WATCH: Mike Garry pays poignant 10th anniversary tribute to Tony Wilson

He'll be reciting 'St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson’ on Sunday in Dublin...

Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Tony Wilson, the legendary Mancunian who founded both Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub

Poet Mike Garry, who’s Dublin-bound on Sunday August 13 for an 8pm show in The Workman’s Club, marks the occasion with a rendition of his ‘St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson’ spoken word tribute in the church where his funeral took place.

The video for the previous musical version featured cameos from Happy Mondays, New Order, Richard Madeley, Iggy Pop, John Cooper Clarke, Terry Christian, Durutti Column, Steve Coogan and Paul Morley who were all in his orbit down through the years.

With Joy Division, OMD, A Certain Ratio, Section 25, OMD, Stockholm Monsters, James, Quango Quango, Cabaret Voltaire, Electronic, Northside and the aforementioned Mondays all finding a home - temporary or otherwise - at Factory, we've a lot to thank Anthony H Wilson for!

Meanwhile, former Hot Press film critic, Tara Brady, provided a brilliant overview of the life and times of Tony Wilson in 2002 when reviewing the 24 Hour Party People biopic.

A Tale Of Two Cities

As the punk revolution took hold in the UK, Manchester was notable for the bleak, industrial soundtrack even its most successful bands were making. But that all changed with the explosion there of a new and hedonistic culture, centred in and around The Hacienda, a club run by the city's most influential music biz entrepreneur, the boss of Factory Records, TONY WILSON. The story of the transformation of the city into the centre of rock'n'roll's emerging drug and club culture – of the change from Manchester to Madchester – is told in 24 Hour Party People. With the Happy Mondays as it primary musical focus, there's no shortage of on-screen drugs and fighting – but this is really the extraordinary saga of one of the great rock'n'roll towns, in all its gory glory… Tara Brady reports

An avalanche of memories flood forth – of a thousand blowing whistles, of floppy hats and baggy flares, of heat, moisture, sweat, dry ice, Vicks Vapo-Rub, luminous white gloves, gold lamé bikinis, flying-saucer eyeballs a go-go everywhere you look, as the music of the Happy Mondays pounds cheerfully and forcefully from the rehearsal rooms.

A youthful, floppy-fringed Shaun Ryder belts out the familiar strains of ‘Hallelujah’ as he prepares for the arrival of the minging multitudes. It could be – it looks like – a scene straight out of the second ‘Summer of Love’, at its dizzying height.

In reality, though, the Mondays’ brand of ragged trousered euphoria has been time-warped to Manchester in 2002, and only two of these performers – backing vocalist Rowetta and Shaun’s brother Paul – are genuine surviving Madchester veterans. This is not the genuine article but a virtual outfit, created for director Michael Winterbottom’s intoxicating new rock and roll fable, 24 Hour Party People.

Today, the band are rehearsing for a performance at the movie’s world premiere – and though the virtual vocals provided courtesy of Danny Cunningham, who plays Shaun in the film, sound utterly convincing, the young Yorkshire-born actor is becoming increasingly apprehensive as the night of the big bash approaches.

“To tell the truth, I’m shitting myself,” he says. “I mean when I heard the part was going I thought ‘Fantastic!’– that’s the one I want. I remember the time, and the buzz around the band and the Haçienda. First time I went there, there really was, like, sweat coming off the ceiling. It was great.”

Getting the job was one thing, doing it another. But for all the risks of playing a living legend like the Mondays’ frontman, Cunningham has enjoyed himself.

“I’ve never known a job like it,” he says. “Because Row(etta) was there it was really brilliant, ‘cos she knew all the personal stuff and I learned so many interesting things about him. Lucky enough, I don’t think he’s going to show up at the premiere. I mean, the rest of us have been hanging about. Me and Paul Popplewell (who plays Paul Ryder in the movie) have been ‘round to Horse’s (Paul Ryder’s) mum, so I’ve met her and everything. But I don’t think the band all get on that well anymore.”

Too right they don’t. But more of that later...

A riotous and often disjointed affair, much like the phenomenon it documents, 24-Hour Party People is a hugely entertaining mess. By hitching a ride on the biographical framework provided by the life and times of Mancunian entrepreneur and Factory records impressario, Anthony H. (aka Tony) Wilson, the film encompasses everything from the birth of the Manchester punk scene at a poorly-attended 1976 Sex Pistols gig, right up to the last dehydrated gasp of acid house.

Exactly how Manchester, a byword throughout the ‘70s and early ‘80s for grim post-industrial urban bleakness, came to be identified as the spiritual Mecca of Bacchanalian excess and the home of the eternal party still remains something of a mystery. The fact that many of the architects behind this remarkable transformation were mashed out of their skulls at the time, rendering their various recollections singularly unreliable makes the mystery that much harder to unravel. But that, indisputably, is what happened.

Much of the city’s post-punk output was darker, starker and more menacing than anything emanating from London. Joy Division’s brooding, Byronic frontman Ian Curtis and the Smiths’ morose mainman Morrissey were icons of alienation and anguish. And even the Fall’s relatively chirpy Mark E. Smith espoused an uncompromising worldview of working-class cynicism, bordering on despair.

Rarely greeted with much enthusiasm by what Smith witheringly referred to as ‘90% disco weekend mating audiences’, The Fall were a mighty force in live performance and on record, evoking the crumbling high-rise drudgescape of England’s industrial innards with the clarity of a photo on a postcard.

If that sounds wanting in sweetness and light, in many ways it was. Joy Division – their name taken from the enforced prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp – were a far darker and more frightening entity still.

Lead singer, Ian Curtis, was a mesmerising figure of bleak intensity, who has come to rank alongside Kurt Cobain and the Manic’s Richie Edwards as the most eerie of rock’n’roll’s doomed (and in the case of Edwards, presumed) ghosts.

While those who knew the younger Curtis constantly stress how funny, spirited and ‘normal’ he was, his behaviour from the moment he was diagnosed as epileptic hinted at someone not long-destined for this world. A turbulent love life born of an extra-marital affair with Belgian woman Annik Honore, coupled with mounting depression and fear of failure as a father, led not to the slow, self-destuctive implosion of rock cliché – but to something much harder to predict or guard against.

On the 18th of May 1980, two days before Joy Division were scheduled to begin their first tour of America, Curtis persuaded his wife Deborah to spend the night at her parents’ house, with the couple’s infant daughter, Natalie. After hours alone listening to Iggy Pop and watching the Werner Herzog movie Stroszek, Ian Curtis hanged himself as the dawn broke.

It defies imagination what Joy Division might have achieved had he lived. The legacy in such pained classics as ‘Transmission’, ‘She’s Lost Control’, and the eerily haunting ‘Atmosphere’ is unquestionably great. His swan-song, the unlikely Top 20 hit single ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ remains one of the most spectrally beautiful, soul-searchingly powerful romantic laments ever recorded, a song that can fill the listener with more love than any mountain of E’s might conjure.

Echoing the bittersweet majesty and melancholia of Scott Walker, it would never have been an easy act to follow. But locked forever to the terrible drama of Curtis’ death, it is a defining track.

With Curtis six feet under, the remaining members of Joy Division soldiered on admirably well. Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Steve Morris recruited Steve’s partner Gillian Gilbert into the group and took turns on singing duty, until finally the task fell permanently to Sumner – whose quivering, indecisive vocals proved a tantalising foil for the band’s intricately designed digital sound. Thus, against all odds, the band re-invented itself.

Wisely rejecting alternative name suggestions (Khymer Rouge and The Sunshine Valley Dance Band), the group, now known as New Order, went on to become Manchester’s most influential and successful musical export. Rightly so, as the relentless sturm und drang of their most recent album, the sublime Get Ready, so perfectly illustrates.

They made some great music along the way. But while they were, ostensibly, the Factory lynchpins, all around them the world was tilting on its axis. The Haçienda was at the centre of this shift. So was New Order’s mentor, Tony Wilson.

The mid-1980s witnessed a cultural sea-change in Britain. ‘House’ music and ecstasy-enabled euphoria took hold. And the explosion of the scene was driven from Manchester, which once again was at the heart of the action. The fulcrum of it all was Wilson, a man of consuming ego and ambition, who wanted nothing less than world domination if it was up for grabs.

Inspired by Wilson’s entrepreneurial zest and free-wheeling rock’n’roll spirit, ‘Madchester’, as it would become known, produced an explosion of baggy, floppy-fringed, lopsided indie bands. It was however, the city’s dance scene, which was to herald the cult of the DJ, that would have the most lasting impact.

In due course, the non-stop party that had been set in motion would inevitably end in a crushing hangover. It’s a story that 24 Hour Party People – which filches its title from the Happy Mondays’ debut album Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile – tells with pace and humour.

Against a backdrop of hysterical red-top tabloid frenzy-feeding, Madchester segued effortlessly into Gunchester. Predatory forces in the form of rival drug-dealers moved in, and 16-year-old Clare Leighton collapsed at the Factory-owned Haçienda nightclub in 1989, to become the UK’s first ecstasy-related fatality. Another 16-year-old girl would suffer the same tragic fate within months.

The Haçienda’s policy of recruiting Mosside gang members as security men didn’t exactly help the club’s reputation either. In fact, this employment policy only served to heighten the impact that Manchester’s burgeoning gang culture was having within the club’s walls.

Unsurprisingly, these developments combined with crippling financial problems (monetary mismanagement against a background of global recession) to ensure that the city’s profane temple would ultimately be forced to close its doors. For a brief moment in time, however, a decadent carnival atmosphere prevailed. The sheer mania of it is unlikely to be forgotten by any who were there.

The Happy Mondays, of course, provided the primary soundtrack. Loveable savantes who nonetheless always carried with them a whiff of streetwise scuzz, the Mondays were products of a post-Thatcher dolehead culture. Based largely around near-ascetic avoidance of the workaday world, their very name was ripe with connotations of indulgent indolence.

It didn’t stop them making some remarkable records. Their roots may have been in urban folk but the dance influence was well in evidence on 1988‘s Bummed. But it was when the Madchester Rave On EP hit the top 20 that their schtick was defined – and with it a whole scene came into (admittedly fuzzy!) focus.

Their third album, Pills’N’Thrills And Bellyaches crashed to No. 1 in the U.K. album charts and the Mondays were made men. But what had been made could be undone – and inevitably it was, washed away in a blaze of excess and indulgence.

Exactly how far their ‘indulging’ went along the way has already become the stuff of legend: they happily represented the last party before the ship fell off the edge of the universe. As Talking Heads’ Tina Weymouth famously put it, after a stint as the Mondays’ album producer: “I grew up in New York in the seventies, and I’ve seen a lot of people who live life on the edge, but I’ve never before seen a group of people who had no idea where the edge is.”

At the centre of this vortex of chemical frenzy stood the inimitable Shaun Ryder, a man who, even before attaining the trappings of RockStardomTM, had already seemed hellbent on devoting his existence to life, liberty and the pursuit of oblivion (“I went straight from the rehab clinic to the pub,” he said once. “Bought two pints of lager and half an ounce of weed; two days later I was back on the skag.”)

Slobbish, swaggering, profoundly laddish and devoid of any intellectual pretensions whatsoever, Ryder was the ultimate anti-hero figure for those who Didn’t Give A Fuck. His macho posturings and anti-PC stream of semi-consciousness were a precursor of the shenanigans indulged in by Oasis’ Gallagher brothers – and by like-minded loud-mouthed lads everywhere.

In 1991, in an increasingly desperate effort to keep Ryder away from smack, Factory Records sent him and the rest of the Mondays to Barbados to record the album Yes Please! Of course, they forgot that Barbados was the crack-cocaine capital of the world, and the band soon spiralled downward into an orgy of broken bones, car-crashes and sordid in-fighting.

It’s a part of the saga that provides 24 Hour Party People with some of its most dramatic moments. It offers a measure of just how brutally fucked-up and stupid a scene that begins in hope and hedonism can become under the influence of too much of everything. But then we already knew that. It’s the story of rock’n’roll, and the grim underbelly that is the almost inevitable counterpoint to the bright lights and the big time...

Somehow, the ominous portent of Ian Curtis’ death notwithstanding, the vast majority of the Madchester suspects have lived to tell the tale. Paul Ryder – brother of Shaun and bass guitarist with the Mondays is one of them. The eternally youthful Rowetta – who holds the distinction of being the only band member still in good enough nick to play herself in the movie – is another. Both are happy to talk about how in different ways they survived the scrapes.

24 Hour Party People depicts the near legendary excesses of the Happy Mondays tour bus. Was it truly that chaotic?

“Looking back on it now – it was pretty chaotic, yeah,” Paul says. “At the time it was just the way we were all living. It didn’t seem like carnage or chaos.”

“It was worse!” Rowetta insists. “A lot of it has been cut out from the movie. It was funny trying to recreate what was going on during that famous drug tour of America. Different people on different drugs, you know? Some were on heroin, some cocaine, some on whizz, some draw and it was really funny to just sit back and watch it all going on. I’m really lucky. I love my Bushmills whiskey, but that’s my only real problem. So it was funny watching it.”

In the movie Rowetta is portrayed as the person who introduced Tony Wilson to coke. True or false?

“You know something? I’ve never even seen him do a line in real life,” Rowetta says. “I know it’s happened but I’ve never seen it with my own eyes. I don’t even remember him ever being on the tour-bus. I suppose its just fiction, ‘cos he was the main character in the film. I had to actually sit and watch it with my mum and my kids saying ‘That’s not real cocaine!’ But it was funny ‘cos the bus kept swerving while we were doing that scene and Steve (Coogan – who plays Wilson in the movie) kept going flying into the coke and we had to do it again and again. Really, though, I just thought I’d do that scene, ‘cos that way I’d get a close up!”

What about Paul and Shaun poisoning the entire pigeon population of Manchester? Was that made up for the movie too?

“Er, no. I’m afraid to say that bit is true,” Paul says. “They’re rats with wings – that’s all they are! Still, to this day, I don’t like pigeons.”

The movie doesn’t flinch in its depiction of the infamous recording sessions that never were in Barbados. Did the band really end up selling their clothes for crack there?

“Barbados was probably the most fun we ever had,” Paul says. “It was crazy – though, I have to say that bit is exaggerated for the film. We never sold our clothes for crack. We only swapped them!”

Rowetta wasn’t in Barbados, having left the band to do her own stuff. “I do remember Shaun and Paul on crack alright,” she says. “I just didn’t see it in Barbados. Still, it was the heroin that was the worst. Shaun’s heroin addiction is still a big problem and always will be.”

Was it really strange re-visiting a virtual Haçienda and playing with a virtual version of the Happy Mondays?

“Fairly strange,” Paul says. “But I’ve become really good mates with Paul Popplewell, who plays me in the film. He’s actually staying at my house for the next three months. So it was strange at first but I’ve become friends with them all. I mean all of us were thinking at the beginning ‘Oh God what are they going to do with this movie?’ But it’s been done really well – part-fiction and part-fact, with a bit of a comedy element as well.”

“Any of the people that were there at the time, who walked into the Haçienda they built for the film, had tears in their eyes,” Rowetta says. “And then at the end, when you just knew that they were going to tear it all down again – that was horrible.

“As for the clone band, I’m singing away with them here. We’ve all become really good friends, and we all go around together now. We just spent last weekend in London with Bez and the guy who plays Bez. They get on really well, so it’s fantastic. This crew are all really nice guys – and better yet, they’re not junkies. So they’re a bit more boring than the real thing!”

With the Mondays, at what stage did you start thinking ‘Whoah, things are getting out of hand here’?

“I thought ‘whoah’ as soon as I started singing with the Mondays,” Rowetta laughs. “I didn’t know Shaun was on heroin and I remember seeing bits of tin-foil and stuff and thinking it was just for draw. Then I was in a lift with Shaun’s girlfriend and she was complaining that she was sick of Shaun and his smack and I’m like – ‘Fucking hell! Is he on smack?’ After that, well, it’s so obvious, once you know.”

Paul was more of a non-stop party person – the boy just couldn’t get enough.

“I never thought ‘whoah’. I didn’t think about stopping until after I spent two stints in a mental institution,” he says. “And do you know what? I still didn’t stop then. Yeah, I began to think, ‘There’s something quite seriously wrong here’ – but it didn’t make me stop. It took another couple of years after that, after two complete breakdowns, to get around to stopping.”

“Paul here used to hide his drug habit as well,” Rowetta reveals. “He used to do a lot of coke and crack, but then he ended up being a heroin addict too. But he’s come full circle and he goes to AA meetings now. Really though, it’s ‘whoah’ time once anybody is doing smack or has got an addiction. When you’ve got a gig to do and your singer is refusing to get on the bus until there’s some smack – that’s fucked up.

“And then you have people coming up to you saying ‘It must be so great being you. It must be a really laugh-a-minute party all the time’. It’s not. Well, it was great apart from the drugs and that. I just kept going with my bottle of whiskey!”

Things did spiral out of control towards the end. It became fractious and difficult. The party was over. It was time to go home...

“Towards the end people got ill,” Rowetta recalls. “They were arguing and falling out, but when we reformed, Paul had to leave the band ‘cos of the arguments with his brother. Shaun was picking on the members of the band. Sometimes he’d say stuff over the microphone – horrible stuff. Like I remember when Paul started having troubles with his wife and we were on stage in Wembley, I think it was, and Shaun starts shouting into the microphone at Paul – ‘Just ‘cos your fucking wife left you!’ And the audience would laugh, but onstage we were thinking ‘oh no’, ‘cos he would go too far. When people start hating each other, it’s not funny, you know?

“The worst thing that happened to me, though,” she adds, “was when we reformed and we were at the Witnness festival (in Ireland) and Shaun punched me in front of everybody. That was horrible. And the papers were saying that it was a fight or something – but he called me a nigger. He was on crack and smack and he had just woken up and was like – ‘Yo nigger, get me a drink’ and I just said ‘Get it yourself, you big nosed bastard’. And I think he then said ‘You fucking fat nigger’, but I really don’t remember much at that point, ‘cos I just remember being punched. I was out cold on the floor and he was saying ‘Get up, you got a gig’. I mean I had a black eye. I was going home.

“Bez was really good, though. He really stuck up for me ‘cos all the others were just worried about the money. Bez just said ‘I’m not going on stage. That’s it. You can hit me just like you hit Row’. That’s crack cocaine for you.”

So far, there hasn’t been even the hint of an apology from Shaun.

“Bez thinks maybe I should ring him,” Rowetta says, “but he hit me really hard. Then when he was going to Australia, I was asked would I go with him and I said no. I wasn’t getting onstage with him. I wasn’t getting on a tour bus with him – and that’s the way it is until he apologises for what he did. I put my vocals on tape for him, but I’m not going to live in fear of getting hit again.

“It’s just so sad when it gets to that. I mean we’re like family but he’s outside the group now and doesn’t make friends. He’s got such a big problem with his drugs. I mean, I run a web-site and everyday people are saying what a genius he is and how brilliant he is, and I agree with them. He’s brilliant with lyrics and I love the music and I still don’t like anyone slagging him off. But it is terrible. People come up to me and ask why I left and say – ‘It’s ‘cos of you that the band split up again’. But it wasn’t a 50/50 argument or anything.”

Are the rest of the band still in touch?

“I’m great mates with Bez,” Rowetta says. “He’s become a real family man. He’s got two sons and he lives in the hills. He goes skateboarding or snowboarding or camping with them. You wouldn’t believe how boring he is now! He’s a lovely dad. You see, Bez was never an addict. He just liked pills, you know? And he took time out all the time, and went home. He always had a stable family set up. It’s important to go home and switch off. I mean you can’t do it every week and get away with it.”

So, Shaun aside, are the 24 hour party people happy with their new chemical-free lifestyle, then?

“Well me and Bez still take weeks off. We still get off our heads,” Rowetta confesses. ”Don’t want to get into trouble with the police – but we like our parties!”

“I don’t even touch a drink now, but I love my cigarettes,” Paul says. “Apart from that I have no vices. Still, I don’t have a single regret about the way I used to live. I’ve a few brain-cells missing but I’m still alive. And if I had to do it all again tomorrow, I would... so long as I knew I could get un-fucked up at the end of it.”

24-Hour Party People is released in Ireland on April 5th

The Essential Manchester

Six bands that defined a city

Joy Division

Having failed to set the world – or indeed Manchester – alight under the Warsaw moniker, Ian Curtis, Barney Sumner, Pete Hook and Stephen Morris changed their name and became instant post-punk heroes. An even more disturbed take on The Velvet Underground, they scored the unlikeliest of top 20 hits with the momentous ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

Essential listening: Unknown Pleasures (Factory) 1979

New Order

Following the shock 1980 suicide of Ian Curtis, the rest of Joy Division opted for another name change, and a switch to a more electronic-driven sound. Augmented by guitar and synth player Gillian Gilbert, they tore up the rulebook with their proto-techno anthem, ‘Blue Monday’, which remains one of the fastest-selling 12” singles of all time.

Essential listening: Power, Corruption And Lies (Factory) 1983

The Smiths

Self-absorption, unrequited love and a penchant for daffodils were all on the menu as New York Dolls fanzine writer Stephen Patrick Morrissey became the unlikeliest of bedsit pin-ups. Aided in no small part by the unique guitar sound of Johnny Marr (who would later team up with New Order’s Bernard Sumner in another Manchester outfit, Electronic), The Smiths became arguably the most influential guitar band of their generation.

Essential listening: Meat Is Murder (Rough Trade) 1985

Stone Roses

The catalyst for the Madchester explosion, the Stone Roses enjoyed four relatively barren years before 1988’s ‘The Elephant Stone’ marked them out as genuine contenders. As nifty a tune as it was, it didn’t prepare anyone for the jaw-dropping brilliance of their eponymous debut album, which wasn’t afraid to wear its classic 60’s influences on its sleeve. Somewhere in Burnage, the Gallagher brothers were making notes.

Essential Listening: Stone Roses (Silvertone) 1989

Happy Mondays

Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) was not only a brilliant title for their debut album, but signaled the drug-fuelled mayhem that Happy Mondays were about to unleash. The embodiment of British lad culture, the Mondays’ rise to fame was almost as spectacular as their eventual disintegration. Lead singer Shaun Ryder went on to form Black Grape.

Essential listening: Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches (Factory) 1990

Oasis

Sacked from his job as roadie with another fabled Manchester outfit, Inspiral Carpets, Noel Gallagher was left with no option but to nick all the best bits from The Beatles, Who, Kinks and Sex Pistols’ back catalogues, and fashion them into the clutch of memorable songs that would make up the fast-selling debut album in British history. It wasn’t long before America, film star wives and Knebworth beckoned – a rags to riches rock ‘n’ roll tale (replete with a sub-plot of sibling rivalry with brother Liam) that isn’t over yet.

Essential listening: Definitely Maybe (Creation) 1994

 

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Fine Gael Senator and spokesman on EU Affairs, Neale Richmond is calling for a new referendum. He made his comments after arch Brexiteer Nigel Farage said on British television yesterday that their should be a second referendum in order to put any debates around the contentious issue, once and all, to bed.

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Watch U2's 'Liner Notes' Film

U2's documentary about the making of their latest album has just been uploaded onto their official social media pages.

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Eric Clapton: "I'm Going Deaf."

But the music icon insists that the show must go on despite his many health problems.

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UPDATE: 'Fast' Eddie Clarke has passed away

The former Motörhead guitarist played on some of hard rock's defining albums...

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100 French writers, performers and academics including Catherine Denueve defend 'freedom to seduce'

The letter begins: “Rape is a crime. But a persistent or clumsy come-on is not a crime, nor is gallantry a form of macho aggression.”

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Hot Press runs the rule over Martin O'Neill's potential Ireland successors - and, yep, Arsene Wenger is among them!

We're also putting a sneaky tenner on Jim McGuinness! But there's growing speculation about Carlo Ancelotti...

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Harvey Weinstein Slapped By A "Fan"!

Video footage has emerged of the disgraced Hollywood movie mogul being hit twice on the face by a fan after he refused to pose for a selfie with him!

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James Franco Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations

Hot on the heels of winning his Golden Globe award for best actor in 'The Disaster Artist', there's been a flurry of graphic sexual misconduct allegations made on social media against the Hollywood star.

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Government Warned It "Cannot Overplay Its Hand" On Abortion Referendum

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has said that the Cabinet has "little or no freedom for manoeuvre on the nature" of the abortion referendum it has committed to hold.

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US Politician Commits Suicide Following Sex Abuse Charges

36-year-old Brandon Hixon, who was a Republican Idaho State Representative for District 10 in the A seat, has shot himself in the head after being forced to step down from his position while being investigated for sexual abuse.

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The RTÉ Choice Music Prize shortlist has been announced

James Vincent McMorrow, Otherkin, Fangclub & Marlene Enright are part of a very fine bunch...

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Michael Douglas Denies He Has Skeletons In His Closet

"This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever," says the Hollywood icon about claims that he sexually harassed a former employee.

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Comic Book Icon Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Now 95-year-old Stan Lee, who created Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men, has been accused of inappropriate behaviour by nurses who looked after him.

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Saoirse Ronan's Mother Says She's Beaming With Pride

The Irish actress's mother says she "couldn't be more proud" of her daughter after she won her first Golden Globe earlier this week.

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Concerns About Social Media Raised By Irish Politician

More effort is needed to raise "awareness about the damaging effects of social media on young people", according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte

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Irish Eyes Are Smiling After BAFTA 2018 Nominations

Saoirse Ronan, Daniel Day-Lewis and London-Irish filmmaker Martin McDonagh have all been nominated for BAFTAs.

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Justin Timberlake Announces North American Tour Dates

Global superstar Justin Timberlake announced today that he will make his highly anticipated return to the stage with The Man Of The Woods Tour, starting in March (see below for full list).

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David Byrne Drops New Song & Announce Album In March

David Byrne yesterday announced his forthcoming solo record, 'American Utopia', during a presentation of “Reasons To Be Cheerful,” an ongoing series curated by Byrne of hopeful writings, photos, music, and lectures.

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Irish Oscar Hopes Riding High After Golden Globes

Actress Saoirse Ronan's and writer/director Martin McDonagh's Golden Globe wins yesterday bodes well for Irish Oscar hopes, reckons Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon.

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Rare David Bowie Track Released To Mark Icon's Birthday

To celebrate what would have been the 71st birthday of David Bowie the previously unreleased ‘Let's Dance' (Demo) is being released as a very special digital-only single available for streaming and download.

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Our last interview with legendary Thin Lizzy producer Chris Tsangarides

Hot Press Contributing Editor Roisin Dwyer talked to Chris when we were researching Philip Lynott – Still In Love With You, which celebrated the life and music of the great Philo.

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Lana Del Rey Tells Radiohead: "See You In Court"

Lana Del Rey has confirmed that she is facing a legal battle with Radiohead over claims she plagiarised their song 'Creep'.

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Labour Youth Condemns Reappointment Of Chair Of Housing Agency

Labour Youth is calling on the Minister for the Environment to reconsider his reappointment of Conor Skehan as Chair of the Housing Agency.

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Barack Obama to be the first guest on David Letterman's new Netflix show

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman makes what could be a pretty seismic bow on Friday January 12...

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French Pop Icon France Gall Dies

The famous yé-yé singer, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, has passed away at the age of 70 following a battle with cancer.

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Tributes Pour In For Peter Sutherland, "An Irish Giant on The International Stage"

The former attorney general and businessman, who passed away last night, has been described as having been "one of the most outstanding personalities in modern Irish life".

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Moody Blues Singer Has Passed Away

Rock legend Ray Thomas has died at the age of 76 following a battle with prostate cancer.

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Rural Ireland Forced To Wait Till 2023 For Connections Under National Broadband Plan

The Irish government has been slammed over the shocking revelation that it will be a further five years before they manage to connect 537,587 rural homes and businesses to broadband under the National Broadband Plan.

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George Hook Returns To The Air

The controversial radio presenter, who stepped down from his daily radio slot after making outrageously offensive comments about sexual assault live on air last year, will return to the airwaves shortly with his own Saturday slot, it has just been announced.

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New Irish-Based TV Series Based On George R.R. Martin Book Gets Green Light

The Irish film and TV industry has received a major boost with the announcement that a new TV show adaptation of 'Nighflyers', which is based on author George R.R. Martin’s novella, is to be filmed here.

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WATCH: Bruno Mars & Cardi B's New Music Video

The duo are dripping' in "Finesse" on their new remix collaboration that has just been released.

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Trump tries desperately to stop publication of explosive new tell-all book

Fire and Fury, a new book written by American journalist Michael Wolff, purports to reveal the dark (and dysfunctional) secrets of Trump's White House.

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Jamaican Musician Seeks Financial Help To Fight Gun Charges

A Gogetfunding page has been set up for Jovaine who insists he's innocent of gun charges brought against him.

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Will Smith Signs Up For 'Bright' Sequel

It's only just been released, but Will Smith is now planning to make a sequel to 'Bright'.

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All The Lowdown On Justin Timberlake's New Album & First Single

Justin Timberlake is set to release his fourth studio album, Man Of The Woods on 2 February and the first single will be released tomorrow (5 January)

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Ellen Page Ties The Knot

The actress has announced that she's married her partner Emma Portner who appeared in the music video for Justin Bieber’s song ‘Life Is Worth Living’.

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Your last chance to take part in the Global Drug Survey 2018!

From binge drinking and ketamine to meth and the new wave of chemsex drugs, we want you to have your say...

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UPDATE: ELLYD, The Lost Brothers, Tupelo & Django Django join our 2018 Irish album & EPs list!

It already features The Academic, Snow Patrol, Kodaline, Glen Hansard, EDEN & My Bloody Valentine, The New 52s, Theme Tune Boy, Anna Mitchell, The Stunning, The 202s, The Frantics and more...

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Amy Winehouse's Father Says Her Ghost Visits Him!

Mitch says that the spirit of his beloved daughter, who tragically died in 2011, visits him regularly and sits at the end of his bed.

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Irish Football Star Scoops Lotto Prize

Preston North End star Kevin O’Connor, who has been capped at under-21 level for Ireland, has scored the main prize of €1million in the Lotto’s Christmas Millionaire Raffle.

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Sinn Féin’s "Commitment To Peace" Is Questioned By Senator

A Fine Gael Senator has sensationally "questioned Sinn Féin’s commitment to peace". The reason Senator Joe O’Reilly gives is because they "continue to sell IRA memorabilia on the party’s website to raise funds".

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Record trolley figures Are "Damning Indictment" Of Leo Varadkar's Government

There are a staggering 656 people waiting for a bed in hospital – that’s the highest number since records began, according to the latest stats from the Irish Nurses and Midwives reveal

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Danny Masterson's Ex-Girlfriend Accuses Actor Of Rape

Actress Bobette Riales has claimed that she was raped "repeatedly" by the popular actor, who's best known for his role in 'That 70s Shows',

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Obama Picks U2 Track As One Of His Favourite Songs of 2017

The former US President has compiled a list of his favourite music from 2017 and amongst his top picks is the Extraordinary Mix version of 'Ordinary Love' taken from the deluxe edition of U2's latest album, 'Songs of Experience'.

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"No Thanks, Nigel": Plans For 'Irexit' Conference Is Slammed

The Irish public is being urged by the Seanad spokesman on EU Affairs' not to attend an anti-EU conference being held in Dublin next February.

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Facebook "Must Clarify They Aren’t Favouring Govt Over Opposition"

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Timmy Dooley is calling on Facebook to clarify that they are not engaging in partisan and preferential treatment of Government Ministers and advisors.

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Tributes paid to Dublin musician Mark Levins

The guitarist, who passed away unexpectedly on Christmas Day, will be remembered for his "knowledge, passion and generosity of spirit."

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THOSE WE LOST 2017: Tom Petty

Pat Carty was joined by Eleanor McEvoy, Thomas Walsh and Gavin Glass in paying tribute to the Heartbreaker-in-chief.

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WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Excerpt From Kevin Spacey's Brother's Controversial New Autobiography

"At that moment, I lost all respect for my beloved little brother. No matter what negative worrisome thoughts I had had about him before, that episode just reinforced and sealed the deal for me."

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The Sussed Hit No1 Spot in Charts

Irish punk provocateurs The Sussed are number one for "all genres in Ireland" in the N1M music charts with their song 'Don't Swim On The East Coast'.

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Bookies Put Conor McGregor At 25/1 To Run For President!

You can now get odds of 25/1 that the Notorious will announce plans to throw his hat into the ring to succeed Michael D. Higgins as President in 2018!

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Bono Talks About Near Death Experience

Bono has said that he feels like he's "the f**king luckiest man on Earth" after enduring a major health scare.

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Solange Opens Up About Secret Battle With Nervous System Disorder

Beyonce's sister has revealed that she's been secretly battling with an autonomic disorder for several months.

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Mark Hamill Pays Tribute To Carrie Fisher On Anniversary Of Her Death

One year after Carrie Fisher died suddenly at the relatively young age of 60, her Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill has paid a moving tribute to her, saying that she is "always with us".

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Singer Makes Sexual Assault Complaint Against Trump's Ex- Campaign Manager

Musician Joy Villa, who is a big Donald Trump supporter and wore a "Make America Great Again" dress at this year's Grammys, has made the allegations against the US President's former top aide Corey Lewandowski.

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Irish Labour Leader Slams Donald Trump Over UN Budget Threat

As the United States threatens a $285m reduction in the UN budget, the Irish Labour leader has said that he believes it might be time to consider moving the HQ's location from New York back to Europe.

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Mrs Brown's Boys Was The Most Watched Show In UK On Christmas Day

The Dublin comedian's show beat the likes of Strictly Come Dancing (second place), EastEnders (fourth place) and Coronation Street (seventh place) to the top spot with a staggering 6.8 million viewers.

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Watch U2 Go Record Shopping

Here's a clip from 'U2 At The BBC' in which The Edge and Adam Clayton go record shopping with Cat Deeley.

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Arise Sir Ringo Starr! Beatles Icon To Receive Knighthood

After years and years of waiting, the drummer is to be finally knighted by the Queen in the new year.

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Sound Of Music Star Dies On Christmas Eve

Actress Heather Menzies, who is probably best known for playing one of the von Trapp children in 'The Sound of Music' movie, has passed away.

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WATCH: First Trailer For Mamma Mia Sequel

It won't be released until next summer, but the first trailer for 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' has just been released.

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Lorde Cancels Tel Aviv Gig

The 21-year-old singer has decided to cancel the gig after being urged to boycott Israel.

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Undocumented Must Be Kept To Fore Of Political Agenda

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has said that he is deeply concerned by the rise in the number of undocumented Irish being detained and deported by US immigration officials in the run up to the Christmas.

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