People Are Talking - Vogue: will she just grin and Bear it?
It sounds like some kind of superhero show from Marvel Comics. We have a gorgeous woman who is definitely the new thing. She is called Vogue. She goes to the jungle with a rugged man. He is called Bear. You couldn't make it up.
It turns out that ITV didn't make it up. Because local girl Vogue Williams actually is in a new reality show with Bear Grylls, which started on Friday night. It's in the jungle, because you don't seriously expect Bear Grylls to make a show in a suburban shopping centre. (Even if the traffic around Dundrum can sometimes push people to the limit.) The show, Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, is interesting for Irish people at a number of levels. The main one is whether or not Vogue will keep her kit on. Let's be honest here, the principal strategy for Irish women in reality shows has been fairly straight forward in recent years. Take off most of your clothes and hope for the best. It certainly worked a treat for Georgia Salpa on Celebrity Big Brother and Nadia Forde on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
But Vogue has shown she might be headed in a different direction. She seems to have adopted a more traditional approach for an Irish woman, where you actually put on some clothes when you go on the telly. We don't know at the time of writing if Vogue survived the first celebrity elimination from the jungle.
What we do know is that Vogue's star is on the rise. She has certainly moved on from just being Brian McFadden's wife. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) We're sure that Brian doesn't feel threatened by his wife's rise and rise. What we don't yet know is how he feels about Vogue heading off to the jungle with a beefcake called Bear. We'd love to find out.
Bouncing while Rome burns
So here's the latest state of play in the continuing fight against austerity in Europe.
In Greece, the new left-wing government is locked in a high stakes poker game with the Germans over the conditions of the country's bailout. In Spain, the recently-formed Podemos party is poised to win the upcoming election, despite being led by a man so far to the left he makes Karl Marx look like a member of the Progressive Democrats.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been telling the world how he likes to trampoline naked. With his dog. As you do.
Or as you don't. Not if you want to be taken seriously as a future Taoiseach anyway.
To make matters sillier still, one of the party's MEPs, Liadh Ni Riada, has also just announced that, as a protest against the EU's attitude to funding minority languages, she'll only be speaking Irish at work for two weeks in March.
You might think there are more important things to worry about in the world right now. And you'd be dead right. Unfortunately, Irish republicans didn't get where they are today by keeping a sense of proportion. Nero infamously fiddled while Rome burned. They prefer to sulk "as Gaeilge" and bounce up and down with Fido in the buff.
As for others in the anti-austerity movement, don't ask. They're far too busy lying down in front of cars to bother with the boring stuff. Like, you know, preparing for power.
The Government probably can't believe its luck right now. It's as if the coalition's left-wing opponents are going all out to live up to Voltaire's famous quip: "I have ever had but one prayer to God - 'Lord, make my enemies ridiculous'. And God granted it." He certainly did in Ireland, mate.
Pitched battles not pretty
International rugby isn't for the fainthearted these days. Some of our players look like they need a trip to A&E after a game rather than some celebratory pints of Heino in a fancy nightclub.
After the last game the list included fractured vertebrae, bleeding eyes and painful head collisions. The injuries from the Ireland France 6 Nations clash made it look more like a scene from a Tarantino movie than a sports fixture.
Poor Jonathan Sexton had just returned from a 12 week concussion lay off so the last thing he wanted was a collision with the human tank that is Mathieu Bastareaud.
In fact, Johnny had three clashes with the French freight train. One of them resulted in 12 stitches, six for each guy. And both the Irish and French players had to take time out from play to recover.
Jamie Heaslip was also in the wars after he was kneed in the back by Pascal Pape and Heaslip could be out for the rest of the 6 Nations campaign.
There's a lot of nose holding about whether Conor McGregor and the MMA lads engage in a proper sport. But the walking wounded from the rugby internationals make MMA look mild by comparison!