Kirsty Blake Knox: Times are tough in old telly land
Times are tough in old telly land with many TV starlets choosing to diversify their skills base.
Take TV3's former golden girl Lorraine Keane, for example, who is currently honing her skills as a kimono maker.
Lorraine spotted a niche in the Irish fashion market for traditional Japanese garb several weeks ago and is now considering launching her own kimono collection.
"Who doesn't need a kimono in their life?" she asked. "They're just so easy to wear. I've done a whole collection. Quilty ones, silky ones and dressy ones."
Good to know Lorraine is keeping her career options open.
While Ireland continues to ponder whether gay couples should have the right to marry, the sober Lutherans of Finland have stolen a march on us.
The Finnish postal service is issuing a set of stamps to celebrate the graphic work of Touko Laaksonen – better known to the world as Tom of Finland.
According to New York's Museum of Modern Art, Tom is considered something of an, ahem, seminal figure in the world of gay erotic art.
FYI: if you are into leather chaps, there's a good chance you will like his oeuvre.
While Laaksonen's stamps may be too shocking for Irish sensibilities perhaps we could brighten up our envelopes with images from Irish artist Peter Homan's 'Saint and Sinners' exhibition.
Peter's portraits showed a host of Ireland's better known homosexuals dressed up in religious guises. Senator David Norris poses as Saint Peter while TV host Graham Norton hovers appearing as the Angel Gabriel. Put that in your stamp collection.
Legendary actor Omar Sharif will fly into Dublin town next month for the inaugural Arabic Film Festival.
Sharif famously shared the screen with the late Peter O'Toole in 'Laurence of Arabia'. While the two went on to become great pals, it took Sharif some time to get used to O'Toole's direct manner. Not to mention his refusal to use Sharif's Egyptian name.
"Omar Sharif!" O'Toole exclaimed when they were first introduced. "Nobody in the world is called Omar Sharif. Your name must be Fred." From that point onwards, O'Toole's name for Sharif was "Cairo Fred".
Dominick Chilcott, the British Ambassador to Ireland, is something of a regular on the cultural scene and was in flying format the launch of the Dublin Dance Festival recently. While he was fascinated to hear about inter- pretative dance moves and pointe shoes, Chilcott insisted he would not be taking to the dance floor.
"Throwing shapes or busting moves is not my thing. Although I do appreciate the vigour and enthusiasm with which others do so." What a shame.
The UN moves in mysterious ways. Its decision to name 2013 The International Year of Quinoa – the grain favoured by yummy mummys and green juice-loving yogis – completely passed me by.
The range of subjects chosen by the UN for this annual accolade is eclectic to say the least: the Inter- national Year of Space, for example, must have encompassed a great deal more than the 2008 International Year of the Potato.
Don't fret too much if you forgot to throw a halloumi cheese party and burn sage, 2016 will be the International Year of the Pulses.
The parsnip crisp brigade better have those chickpeas on standby.