Stars slump at IFTAs as tough times hit glitterati

THE tough times have started to hit the Irish glitterati with stars being forced to recycle dresses and shop at TK Maxx, and failing to get flowers from their boyfriend on St Valentine’s Day.

Brian O’Driscoll may have been in Rome at the weekend for Ireland’s rugby game against Italy but that seems like no excuse not to send his actress girlfriend a Valentine’s Day gift.

Amy Huberman shook her head when asked if Brian had sent her anything for Valentine’s, saying she’s sure he’ll make it up to her when he gets back. Not even a hint of “or else” in her eye.

Clinic actress Amy, who looked stunning in a Joanne Hynes dress, was accompanied on the red carpet at the 6th Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs) by her father. She was beaten to the Best Supporting TV Actress gong by Tudors star Maria Doyle Kennedy.

But that wasn’t the only award for the BBC show. Just like last year, The Tudors was the big winner on the night, picking up six awards, including Best Drama Series, Best Director and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, which was won by living legend Peter O’Toole.

Cork native Eileen Walsh picked up the gong for Best Actress in a Lead Role for her depiction of Breda, a woman slowly watching her marriage crumble, in the film Eden.

Interestingly, her sister Catherine was the original Breda in the Eugene O’Brien play and she picked up a Best Actress of the Year Award at the Irish Times/ESB awards in 2002.

At the Burlington on Saturday night you had RTÉ stars like Kathryn Thomas, who “dusted off” a six-year-old lace creation for the event, the Seoige sisters and Gay Byrne, who seemed genuinely shocked by the revelation that Colin Farrell has just two pairs of shoes (Byrne interviewed Farrell as part of a new RTÉ show).

But when it came to real star power, the list was disappointing.

We had Fionnuala O’Flanagan, in a revealing Ralph Lauren gown; the very charming Eric Mabius, who plays Daniel Meade in Ugly Betty; Aidan Quinn and Irish actor David Kelly.

There was no Jonathan Rhys Meyers, no Colin Farrell or Cillian Murphy — people you may have just expected at an Irish film awards ceremony.

But some Fair City actors made it, as did Molly Simms and Jennie McAlphine from Coronation Street.

“My dress is from TK Maxx and my bag is from New Look,” Jennie revealed.

Goodie bags from Brown Thomas and MAC were given out after the awards show, which was hosted by Ryan Tubridy.

The bags contained a €25 gift voucher from BT — probably welcomed given stars were charged at the bar this year.

But the night belonged to Kerryman Michael Fassbender, who took home the Best Actor in a Lead Role gong for his portrayal of Bobby Sands in the film Hunger.

Tipped to be the next Farrell, he’s already landed a movie with Brad Pitt.

Let’s hope he doesn’t forget his roots and books his annual flight home for the IFTAs.

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