RTE Claire Byrne Live In_2

Ellen DeGeneres tweets Colin Farrell’s ‘Claire Byrne Live’ interview to her 38m followers

Colin Farrell has been given a massive thumbs-up from US chat show host Ellen De Generes for his comments on gay marriage on Claire Byrne Live. Farrell was interviewed for Byrne's first show RTE on Monday night and Farrell, appearing via video link-up from Los Angeles, voiced his support for the referendum. He offered a compelling account of the abuse and homophobia suffered by his brother Eamon, who he said was bullied in school. "There was great hardship that he was experiencing every day in school. He went to school under great duress," he said. "He got plenty of beatings and got called names continuously." Asked about his memories of Eamon growing up, he said, "I remember him coming home with blood on his shirt, and he got plenty of beatings and he got just called names continuously........so he had a very very very tough time, a lot of cruelty, like real, absolute shameful cruelty that was placed upon him.” Eamon had to travel to Canada to marry his partner Steven Mannion, something which Colin feels was "disappointing" and "unfair". “To see them every day live their lives as a happily married couple is an amazing thing, and to think that they had to leave their own country to do that, is sad and disappointing and just grossly unfair I feel.” DeGeneres (56) has been married to her wife Portia DeRossi (41) since 2008 and tweeted a link to Colin's interview with the comment, "Colin Farrell explains his support for marriage equality in a beautiful way. I couldn’t have said it better myself." The debate on Claire Byrne Live also included participation from those campaigning for the referendum to be rejected. via Irish Independent online
The Wright Venue

Sneak preview of the Wright Venue Clubland documentary

Here's a sneak preview of an upcoming Reality Bites documentary called Clubland, which takes viewers behind the scenes at the Wright Venue, Ireland’s biggest nightclub. It goes out this Wednesday (January 21) at 9.00pm on RTÉ2 and offers viewers a unique insight into a surreal world, as the club - based in Swords, county Dublin - prepares for its fifth birthday party. Clubland: Reality Bites, Wednesday, RTÉ2 via RTE
Hotel And Pubs Sales Almost Double in 2014

Hotel And Pubs Sales Almost Double in 2014

The improving Irish commercial property sector aided a significant upswing in pub and hotel sales in 2014, according to CBRE, which released its annual report. In the report, CBRE described last year as a “pivotal” one for Irish commercial property and forecasted that 2015 is set to continue that positive trend. The company’s Outlook 2015 report contains figures for transactional activity in different sectors of the Irish commercial property market in 2014 and predictions for each sector in the year ahead. The report highlighted that 63 hotel sales concluded in Ireland in 2014, totalling over €341.2 million, compared to 33 hotel sales totalling €160 million in 2013. In addition, a further €355 million of Irish hotel transactions (17 properties) were in legals at year-end. A number of other hotel properties were sold as investments during the year and are included in investment spend figures. Meanwhile, 38 Dublin pubs were sold in 2014, totalling almost €44 million between them with a further 19 properties in legals at the end of the year. This compares to 20 Dublin pub sales totalling approximately €15 million completed in 2013. “Commercial transaction volumes and property value improvements exceeded all expectations last year,” said CBRE Ireland managing director, Enda Luddy. “Irish property was one of the best performing asset classes in the world during the last 12 months and transaction volumes were up significantly in all sectors. However, it is important to remember that recent value increases are coming off a low base following an exceptionally severe crash and values still remain considerably below peak levels in all sectors, which will continue to attract investors to Irish real estate over the next 12 months,” he added. Story via Hospitality Ireland

JD Wetherspoon strikes new deal with Heineken

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is to sell Heineken products again. The chain and the Dutch brewer have agreed a new deal after Wetherspoon stopped selling Heineken products last month after a row. Wetherspoon’s Irish pubs will serve Beamish, Foster’s lager, and Symonds cider, but not Murphy’s or Heineken. In the UK Wetherspoon will serve Heineken, Foster’s, Kronenbourg 1664, Strongbow, John Smith’s Extra Smooth and Amstel. “We are pleased to have reached agreeable commercial terms with Heineken,” Wetherspoon commercial director Paul Hine said. “In the Republic of Ireland we will serve the three Heineken products at prices in line with our other products,” he added. Story via Irish Independent

Hakkasan Las Vegas Nightclub will soon own 3 of the largest clubs in Las Vegas.

Hakkasan Las Vegas Nightclub will soon own 3 of the largest clubs in Las Vegas. The newly organized Hakkasan Group (formerly AMG) lhas purchased Morgans Hotel Groups’ 90-percent stake in Light Group for a rumored $41 million in cash and debt. Morgans Hotel, the New York based hospitality group, initially purchased their stake in 2011 for an estimated $46.5 million. By purchasing Light Group, Hakkasan will be able to consolidate a chunk of the crowded and competitive Vegas nightlife scene and enhance it’s profile. Hakkasan aims to launch Omnia Nightclub in the spring at Caesars Palace and will assume all operating duties of one of the Strip’s newest venues, Light in the Mandalay Bay. The purchase will also include over 22 of the Light Group’s other club and restaurant properties. Via: Forbes | Billboard

You’ll never guess who back?

Bebo comes back: mid-Noughties social network comes back as hyperactive messaging app Bebo, the site that beat Facebook to the social networking crown but spectacularly lost it, has been re-created by its original founders, but in a very new form. The app is available now and has much of the same feel as the old site — “customisation, creativity, and fun” as the company puts it — but will instead be a cartoon-y chat app rather than a full social network. It features hashtags (the site says “Hashtag anything; no seriously, anything”) and drawings and games. The app is out for Android and iOS. “Everybody else is trying to be very “serious” about social networking, which feels a bit strange to us,” the company said in a post accompanying the launch. “The new Bebo is for people who don’t take life too seriously.” Co-founder Michael Birch announced in summer last year that he had bought the company back for $1 million from AOL, which bought the company for $850 million in 2008. While the site was popular at the time, it quickly declined and was overtaken by Facebook as the social network of choice. "We just bought back Bebo for $1m,” he tweeted at the time. “Can we actually re-invent it? Who knows, but will be fun trying …” Pictures from old accounts will become available again from January 31. “We have good (and not so good) photo memories on the old Bebo”, the company said as it announced the new site. Story via The Independent

Man spends £100,000 to look like Kim Kardashian

A Kim Kardashian superfan has spent £100,000 on cosmetic surgery and designer clothing in an effort to look like the reality TV star. image Jordan James Parke made the decision that he wanted to look like the iconic celeb after first seeing her on Keeping Up With The Kardashians several years ago. And Mr Parke, from Manchester, has now spent £100,000 on 50 lip-filling operations, eyebrow tattoos, botox injections and laser hair removal, as well as a designer wardrobe to match Kardashian’s. ‘Her skin is perfect, her hair, everything about her. I’ve never felt better about myself [and] I laugh when people try to insult me by telling me I look plastic or fake.’ Mr Parke has also undergone a £450 ‘vampire facial’ – a procedure that involves injecting blood from the body into the face.

Stephen Belafonte’s violent past revealed: Mel B’s husband pictured in bloody bar braw

Mel B’s husband Stephen Belafonte was involved in a bloody fight that left one man needing hospital treatment. The violent incident occurred in 2010 when the millionaire producer was partying with Mel at the Amba Bar & Grill in the five star May Fair Hotel, London. At the time it was reported that Stephen approached three men after he heard one of them apparently make a derogatory comment about the X Factor judge. Hotel staff were forced to break up the brawl, while the former Spice Girl looked on. Both the police and an ambulance were called but no charges were brought. Speaking about the incident to the Mail, Mel previously said: “He was rushing to the defence of a woman - me. “He was my defender. So I can't be mad. It's been blown into more than it was.”Images from the bar, where the pair were drinking cocktails, show Stephen losing his shirt in the scuffle. Stephen can be seen grabbing the other gentleman involved before losing his shirt entirely. After Mel, who is dressed up in a tiny leather dress, can be seen chatting to police in the hotel lobby. Stephen – real name Stephen Stansbury - is a Hollywood producer and director, whose credits include Thank You For Smoking, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, The Mutant Chronicles and TV series I Pity The Fool. In 1997, the 39-year-old married his first wife Nancy Carmell in Las Vegas, and has a daughter, Giselle Belafonte, with ex-girlfriend Nicole Contreras. He has currently been married to Spice Girl Mel B for seven years. The X Factor judge and Stephen were close friends for years before getting romantically involved, after they met on the set of a film called Talk. After a whirlwind four month romance, Mel and Stephen tied the knot in secret in June 2007 at the Special Memory Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. Story via Irish Daily Mirror

Nicki Minaj wins “Trashiest Celeb of the Year”!

In short, Nicki Minaj is by far the filthiest, trashiest celebrity on trend today ... and her appallingly gross and offensive video for "Only," which features Chris BrownLil Wayne, and Drake, only makes her look -- and sound -- even worse. The video is chock full of bondage and torture, featuring men tied up after being assaulted and bloodied. The video screams "sexism," and can you even imagine the backlash that a male artist would get for featuring women beaten, bloodied, and bound? No, because it just wouldn't fly. People were all in a tizzy when Robin Thicke released "Blurred Lines," and to be honest, that business just doesn't even compare to this next level ish. Here's an excerpt from the lyrics, just in case you don't feel like puking in your mouth while watching the video this fine Friday morning: Yo, I never f--ked Wayne, I never f--ked Drake On my life, man, f--k's sake If I did I menage with 'em and let 'em eat my a-- like a cupcake My man full, he just ate, I don't duck nobody but tape Yeah, that was a set up for a punchline on duct tape Worried 'bout if my butt's fake ...  Hut one, hut two, big t-tties, big butt too ...  And tell 'em, tell 'em b--w me, Lance Stephenson Classy, right? Nicki Minaj is one nasty girl ... and not in a Janet Jackson-kind of way either, sorry. via Fishwrapper.

Heineken ends drinks Deal with Wetherspoon chain in Ireland

British pub group Wetherspoon said it would no longer sell Heineken drinks at any of its 926 pubs after a disagreement with the Dutch brewer over pricing in Ireland.  Wetherspoon has been selling pints of Heineken lager and Murphy's stout at prices around 40% below the competition at its first Irish pub in Blackrock, Dublin. The pub chain, which last year outlined plans for around 30 pubs in the Republic of Ireland, said Heineken had refused to supply Heineken lager, Ireland's biggest selling draught beer, and Murphy's to its second pub in Dún Laoghaire, due to open this month. The spat is another blow for Wetherspoon's ambitions in Ireland. The firm does not serve Guinness here either after a disagreement on price with drinks group Diageo. Wetherspoon said Heineken had also wanted personal guarantees from chief executive John Hutson in order to supply the Dún Laoghaire pub any of its others drinks, such as Strongbow cider and Foster's lager. It did not say what the guarantees were. Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said the brewer's decision was "unacceptable and hard to understand". "We have been trading with Heineken for 35 years and they have never requested personal guarantees before. It's obstructive to do so now, especially when we made record profits of around £80m last year," he added. Heineken, whose business with Wetherspoon is worth around £60m a year, said it was seeking a resolution as soon as possible. "It is unfortunate that commercial issues in Ireland between Heineken Ireland and JD Wetherspoon have led to the current situation," a spokesman for Heineken UK said in a statement.