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DIY: Nadia Forde ups the ante in the bikini wars by making her own hand-made bikini from bark.

DIY: Nadia Forde ups the ante in the bikini wars by making her own hand-made bikini from bark.

Pub: Crank up the karaoke machine - Nadine’s here to warble for the customers.

Pub: Crank up the karaoke machine - Nadine’s here to warble for the customers.

Sven Goran Erikkson

Sven Goran Erikkson

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

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DIY: Nadia Forde ups the ante in the bikini wars by making her own hand-made bikini from bark.

It didn't take long, really, for the focus of the I'm a Celebrity . . . audience to shift from who's eaten the most mealy bugs to who looks best in their bikini.

In what we might now regard as the innocent early days of the celebrity jungle endurance test, it was all about those bushtucker trials and the minor torture of pampered C-listers, and the celeb who emerged with a reinvigorated career was generally the one who had performed best under pressure.

And then, in 2006, Myleene Klass wore a white bikini in the shower on the show and that was that. Since then, the show is a battle of the bikinis. She who showers best in two-piece swimwear has hopes of a career boost, and everyone knows this, which is why, perhaps, former Playboy Mansion darling Kendra Wilkinson complained last week on the show about feeling threatened by her fellow female celebs.

Welcoming to the 'Celebrity Clanger' 'Allo'Allo star Vicki Michelle - also known to Irish audiences as 'Sally O'Brien, and the way she might look at you' - Kendra breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't Irish model Nadia Forde.

"If that Nadia comes walking in with a grass skirt and little fruit top," Kendra moaned," I'm going to start doing my sit-ups before she comes." And Kendra should worry about Nadia, who, fair play to her, has upped the ante with a hand-made bark bikini.

Of course, you have to wonder where this leaves the men in I'm a Celebrity. . . Once, they were kings of the jungle, with their superior ability to face down harmless snakes and so on, but how can they do battle with a bikini? Well, last week former footballer Jimmy Bullard answered that by taking his jungle showers naked. Beat that, girls.

SC

We want Roy for Christmas

By Pat Fitzpatrick

It's going to be a long and lonely Christmas without Keano. Roy has been front and centre for us since early October, when he launched his beard and then his book. Now he is gone until the international team reconvenes for the Poland match in March.

We've had some good times together, following him across the media, settling all his old scores. Roy finally stepped off the stage last week, following a much trumpeted incident with Brendan Grace's son-in-law. There was that glare in Glasgow at the Serbian referee, who probably won't sleep for a month. And then a side-swipe at Everton FC, who in fairness have never done anything to anyone.

Roy has given more than some service to the state. He has given us something other than water charges to talk about in the last six weeks. That's got to be worth a seat or two in the Seanad. And now he's gone. Just when we needed him most, in the run-up to Christmas.

It can be a tricky business, trying to make conversation with your nearest and dearest with a head full of plum pudding and supermarket wine. Maybe someone could persuade Roy to give a Christmas address, a la the Queen. He could come on and say it hasn't been a bad old year. Although the turkey was a bit dry, and the wife is going to have to put her hands up for that one. Anything, Roy, just to keep us going.

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Of course we could be enjoying him right now on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Rumour has it he was offered half a million to take part. You'd imagine the killer snakes were on a million apiece to get in a box with him. Roy declined. Instead we got a footballer called Jimmy Bullard. Who? Exactly.

Misty-eyed for our Nurdeen

By Donal Lynch

Obviously we all have enough to be worrying about, with water charges and whether it's cool to throw things at politicians; but can we please just take a quick moment to take in the fact Nadine Coyle of Girl's Aloud has a bar in LA called Irish mist.

The bar settled a huge tax bill earlier this year. (C'mon, Uncle Sam, think of all she's done for America in terms of … erm … shagging the gardener from Desperate Housewives and … we'll get back to you). But it's taken the hit and continued to thrive. And this week our Nurdeen sang its praises in an interview. She was preaching to the converted though. Firstly, how could we not love a place that promises "special pricing on all the craic."

Nurdeen having her own bar dangles in front of us the possibility that against all the odds the girls might reunite for one more performance on the karaoke stand. "Mist" means "shite" in German, which makes the bar name sounds like it might be derived from some sort of incontinence-related condition. But it's the food we really want to sample. Nurdeen gave an interview recently saying that if she were to try anything on the menu it would be the Mongolian Beef; but we'd also be intrigued by the chips and guacamole - both dishes obviously being very synonymous with her Derry roots. And if anyone can rock the hoop earrings and leopardskin land lady look it's Nurdeen.

And look at it like this: if she can make a go of being a publican she might even stop singing for good. Everyone's a winner.

Sven's plan is back on track

By Evan Fanning

They say you can't keep a good man down and by that reckoning there are few better men out there than Sven-Goran Eriksson. Better at what exactly, it's hard to tell, but it seems to have something to do with persuading men with money that he is the right man to lead their venture and is worth paying a fairly hefty chunk of change to do so. Yes, Sven seems really excellent at doing that and he has done it again with a new €5m-a-year gig in Shanghai.

It's all a far cry from when Sven first came on the scene when he was considered to be some northern European technocrat with Nancy, the glamorous Italian lawyer, who was (sometimes) on his side, a sort of anomaly to his otherwise dour life.

The Ulrika affair changed all that and now we know more, so much more, about Sven while at the same time knowing very little at all. In Didi Hamann's book he reveals that Sven, who was then his manager at Manchester City, told him his plan was to one day retire to Thailand to live with two, as yet unspecified, women. China is not quite Thailand but Sven's not the kind of guy to get bogged down in logistics. Nor do we want to suggest that managing Shanghai East Asia is a job Sven is going to give anything less than his full attention, but this is a major development. Sven's plan is back on track.

Oh no, Bono, cheer up

By Will Hanafin

Whatever your opinion of Bono, you'd have to admit that the U2 frontman isn't having a good run of it. Queen Elizabeth II said back in 1992 that she'd endured an annus horribilis. But that's nothing compared to what our very own member of rock'n'roll  royalty has gone through in 2014!

First he got caught up in the calamitous boo boo of forcing the new U2 album on pernickety iTunes customers. Bono thought he was Santa Claus but a lot of iTunes subscribers felt he was a weird old man breaking into their houses.

Then he narrowly escaped death earlier this month when the tailgate of his private jet became detached while flying to Berlin, causing a door to fall off. He lost his luggage as well.

Now he's broken his arm in six places and fractured his eye socket, hand and shoulder blade in a bicycle accident in New York.

Poor old Bon-ouch, I mean Bono, isn't having a good run. iTunes, his plane door and now his bike accident!

Cheer up Bono! Next year will be better! Bet you can't wait for New Year's Day!

Golf's 'Funny' Side, ha ha

By Christopher Jackson

So I've never read Golf Digest before, golf's really not my thing, at all. I'd be more inclined to have my eyelids pulled over my head and my nails pulled out with a pair of rusty pliers than read about the four techniques to help improve my back swing, or how best to pitch out of a wet bunker.

I did read Golf Digest this week though. It featured a fake interview with Tiger Woods by Dan Jenkins, a revered 84-year-old sportswriter, formerly of Sports Illustrated. Jenkins cast Woods as a penny-pinching, brand-obsessing, caddy-firing narcissist, although Jenkins was about as good at hiding his own narcissism as a morbidly obese teenager is at running the 400 metre hurdles.

Woods took exception to it and called Jenkins out, saying it was low, untrue and unfunny. Jenkins replied, saying next time he'd define satire and parody for Woods. I hope he does, because while I'm not one to normally side with wife-cheating narcissists, I'm with Woods on this one. Jenkins's interview was about as funny as a botched prostatectomy.

Now I've not had chance to read much of Jenkins other stuff- I've heard it's very good, but if his fake interview is anything to go by, maybe it's time that he stopped trying his hand at comedy and concentrated on more serious golf matters, like how to pitch a wedge in a bush, or when to take the pole out of the hole-you see where I'm going with this.

I think it's best that Jenkins, like Woods, concentrates on what he's best at, and forget this whole thing ever happened.


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