- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laid off at bar

Eddie Doyle was the guy who really did know everybody’s name, but after tending bar for 35 years at the Boston tavern that inspired the television show “Cheers,” he has been laid off. The bar’s owner says the economy is to blame, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Doyle, 66, was a fixture at the pub known as the Bull & Finch long before his TV counterpart, Sam Malone, entered the mainstream. After the NBC show hit the airwaves in 1982, Mr. Doyle started serving 5,000 people a day. He also used the bar’s fame to raise money for charity. Mr. Doyle told the Boston Globe he’s not bitter and may write a book.

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Two weeks ago Spain’s culture ministry gave the Fine Arts medal to Francisco Rivera Ordonez, 35, lauding his “aesthetics, poise and depth” during his 15 years in the bullring. He also comes from one of Spain’s most illustrious bullfighting families, heavily involved in the business side of the sport.

”It is a reward for my effort, for my life,” Mr. Rivera said upon getting the medal.

On Saturday, ABC, a Spanish daily, reported that Jose Tomas, one of Spain’s hottest matadors, and Paco Camino, a former idol of the bullring, had returned their medals in protest. They wrote Culture Minister Cesar Antonio Molina and said the award had lost all value.

”[Mr. Rivera] is a good torero, but he’s no artist. Everyone is indignant about this award. This prize should be for merit and not awarded on the basis of who’s friendly with whom,” bull breeder Victorino Martin told ABC.

Critics say a reason for the award is that Mr. Rivera once was married to Maria Eugenia Brianda Timotea Cecilia Martinez de Irujo y Fitz-James Stuart, a daughter of the Duchess of Alba.

Bullfighting critic Jose Antonio del Moral told Agence France-Presse the decision by the two matadors to return their medals was “inconvenient, … an insult to a colleague, a lynching attempt.”


Michigan’s high unemployment is no laughing matter, but late night’s Jay Leno will offer relief with a free show - “Jay’s Comedy Stimulus Plan” - April 7 at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich., home arena of the Detroit Pistons pro basketball team. People only have to say they’re unemployed to get tickets.

Mr. Leno said, “One of my favorite places is Detroit,” the Detroit Free Press reports. “I called up Pepsi, one of our sponsors, and I said I want to do a show for not just the autoworkers - anybody out of work in Detroit.” Refreshments and parking also will be free. Michigan’s unemployment rate was 11.6 percent in January, AP reports.

In brief

Gary Mantoosh, spokesman for Mariska Hargitay, says the ailing star of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” should be back at work soon, AP reports from New York. The 45-year-old Emmy-winning actress was hospitalized last week after feeling discomfort from a partially collapsed lung diagnosed in January.

m Also from New York comes word that Kelly Killoren Bensimon, a model on Bravo’s reality show “The Real Housewives of New York City” denies charges that she punched ex-boyfriend Nicholas Stefanov in the face. She was arrested in Manhattan last week on a misdemeanor assault charge. Her lawyer, Stephen Turano, calls Mr. Stefanov “a jilted lover” and says his client denies the allegations. And Mr. Stefanov told the Daily News that he still loves the model and that the pressure of being on the reality show caused her to snap and punch him during an argument.

• Compiled by Richard Slusser from wire and Web reports

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