Top Stories to hit the News Stands in February 2014

laura -  smokin profile shotThe shortest month of the year most certainly brought us two of the most dramatic events in terms of tiaras, tears and tantrums, not forgetting some spectacular diamond TV moments. Yes, we are of course talking the Oscars in Hollywood and Eurosong in Dublin. And believe you me, there is a connection (see below). Suffice to say, from our perspective at Orchid Towers; we were thrilled with how our Laura performed on The Late Late Show.  It was an Oscar Award winning performance, for sure. She is an extraordinary talent and irrespective of the tantrums from one of the Eurosong’ female panelists, Laura did herself proud. Her debut on Irish Television was a triumph and we’re pleased to report she’s back in studio recording her next single.  We had great fun in the run-up to the Eurosong Finals and were delighted to sponsor ‘The Best Laura Chorus Competition’. Congratulations again to the winner Kallie Fisher from Dundalk – whose rendition of Laura O’Neill’s Eurosong hit ‘You Don’t Remember me’ set facebook alight with ooohs and aaahs.. Kallie is just 2 years old…. we kid you not!  If you are following Orchid Jewels on facebook you can view Kallie’s performance here Wishing Can-Linn the very best of luck on May 8th Eurovision in Copenhagen.


Oscars 2014: Viewership Hits 10-Year High

ellen hsoting oscarsSunday night’s Oscars scored 43 million viewers this year — up 2.5 million from last year, according to Nielsen ratings — meaning that Ellen DeGeneres courted the most viewers since Billy Crystal in 2004. Only NFL playoff games have earned comparable viewership numbers in recent years. The Oscars telecast was the biggest non-sports audience on network television since the 2004 season finale of Friends. It turns out the awards show is better off erring on the bland side than when they stir up controversy. A wider audience tuned into DeGeneres’ unexciting but fun hosting stint than Seth MacFarlene’s boob-gate Oscars last year, which earned only 40.4 million viewers. DeGeneres and her writers stayed mostly on the safe side with her jokes, opting for a long bit in which the host distributed pizza to Hollywood starlets over, say, jabs at Leonardo DiCaprio about his sex life. The harshest stab went to Liza Minnelli: “And I have to say, one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I have seen in my entire life,” DeGeneres said, as the camera showed the real Minnelli in the crowd. “Good job, sir.”  Read more: Oscars 2014 Ratings: Ellen DeGeneres Hosted Show Hits 10-Year High |

So Who won What? …hang on …AND What is our Laura O’Neill doing with Colin Farrell?… he’s apparently a huge fan and they’re both former NPAS buddies Dublin too….

laura and colin farrellHollywood’s biggest night was no letdown. We made plenty of predictions, as did everyone. Here’s the final list of this year’s Oscar winners. Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club  Best Costume Design: Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Adruitha Lee & Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot  Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen Best Visual Effects: Gravity (PHOTOS: TIME’s Portraits of the Winning Actors from the 2014 Oscars)


ellen and colinBest Live Action Short: Helium Best Documentary Short: The Lady In Number 6 Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty Best Sound Mixing: Gravity Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave (PHOTOSCelebrities Walk the Oscars Red CarpetBest Cinematography: Gravity Best Film Editing: Gravity Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby Best Score: Gravity Best Original Song: “Let It Go” from Frozen Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave, John Ridley Best Original Screenplay: Her, Spike Jonze Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club  Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave

Read more: Oscars 2014 Winners’ List: Who Won at the 86th Academy Awards? |

February’s Orchid Jewel 

Fitting Tribute for one of Hollywood’s Biggest Movie Stars, Oscar winner Liz Taylor

liz taylor2Dame Elizabeth Rosemond “Liz” TaylorDBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American[2] actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. As one of the world’s most famous film stars, Taylor was recognized for her acting ability and for her glamorous lifestyle, beauty, and distinctive violet eyes.  National Velvet (1944) was Taylor’s first success, and she starred in Father of the Bride(1950), A Place in the Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress forBUtterfield 8 (1960), played the title role in Cleopatra (1963), and married her costarRichard Burton. They appeared together in 11 films, including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), for which Taylor won a second Academy Award. From the mid-1970s, she appeared less frequently in film, and made occasional appearances in television and theatre.

liz taylor lep1Her much-publicized personal life included eight marriages and several life-threatening illnesses. From the mid-1980s, Taylor championed HIV and AIDS programs; she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985, and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1993. She received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honour, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named her seventh on their list of the “Greatest American Screen Legends”. Taylor died of congestive heart failure in March 2011 at the age of 79, having suffered many years of ill health.   Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born at Heathwood, her parents’ home at 8 Wildwood Road in Hampstead Garden Suburb,[3][4][5] a northwestern suburb of London; the younger of two children of Francis Lenn Taylor (1897–1968) and Sara Sothern (née Sara Viola Warmbrodt;[6] 1895–1994), who were Americans residing in England. Taylor’s older brother, Howard Taylor, was born in 1929.[7] Her parents were originally from Arkansas City, Kansas. Francis Taylor was an art dealer, and Sara was a former actress whose stage name was “Sara Sothern”. Sothern retired from the stage in 1926 when she married Francis in New York City. Taylor’s two first names are in honor of her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Mary (Rosemond) Taylor. One of her maternal great-grandfathers was Swiss.[8]

liz taylor3Colonel Victor Cazalet, one of their closest friends, had an important influence on the family. He was a rich, well-connected bachelor, a Member of Parliament and close friend of Winston Churchill. Cazalet loved both art and theatre and was passionate when encouraging the Taylor family to think of England as their permanent home. Additionally, as a Christian Scientist and lay preacher, his links with the family were spiritual. He also became Elizabeth’s godfather. In one instance, when she was suffering with a severe infection as a child, she was kept in her bed for weeks. She “begged” for his company: “Mother, please call Victor and ask him to come and sit with me.” Biographer Alexander Walker suggests that Elizabeth’s conversion to Judaism at the age of 27 and her lifelong support for Israel, may have been influenced by views she heard at home. Walker notes that Cazalet actively campaigned for a Jewish homeland, and her mother also worked in various charities, which included sponsoring fundraisers for Zionism. Her mother recalls the influence that Cazalet had on Elizabeth:

Victor sat on the bed and held Elizabeth in his arms and talked to her about God. Her great dark eyes searched his face, drinking in every word, believing and understanding.[9]:14

liz taylor richard burtondual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States, she was born British through her birth on British soil and an American citizen through her parents. In October 1965, as her then-husband was British, she signed an oath of renunciation at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, but with the phrase “abjure all allegiance and fidelity to the United States” struck out. U.S. State Department officials declared that her renunciation was invalid due to the alteration and Taylor signed another oath, this time without alteration, in October 1966.[10]She applied for restoration of U.S. citizenship in 1977, during then-husband John Warner‘s Senate campaign, stating she planned to remain in America for the rest of her life.  At the age of three, Taylor began taking ballet lessons. Shortly before the beginning of World War II, her parents decided to return to the United States to avoid hostilities. Her mother took the children first, arriving in New York in April 1939,[13] while her father remained in London to wrap up matters in his art business, arriving in November.[14] They settled in Los Angeles, California, where her father established a new art gallery, which included many paintings he shipped from England. The gallery soon attracted numerous Hollywood celebrities who appreciated its modern European paintings. According to Walker, the gallery “opened many doors for the Taylors, leading them directly into the society of money and prestige” within Hollywood’s movie colony.[9]:27

Read more about Liz Taylor’s fascinating life story by wikipedia here


BLUE 1000 LIKES NECKLACE COMPOIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new Orchid Jewels website all you have to do is to go to our Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!  (t&c’s apply)

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)

Rehab Sure Made Headlines…. but it appears that bad grammar is not the least of their problems

Mirror Mirror On The Wall Who Has the Biggest Exclusives of them all…..

simon lauren baby ericBy sheer coincidence and adding a little spice to this Mirror story, the ents’ blogger here at Orchid Towers, has it on good authority that Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were no strangers to the Cowell household when Simon and siblings were growing up. Indeed, his dad Eric, after whom Simon named his son, was an executive at EMI Records back in the 1960’s. There was no rarity of the odd Hollywood A-lister chilling at their cocktail parties in the 60’s and as we can see, Simon certainly soaked up that mercurial energy –  Eric senior would be right proud.  So here we are some 40 years later, Simon’s four week paternity leave is going  very well. (Pictured above with Diddly, Squiddly, Lauren and baby Eric. The X Factor boss is worn out but “deeply enjoying” the sleepless nights to bond with two-week-old Eric during his four weeks’ paternity leave in the US.  Doting Simon Cowell has been getting up in the middle of the night to feed his newborn son, reports the Sunday People. The X Factor boss is worn out but “deeply enjoying” the sleepless nights to bond with two-week-old Eric during his four weeks’ paternity leave in Miami. Friends of Simon, 54, have told how he and girlfriend Lauren Silverman have been rising at all hours and, contrary to rumours, they are yet to hire a nanny. Instead they have employed a baby nurse to help out with Eric temporarily. One friend said: “Simon is enjoying ­being a hands-on dad so much. He has been up at all hours to help with the feeding with Lauren. “He wouldn’t miss this time for the world. He really has never been happier. “He and Lauren are very much doing this by themselves, they have got a baby nurse just to help out but that’s it at the moment. “This time is very special for both of them and they want to make the most of it. “Simon has been cheerily telling his friends about fatherhood , he is absolutely in his element. “This has been life ­changing for him but he is absolutely loving it. He didn’t ever think he could be this happy.

Read more here at the Mirror ollow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

Great to see though, at the end of the day, Si is no different than the rest of us…only richer!

simon back of bently and a beerHe drinks alcohol at 2am to get to that happy place before he sleeps’. X Factor gaffer sinks a few vodkas and cigarettes to help the creative process. Simon Cowell has told how he drinks alcohol to enter a “calm place” and come up with his TV ideas late at night. The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent boss, 54, said that he drank vodka at “one or two in the morning” to helped spark creativity. And he insisted he only needed one good idea every ten years to be successful. In an interview to promote X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! written by comic Harry Hill, Cowell also said that he could not quit smoking. “Harry trained as a doctor, he doesn’t like my theory that although I smoke and drink I take supplements, so I’ll be all right,” he told the Radio Times. “If I tried to cut out cigarettes completely, I would have a real problem: too boring. It’s the same with drinking.” But the new father added: “I’m pretty good at cutting back when I need to.” He added: “I have this expression, ‘You never eat Indian food for breakfast’. I always think there is a time in your day when you can be creative. “For me, one or two in the morning, couple of vodka and limes, couple of cigarettes, I’m in a calm place: I can think. “I always say, ‘One good idea a year can pay for your next ten years.’ And that’s all you need to do.” 

Simon with a becks beerCowell, who was recently pictured topless while strolling alongside girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their baby boy, Eric, said that he was in good shape. “Yeah, not too shabby, eh?” he told the magazine. Previews of The X Factor musical, penned by Hill, have been postponed for the second time in a week with producers citing technical problems. Cowell joked that I Can’t Sing! would have to last longer than the Spice Girls stage show to be considered a success after Viva Forever! ran for seven months and was deemed a flop. Asked what would count as a success, he joked: “Seven months and a day”, before adding: “I’m not au fait with the numbers. “From day one there was a cloud over that musical. The critics had a field day.” He added: “You’ve got to be confident in what you do, otherwise you’d be paralysed. I’ve always thought if I like something then other people will like it.”  Cowell told the magazine: “It’s bloody risky, but so is making the TV show. “Every new season you go in with the highest hopes, and sometimes you get a bum year. You wait for those numbers to come in, oh my God it’s stressful, and it’s a delicious thrill.”

Read more here at The Mirror, Pictures by Splash  Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

Nigella Darling! Divorce Suits You! You are looking a Million

nigella dishyThe gorgeous chef looks really very dishy… geddit? It was her striking good looks which had the nation transfixed when she walked into court in December. But Nigella Lawson admits she is “terrified” of being photographed without her war paint. And three months after she admitted taking cocaine during her assistants trial for fraud, she has bravely posed with minimal make-up for the new issue of British Vogue. The Domestic Goddess, who long been a contributing editor to the fashion bible (her first cookery column was printed in 1995), appears on the cover of the April issue of the mag 

nigella vogue cover 2014Wearing a green off-the-shoulder dress with jewelled belt, Nigella gazes into the lens in her sultry cover shot. The 54-year-old also shows off her hourglass figure in a plunging black dress. The brunette beauty, who has been at the centre of a media storm for the past few months, looks calm and at ease in the photographs, despite wearing minimal make-up. Nigella, 54, said: “I was terrified of being photographed without make-up, and I hate having my looks talked up. It always makes me feel I’m going to be a disappointment in the flesh.”  The Domestic Goddess has also told how she wants to do more than writing cookery books. Speaking about her future, she told April’s Vogue: “I love what I do, but there are other parts of my brain that I haven’t flexed in a professional way. “I do sometimes think that I’ve let the more analytical part of my brain slump slightly. “I do like writing about food, but there’s so much that interests me. “I’ve been working – in a cottage-industry way – on an app, which, if it works, could be deeply thrilling.”

See the full interview in the April issue of Vogue, on sale Monday March 10.

Read more at The Mirror   Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

More TV for Orchid Jewels

treacyswetcountyhotelOrchid Jewels can’t get enough of Television this month, what with Laura O’Neill wearing Orchid on the RTE Late late Show last Friday night. Our cabinet made it’s own appearance during Season 6 Episode 8 of At Your Service, where Francis and John Brennan help 28-year-old Patrick Treacy with the ambitious revamp of the West County Hotel in Ennis, Co Clare. Keep an eye out in the lobby shots for our wee baby (the glass cabinet filled with Orchid Jewellery) sparkling away!  View programme here

Radio Moves…End of an Era….Larry Gogan moves to weekends on 2Fm

And in homage to the legend of Irish broadcasting and his famous Just a Minute quiz, here are just ten of the best answers that have been broadcast on his show. Courtesy of The Irish Independent Newspaper

1.  Name something a blind man might use…    A Sword

2. Name the capital of France…  F

3. Name an occupation where you might need a torch… A burglar

4. Where is the Taj Mahal? Opposite the Dental Hospital

5. What was Hitlers first name? Heil

6. Complete the saying “As happy as… A pig in sh**t

7. Can you name a  dangerous race  The Arabs

8. The name of a famous bridge…. The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

9. Something people might be allergic to? Skiing

10. What star do travellers follow? Joe Dolan

As a treat and for the Oscar Season that was in it, we thought we’d leave you with some clips from Ellen’s Post Oscar show – which went out LIVE last night…enjoy!

Wishing you all a very happy St Patrick’s Day

Martina & all the team

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