People are talking: Lohan is on a big Rehab roll
You'll be pleased to hear that the rehabilitation of Lindsay Lohan's career and reputation continues apace.
First, she made it through an ENTIRE RUN of her comeback gig, Speed the Plow in London's West End, without a single meltdown, arrest or emergency trip to rehab. (What a crushing disappointment that must have been for her understudy).
And now, she's landed a celebrity endorsement job - surely the clearest sign that she's back on the path to commercial credibility.
Of course, things have changed a bit since her first go around the promo-circuit, and expectations must be managed. Hence it's not Baccarat, or Chanel or Tiffany's who have been on the phone to her agent, but an American Car Insurance company called Esurance. Reports indicate that she's just finished filming an advert for the brand which, rumour has it, may be aired during the the mother of all ad-breaks, the Superbowl slot.
Presumably they won't actually have her appearing behind the wheel of a car though, will they? Not after the DUIs and the arrest for leaving the scene of an accident, and er, that time she allegedly started a high-speed chase on a highway. Is that Esurance's thing? Insuring the uninsurable?
Brave certainly, but history suggests it might end up costing them a good bit more than Lohan's appearance fee.
Pope like Mick in Rabbitgate comments
The Pope made a big splash this week when he said the church's ban on contraception did not mean that people should breed like rabbits.
Some felt this was a bit harsh on people with large families. Not to mention Protestant rabbits. Most of us felt the same thing though - it feels like we have been here before. Not in a re-incarnation way. That's a different shop entirely when it comes to beliefs.
No, the deja vu here was more of an advertising thing. Then it transpired that the Pope made his comments on a plane. And then the lights came on. The Pope is the new Michael O'Leary. It really hasn't been the same since Mick and Ryanair decided that appearing to be some kind of circus isn't really a good look for an airline.
We're guessing here, but is it possible that Ryanair have seconded some PR people into the Vatican? It's starting to look that way. The Pope is showing the same nose for publicity as O'Leary did when he said things like Ryanair were planning to charge people to use the jacks. Indeed the Pope might go down the same route and install pay toilets in churches to raise some badly needed funds. It would probably go down better than the dreaded 'extra collection' to help pay for the roof. Those toilets might be needed if the Pope keeps this up and starts attracting people back to mass.
Just one bit of advice, Your Holiness. If you are really planning to copy Ryanair, please stop short of a calendar with priests in bikinis. We're just not ready for that yet. In fact, we might never be.
Step away from the hashtag
Nothing makes young people feel alive like sighing theatrically at older people who can't get the hang of social media.
Which is why we shouldn't be too hard on Fidelma Healy Eames and her #sexualorientation; she was only trying to be cool, people, don't all frape her at once. Or Madonna and her smorgasbord of hashtag misfires and wrongly used street slang (it's 'ratchit' Madge, not 'ratchet').
Grandma M, for all her alleged savvy, could definitely give our Fidelma a run for her money in the social media cluelessness stakes. She's been getting it wrong every which way for months now, but unlike Fidelma it's not #kindofsweet.
After her incredibly crap album was leaked she uploaded a picture of a broken iPod which was supposed to be some sort of metaphor for her broken heart. She then posted pictures of icons like Martin Luther King, Jesus, and Salvador Dali with S&M facewear photoshopped onto them as some sort of lame album promotion.
People were outraged but mostly, it has to be said, just bored. (As Guardian writer Peter Robinson put it, "Accidentally blundering into cultural appropriation rows isn't controlling the media, any more than accidentally shi**ing yourself in the queue at Tesco is displaying masterful bowel control".)
It's little wonder that there are already spoof Twitter accounts imagining Lourdes in Saffy-from-Ab-Fab style trying to disconnect the internet to save her mum's flagging career. But the reality is that Lourdes is away at university and you can be sure none of Madonna's yes men are going to confiscate her phone. And for people who think she can still be great, sometimes that is totally #worrying.
Ta Ra, Deirdre Love
Cynics have mocked the massive public outpouring of grief at the unexpected death of the actress Anne Kirkbride.
It's true we didn't know Anne, but we knew and loved her legendary Coronation Street character Deirdre Barlow. For most people under 50, Deirdre, with her succession of dodgy eyewear, hairstyles, fellas and belts (oh, those belts) has been a fixed point in our lives and even those who have never watched a soap are familiar with her name.
Over her 43 years on the cobbles, Deirdre had more than her fair share of drama - four marriages (twice to Ken), affairs, family crises (God help her, her late mother Blanche was a force of nature and her daughter Tracey is quite possibly the anti-Christ), being fitted up for fraud by her conman boyfriend and jailed as a result.
When Deirdre went down, a whole country rose up campaigning to 'Free the Weatherfield One' leading to then Prime Minister Tony Blair promising an enquiry. We had our own dramas, births, deaths, marriages, divorces, illness and while we endured them Deirdre was always there, a strong woman, a funny woman, a woman who no matter what life (or the scriptwriters) threw at her got through it - usually with a glass of red, a fag and a stuffed marrow.
No, we might not have ever known Anne personally but her going is sad. Aged 60 it was too early for her and far too early for the indomitable Deirdre. Ta ra, chuck.
Anne Marie Scanlon
All men are equal.... not!
Hypocrisy is a terrible thing. There we all were last week, praising Leo Varadkar for bravely outing himself as gay - and rightly so. There are still fewer gay politicians in Ireland than branches of the Angela Merkel fan club. They all need to know they're accepted for who they are, even if that does also happen to include being a minister in the most unpopular coalition ever.
Yet when fellow Fine Gaeler Simon Coveney also came out as having a forbidden passion for making the beast with two backs with Fianna Fail after the next election, all he got was dog's abuse for it. Especially from Labourites, who were practically in shock at discovering their beloved Government partner might be on the turn.
Truly, FF is the love that dare not speak its name. If we were really progressive, we'd cherish everyone equally, even friends of Michael Martin. Instead we act as if a desire for FF is, as the last Pope put it, "intrinsically disordered". We'll be setting up camps next where they can be cured and turned back into "normal" people.
The only word to describe this intolerance is cutehoorophobia; and Ireland, once a place where these people felt safe, has turned into one of the most cutehoorophobic countries in the world.
The big question is: Can Varadkar survive now we know his secret? No, not the gay thing. I mean the collective realisation hitting the nation last week that the Health Minister is, brace yourselves, still only 36. Now that is unforgivable. Running the country is all oldies have to look forward to. Don't take it away from them, Leo.
Twiggy in an age-old debate
IT was a really strange week, with the Pope wanting Catholics to stop breeding like rabbits and formerly straitlaced politicians being candid about their sexuality.
But just when it couldn't get any weirder, cosmetics companies are signing up older people as brand ambassadors. Until now that was as likely as spotting supermodels gorging on greasy burgers rather than nibbling on celery sticks.
Hair and beauty firms have long been the purveyors of youth and perfection, but the huge market of affluent oldies has softened their cough. Swinging sixties model Twiggy (65) would have had to swing rather than be signed up until recently, but L'Oreal have now made her a brand ambassador.
The French cosmetics giant has previously had youthful pin-ups like Cheryl Cole and actress Blake Lively on their books, but they've begun casting the net wider.
The trailblazer was Helen Mirren (69) who signed up with the L'Oreal brand in a multi-million pound deal last year. "I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks," said Helen at the time.
We just need the men to follow suit now. But the world mightn't be ready for Roger Moore in David Beckham's drawers!
Sunday Indo Living