Sleb Safari: Michael Flatley is hotfooting it to Hollywood to be a movie star

Michael Flatley or Usain Bolt. You decide. Picture by Declan Roughan

Whenever Sleb Safari hears the name 'Michael Flatley', a song starts playing in its head. It’s not Riverdance. It’s not even a bit of fiddly-dee. It’s Here Comes The Hotstepper. Soon though, Sleb Safari will have a new soundtrack for Michael Flatley, because he’s making a film.

It’s about an ageing dancer who wants one more chance to lace up his heavy shoes and leap like a mighty stag on to the stage with every light in the house on him for one final performance that’ll make women’s teeth chatter and men’s toes tap.

OK, so Sleb Safari borrowed the plot of Rocky Balboa, The Wrestler and umpteen other comeback films, but it could have worked if Michael didn’t insist on playing against type.

Michael rejected Sleb Safari’s Poundland pitch and has instead financed a film which, according to reports, is about a retired spy. A 007 with a P45, if you like.

He is also directing and starring in the film which in no way, shape or form sounds like a vanity project.

The Daily Mail breathlessly brought us news that the hotstepper has rented an exclusive Barbadian restaurant for three weeks to film scenes for the spy thriller.

The newspaper also had exclusive pictures of Michael on board a yacht clad all in white bar some vivid aquamarine socks, which Sleb Safari covets.

This year The Sunday Times placed Michael at number 51 on its rich list and estimated him to be worth €235m. Among his properties are a €23.5m beach house in Barbados, a €12m home in Monaco and the 14-bedroom Castlehyde in Co Cork which is worth €19m and – listen up first-time buyers – on the market.

If he’s filming in Barbados he’s probably residing in his beach house, which makes sense. The commute from Cork would be a shocker.

Michael formally retired from Irish dancing last year and has spoken eloquently about the toll it took on his body.

“I am always in pain. Agony. Every morning my poor wife has to witness me spending the first few minutes of the day trying to straighten my back and push my legs to start working,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I’ve wrecked my body with dance. I can’t say I wasn’t warned and I can’t say I haven’t loved every single minute of putting myself into this state.

“But physically I’m a mess. I have a recurring broken bone in my right foot which just spontaneously breaks itself.

“My hamstrings are ruined, my groin is gone and I’ve done irreparable damage to two points of my spine.”

Michael, could you shed any more light on where exactly your groin has got to? No? Well, best to go and look for it then. Imagine if you’ve left it on the bus. Or what if someone handed it into lost and found and its languishing on a shelf? That’s just not right. Go find that groin Michael, go.

At the very least you’ll want to bring it to the film premiere so it can walk you up the red carpet. Your public expects no less.


Ivanka Trump, queen of the clams

Much excitement last week when Ivanka Trump HQ tweeted a picture of a “bold and unexpected Thanksgiving tablescape”.

Sleb Safari knows what you’re thinking. You’re wondering could you recreate it for your Christmas centrepiece. The answer is an emphatic 'no'.

The tablescape is a giant clamshell jam packed with the kind of things that you will never, ever find in Tesco. To wit: tiny grey pumpkins, balloon-plant milkweed, green moss and “driftwood that I found at the beach”.

Sleb Safari appreciates a centrepiece as much as the next person but doesn’t understand how people have the space for one alongside all the food, dishes and accoutrement that serving Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for a group entails.

The giant clamshell is a show-stopper alright, but it also looks like something fishermen dredged up from the deep when it became tangled in their nets.

But hey what would Sleb Safari know? Apparently giant clamshells are “everywhere right now in home décor”. Do share pictures of yours via the usual social channels.


Are you watching Motherland?

If you aren’t watching Motherland on BBC2 then quite frankly there is nothing you can say to redeem yourself.

It’s the genius work of Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Pulling), Holly Walsh, Graham and Helen Linehan and is a six-part series plus pilot so you get yourself onto the iPlayer and catch up with the rest of us.

In a nutshell it’s three friends navigating the dog eat dog world of the school gate, birthday parties and school fundraisers and well worth the watch.


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