SARAH HORGAN bumps into a star of TV3 show Celebrity Salon in Cork
THERE was a time when I would have recognised every reality TV show star in a split second.
At 17, I was obsessed with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in The Simple Life, while I followed every move on Big Brother. And they say youth is wasted on the young!
Now aged 26, I have largely kicked the habit. So when I attended a post charity soccer match barbecue in Glaunthaune last week, I had no idea a reality TV star was in my midst.
It was my friend, a fan of the genre, who pointed out excitedly that the fit-looking young man in The Rising Tide pub that day was none other than Greg Lake of Geordie Shore fame — and one of the stars in the new TV3 series of Celebrity Salon which started on Monday.
My journalistic instinct kicked in. I had to go and introduce myself to him.
I ambled over. “I just loved you in Geordie Shore,” I simpered, before my horrified friend pointed out this was the wrong guy.
I moved on to Greg himself and began chatting away. After a while, I noticed that he was developing a crick in his neck, from trying to identify where the secret cameras were hidden! “This is a wind up?” he modestly asked me as I hastily explained that I was a journalist with a view to writing a piece about his appearance in Cork.
Eventually, he believed me and began to explain that he was here to help promote a Cork charity, The Girls’ Club, a support network for those suffering from and affected by cancer.
The cause is one close to 27-year-old Greg’s heart, as his best friend’s mum suffered from the disease and their families were very close.
His trip was paid for out of his own expenses, further reiterating his commitment to the cause.
Only a few minutes into the interview and Greg was finding it difficult to understand my Cork lilt. The bar owner was called over to fill the role of interpreter.
When asked about his ideal woman, Greg became more receptive.
“I love Cork women,” he enthused. “They’re fit and such party animals. No matter what time of the day it is, they’ll want to go to the pub. It’s great, like having a girlfriend and a drinking buddy rolled into one.”
One Irish lady in particular, however, seemed to have struck a real chord with Greg. Model Nadia Forde, who is appearing alongside him in Celebrity Salon, is rumoured to be a love interest.
Well, Calum Best hooked up with Georgia Salpa on the show last year. So are Greg and Nadia an item, I enquired.
“I’m single.” he maintained tactfully, “and that’s all I’m going to tell you.”
I asked Greg, who is a late replacement for Dublin All-Ireland medal winner Eamon Fennell in Celebrity Salon, whether the constant bombardment of fans ever got too much.
“The only thing I miss about my anonymity is being able to go on a night out without planning in advance,” he said.
“I tried it after Geordie Shore but it always got out of hand.
“I often feel bad for my friends when they end up having to be the ones taking pictures for fans of the show. At the end of the day it’s making me money though, so I can’t complain.”