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Niamh and Collette in the spotlight after clubbing with Ashley

ASSETS model Niamh Walsh has been making her mark in London since moving over there with former army lieutenant Collette McBarron.

The Diary can reveal how the party-loving duo have become the latest targets of the British paparazzi after they were photographed with footballer Ashley Cole last month.

Niamh (26), known to her friends as Nemo, explained how the pictures from their night out with the star and his teammates landed in all of the tabloids across the water, leading to speculation over their friendship with Ashley.


A top-selling magazine even featured a picture of Donegal beauty Collette on the front cover of a recent edition, claiming that the snap had the potential to break his estranged wife Cheryl Cole's heart, given that the couple are rumoured to be on the verge of a reunion.

However, Niamh insists that it was all completely innocent, explaining that they had been out in a large group which included a number of football players.

"There's absolutely nothing going on between them, we had all been on a night out and had just come out of the nightclub," she said.

"Basically Collette was just pictured in the background as Ashley was getting into his car and it turned up absolutely everywhere the next day.

"We've had a few paps annoying us since then. They're so different over here, they don't give up until they get what they want."

Despite the unwanted attention, Niamh admits that she's been having a ball since she moved to the UK.

The beauty queen says she has rubbed shoulders with everyone from singer R Kelly to footballer Frank Lampard, whom she says is completely infatuated with his fiancee Christine Bleakley.

Niamh has also given herself a total image overhaul, chopping her hair into a short blonde bob and allowing her new housemate, model-turned-personal-trainer Collette, to put her through her paces at the gym.

The Assets model said: "I really love it here. It's a brand new me and I'm so much happier.

"My hair is now as short as Sarah Harding's. I just decided I wanted something new.

"I'm still living it up and doing lots of partying but I've been looking after myself as well and Collette's been helping me to get into shape."

Niamh admits that her lovelife is also looking up, after she recently began seeing a new beau called Numa.

The chatty Meath native explained how he works as a bodyguard for a prince in Dubai but visits London regularly.