Wednesday 24 January 2018

People are talking: Rosanna takes a chopper. Run for it!

Chop chop: Rosanna Davison at Punchestown last week
Chop chop: Rosanna Davison at Punchestown last week
Ab Fab: The girls are back

Pat Fitzpatrick

Talk about deja vu. Rosanna Davison flew by helicopter to the Punchestown Races last week. She was judging the Best Dressed Lady contest, excluding herself. (In fairness, it would have been awkward if she won.)

You might have read about this in the entertainment section of your newspaper during the week. That was a serious oversight on the editor's part. Seismic events such as this should really be big news on the business pages. Let's face it, nothing says "we're back" in an economic sense quicker than someone flying by helicopter, when she could have gone by car.

This is a remarkable turnaround. It's fair to say that the chopper has been out of fashion since 2008. Using one for a short hop showed you were totally out of step with austerity, even if you touched down at the car park in Lidl. But if Rosanna is using one now, we're definitely back.

You might argue that Rosanna is a celebrity, and therefore you can't read anything in to her taking a chopper to the races. But you see, this is how it started the last time. In the early noughties, it wasn't unusual for developers and celebs to criss-cross the country in a helicopter. By 2007, it wasn't unusual to spot Gerry next door using one to get to work. In fact, it's fair to say that you didn't really live through the Celtic Tiger years unless someone offered you a lift in their helicopter.

Economists and politicians are going to spend the coming months arguing over percentage points of growth. Ignore them. There is only one way to measure the genesis of a real boom, and it isn't brand new BMWs. If you really want to know which way the wind is blowing, just look up and count the number of choppers in the sky.

Here is our top tip. At some point in the next five years, someone will casually offer you a lift in their chopper. That might be a good time to sell your houses, both here and in Bulgaria. Because we know how this pans out.

Ab Fab gals on the big screen

It might seem odd that after all these years they're only now talking about making an Ab Fab movie. If it had been an American programme you can be sure they'd have long ago cashed in (The British comedies tend more toward dodgy Christmas specials).

Perhaps the long delay has something to do with Jennifer Saunders wondering how she'd free up Joanna Lumley from her purgatory of BBC travelogues, or perhaps it's simply been that she couldn't figure out a way to get Eddie, Patsy and the rest of them into the modern world.

So here are a few script suggestions for her: It's the year 2015 and recession and the internet have shaken the magazine world to its core, meaning former editor-at-large, Eddie, has had to dispense with Bubble, move to Clapham and rein in her taste for Bolly, priceless Eskimo birthing rags and garish Lacroix jumpsuits. She is allowed one very fashionable item however: Patsy, whose murky past as a hard drinking transsexual can now be brought into the light of day because transsexuals are now hip and on the cover of TIME magazine, and hard drinking is now an "illness" rather than just a thing you like doing to get drunk.

Saffy, who Patsy urged to "die young and leave a beautiful corpse", is lumbered with a boom-era mortgage and has a little girl, who was born through surrogacy, meaning she now tries to nag Eddie into being a good grandma rather than being a good mother (that ship has sailed). She has to depend on Eddie to mind the child.

There will be some dream sequences, including a recreation of the classic one with Lulu and Germaine Greer in which they are "called back from the dead" before it's realised that they never died in the first place. All of which will set them up nicely for Ab Fab 2: The Nursing Home Years.

Donal Lynch

Right to be a woman?

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman.  Ask Bruce Jenner. Or actress Alice Eve, who after Bruce, Kim K's stepfather, announced that he has begun gender reassignment and "for all intents and purposes" is a woman, answered him on Instagram.

"If you were a woman, no one would have heard of you because women can't compete in the decathlon." Before Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Bruce won a Gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. (Who knew? Apart from Alice Eve?) Eve went on to say, "Until women are paid the same as men then playing at being a 'woman' while retaining the benefits of being a man is unfair. Do you have a vagina? Are you paid less than men? Then, my friend, you are a woman."

Alice's unfortunate use of language led to accusations of transphobia and bigotry, while her argument, that women still don't have equality, was ignored. A mea culpa quickly ensued, with Eve wishing for "equal rights and equal dignity for all". Alice could have added being sexually harassed by builders to her list for being a woman, as Poppy Smart, the UK woman who reported builders to the police after a month of alleged sexual harassment could vouch for. Walk a mile in high heels to know how it feels to be a woman? Jog on.

Anne Marie Scanlon

Superhero? No, Super ego

Movie promotion is usually a boring affair with actors answering formulaic questions about their motivation and what they had for breakfast.

The same can't be said for the promotion tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron. The PR campaign has been so battered and bruised it looks like the Hulk with a hangover has been on a rampage through it.

First there was Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans calling co-star Scarlett Johansson's character a slut and a whore, which they had to quickly apologise for. That incident was redeemed by Mark Ruffalo and Johansson, who flipped roles in a subsequent interview when she fielded the male questions and Ruffalo answered the female ones.

Then there was the car crash interview between Robert Downey Jr and Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Downey furiously stormed out of the chat after the English newsreader questioned him about his past problems with alcohol and drugs.

And since returning to the States he hasn't let the whole episode go. He ranted that Guru-Murthy was a "bottom feeding muckraker".

This is one superhero movie that has been transformed into a much more enjoyable super ego movie!

Will Hanafin

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