Lise Hand: Bruton goes topless – yes, you read it right...
Everyone in the vicinity of Leeson Street on Thursday evening seems to have missed the spectacle of a shirtless minister speeding by in the back of his Merc.
And the unlikely 'Baywatch' Boy was none other than Richard Bruton.
The busy Jobs Minister had been presenting gongs at the black-tie National Enterprise Awards, before heading to RTE for a 'Prime Time' interview.
But the awards ran late, leaving him with no option except to hurl himself into the car still clad in full dicky-bowed regalia.
So while the car sped towards Montrose, the minister frantically disrobed shirt, jacket and bowtie, replacing them with his office clobber while being briefed by an adviser.
But there was no way to change his trousers without a spot of ministerial yoga – and the danger of being snapped by an eagle-eyed voter with a smartphone.
And it was assumed that the interview would be conducted with all parties – presenter Dave McCullagh and Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath – seated behind the usual desk, which would hide the fact that Richard was still sporting formal black tux trews with black side stripe.
But panic set in as the minister was being hustled on to the set.
For nowadays there are stand-alone chairs for interviews, and Dave (a chap who's had the odd interesting shorts-related sartorial outing himself on live TV) had to assure him that the safety of the desk awaited.
So nobody knew that Richard was rocking a half-minister, half-James Bond, on the air.
One can only wait with bated breath to see what outfit he wears on the catwalk of the Oireachtas Fashion Show on Tuesday.
The smart money is on a homage to legendary TV anchorman Ron Burgundy, who's coming to Dublin soon.
Stay classy, Richard!
'Sergio' leads the lonely club of mustachioed TDs
There's a dearth of Movember 'taches around Leinster House, but fair play to Fine Gael's Brendan Griffin who, after a mere eight days is impressively hirsute. The TD is sporting a ronnie which is more Mexican bandito than Kerry South, and has now been dubbed 'Sergio' by colleagues and compared to Liverpool footballer Terry McDermott and the leather-clad lad from Village People.
He said he's modelling himself on the cover of The Beatles' 'Sgt Pepper' album. Not everyone is impressed though – "my eight-month-old son got a bit scared when I looked into his cot the other day", he confessed. Ah well – it's all to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society, so three cheers for Sergio.
Enda's in the pink for same-sex poll
IN Government Buildings on Thursday, Italian PM Enrico Letta presented a Giro d'Italia shirt to the Taoiseach after their meeting – a leg of the famous cycling race will be held in Ireland next year.
Presented by champion cyclist Francesco Moser, the 'maglia rosa' shirt is bright pink. "The Taoiseach is going to wear it canvassing for the same-sex marriage referendum," quipped one insider. Bravo Enda ...
Varadkar all a Twitter
Leo Varadkar has been getting busy on the Twitter machine of late. On Thursday, @campaignforleo tweeted after he was 10 minutes late for work: "Should have taken the train this morning. Got stuck in heavy traffic en route to Transport questions in Dail." No use of bus-lanes for Leo, it seems. He then was back in action yesterday, when he sent a cheeky tweet to a parody account, @LeoVarad. Normally senior politicians ignore these social-media slagging sites, but not our intrepid minister who tweeted to @LeoVarad: "I love the way you think you're me." Aw, what a tweetie.