentrating on her role in the panto Jack & The Beanstalk.

DECEMBER

* Romance is still in the air at TV3, with Xpose presenter Glenda Gilson announcing her engagement to Rob McNaughton. He proposed to a shocked Glenda in New York.

* The Late Late Toy Show draws a record 1.4m viewers, beating Love/Hate’s 1.007m record to date. At its peak an audience of up to 2m people were watching Ryan Tubridy act the eejit in silly clothes and cartoon moves.

* Celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean and Lisa Murphy announce that their engagement is back on again. But there is still no date set for the nuptials.

* Georgia Salpa is pictured flashing what could be a very large engagement ring out and about in London.

* Brendan O’Carroll and his merry band of pranksters enjoy a triumphant homecoming of five nights in the O2 venue. His first feature film is due out some time next year, with the outdoor scenes all filmed in Dublin.

* Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell’s popular Anchorman character, gives his opinions on Love/Hate before the season 4 finale of the crime drama that defined the year.


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