Wednesday 21 February 2018

Big reveal: who is top of the male mops in RTÉ

Kirsty at large...

Mane man: Des Cahill and Karen Byrne during rehersals for Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Mane man: Des Cahill and Karen Byrne during rehersals for Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Meryl Streep's reactions to the Best Picture mix-up
Kellyanne Conway in the Oval office
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

We need to talk about Des Cahill's hair.

I've been fascinated by it for the past few weeks; the intensity of colour, the thickness, the curls.

The way it remains set fast as he stomps about the dance floor.

Side note: stomping is one of Des's signature moves on Dancing with the Stars.

It really is something to behold.

Watching Des I've come to the conclusion that male RTÉ presenters are contractually obliged to have one of six definitive hairstyles.

That's it - six. No more, no less.

It might seem somewhat reductive to judge these men on their hair rather than their presenting - or samba - skills.

But as it stands there have been a lot more articles written about Claire Byrne's lob than Charlie Bird's salt 'n' pepper 'do - so, in the name of gender parity, I will forge ahead.

1. The 'Just For Men'

Favoured by Des Cahill, Marty Morrissey and David Davin-Power. These three gents must all go to the same chap.

Hair with such intensity of colour that it looks like a black lamb's fleece on an astrakhan coat.

While the hair retains an inky hue - other areas of the head (side burns/eyebrows) are tinged with grey. Curious.

2. The 'This-Took-More-Time-Than-You-Think'

This is well-cut and carefully coiffed hair, but not overly styled. It's predictable and it's safe; at worst, it is a bit dull. At best it's a classic.

Advocates include Ryan Tubridy, Bryan Dobson and Gay Byrne.

3. The 'This-Took-Less-Time-Than-You-Think'

The look is artfully uncouth and carefully unkempt. Much like his hairline, you don't know what direction this man is going to go. He's a wild card.

See - Tommy Tiernan and Eamon Dunphy.

4. The 'I'm cool and hip! Just look at my quiff!'

Favoured by Eoghan McDermott, Stephen Byrne and Nicky Byrne.

This is serious hair. It cost more than €50 and was cut by a 'Senior Style Executive' in a salon with leatherette massage chairs. It requires seven different types of holding clay to stay in place.

Needless to say, this man is high maintenance.

He probably (read: definitely) bleaches his teeth, waxes his chest and cries silent, heavy tears as his youth gradually slips away.

5. The 'I'm Bald'

This man's hair is now a distant memory.

He's accepted the loss, and is even proud of his slap head.

Example - Ray D'Arcy

6. The 'I Used to Be Bald Until I Got a Hair Transplant in the Blackrock Clinic'

Marty Whelan, top marks for being so open about the procedure.

For that, sir, you have earned my eternal respect.

Separating controversies from nontroversies

Kellyanne Conway in the Oval office

Hey presto - we have it! The award for the stupidest Trump-related controversy goes to #Couchgate and Kellyanne Conway. 

This week, Conway was photographed crouched on a sofa in the Oval Office with her high heels digging into the back of a brocade three seater.

People tut-tutted about how utterly disrespectful it was. I mean, it's hardly the worst thing that's happened in the Oval Office. Amirite Bill?

Conway later explained she was simply trying to take a group photo.

But by then, whether she was telling the truth or an Alternative Fact was irrelevant - we all had our own understanding of what the picture implied and we were sticking to it.

Writing in the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza said the incident shows that we have reached a point in politics where the "most mundane of events is invested with nefarious symbolism".

This isn't restricted to politics, and it doesn't just work in whipping up negative backlash.

It extends to pop culture, and can imbue A-Listers with a moral stance and opinion they may, or may not, possess.

A sideways glance at an awards ceremony is screen-grabbed, and sold as someone making a loaded statement or throwing shade.

After the Oscars, people wrote about Brie Larson's alleged lack of enthusiasm when presenting Casey Affleck with the Best Actor statuette.

Larson is an advocate for sexual assault survivors and Affleck has recently settled two sexual harassment cases out of court.

According to commentators, Larson showed her displeasure at Affleck's victory by not clapping after handing the award over. This might well be the case but until she explicitly says that - isn't it simply an interpretation?

Similarly, when Meryl Streep accidentally called Ruth Negga British at the Golden Globes - before correcting the mistake - some claimed Ruth looked a tad unimpressed.

Later, Negga said it was an honour that Streep had even mentioned her. She wasn't offended at all.

Analysing memes, GIFs and snapshots is addictive, fun, and can sometimes offer great insight.

But other times, our own agenda can cloud the frame, and make it difficult to separate the controversies from the nontroversies.



Exclamation: expressing great pleasure. Has made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. Other new entries include fitspo, haterade and craptacular.

Lego's female NASA figures

Based on real-life Nasa scientists, engineers and astronauts. To infinity and beyond!



New York Times' misspelling of Cork. Word to the wise; Quark is a type of soft cheese not a county.

Camel-toe underwear

The lingerie trend no one asked for.


There were some proper tulips in that group

AAA-PBP TD Mick Barry tells an Oireachtas Committee what he thinks of the last 17 Transport Ministers


Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Meryl Streep's reactions to the Best Picture mix-up

I think Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Meryl Streep’s reactions to the Best Picture flub at the Oscars were my favourite. 

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