20 things to look forward to in 2010
From great gigs to the next instalment of 'Twilight', not to mention friendly fashion and re-discovering food, it looks like next year is going to be fabulous, says Chrissie Russell
Rugby's return to Lansdowne Road
On August 7, the first ball will be kicked in the new, breathtaking Aviva Stadium on the old Lansdowne Road site when a Leinster/Ulster selection takes on a Munster/Connacht team in the showcase game of the year. The new high-tech arena will have 50,000 seats, all with uninterrupted views of the pitch, and will host around 20 major events every year.
The death of the joystick
Gaming in 2010 is set to go stellar. Thanks to a revolutionary control system unveiled by Microsoft for the Xbox 360, the hand-held controller has been banished to history.
Through motion-sensing technology that goes even further than the Nintendo Wii, 2010's gamers will find themselves projected into the screen thanks to the sensitive 3D-motion technology of Project Natal.
Less time in the car
We'll all be spending less time in the car in the New Year thanks to a host of new roads opening around Ireland.
Motorways are scheduled to open between Dublin and Limerick, Cork and Waterford by the end of 2010, while we'll also see the completion of the M3 motorway linking the Dublin/ Meath border with the Meath/ Cavan border. Long- running improvements to the M50 are also expected to conclude, while in the North the Newry bypass is due to be completed by summer 2010, bringing Dublin and Belfast even closer together.
Another chapter in the Michael Jackson saga?
Rumour has it that Michael's little sister, Janet Jackson, is set to pen a tell-all book about her world-famous family. A publishing industry insider reportedly told magazine, In Touch Weekly, that the 43-year-old singer was due to write about her battle with her weight, but decided to switch focus, to a memoir, following Michael's death in June. If it goes ahead, the book will hit shelves in early 2010 and it'll be the must-read book of the year.
The end of 'Celebrity Big Brother'
Sunday, January 3 will mark the end of an era -- the final series of Celebrity Big Brother.
After seven years, Channel 4 is scrapping the reality TV programme that saw Vanessa Feltz lose her cool, turned George Galloway into a cringey cat and invented the celebrity status of Chantelle Houghton.
The show's original format, Big Brother, is also due to be scrapped in the summer, but the final celebrity issue looks likely to go out with a bang with MC Hammer and Pamela Anderson rumoured to be in the running for the finale, billed as 'Hell Lies In Others'.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup
Between June 11 and July 11 all eyes will be on South Africa as the tournament kicks off for the first time in an African nation.
Ireland may have been cruelly denied a place but the nation will be behind Mexico, Uruguay and South Africa as they take on the French foe.
Sex and the City 2
The flashback scenes! The celebrity guest appearances! The rumours of onset rivalry and tensions -- let's face it, we still can't get enough of Sex and the City.
On May 28 next year, the wait will be over to find out what happens to Manhattan's most famous women, thanks to the second instalment of the SATC film.
Twitter updates and leaked pictures have ensured speculation has stayed rife about what the sequel might bring.
Does Samantha get married? Is Aidan back? And what on earth are they doing in Morocco? Only a few more months to go before everything becomes clear.
Her X Factor performance may not have been her finest, but the world's favourite diva is back for the first time in more than 11 years with live performances in Dublin's O2 on April 17, 18 and 20.
Celebrating Ireland's bravest athletes
For the first time, Ireland is set to host the European Transplant and Dialysis Games. From August 8 to 15, more than 400 athletes from 21 countries across the continent will descend on Dublin for the remarkable tournament. Every competitor is celebrating the gift of life having undergone kidney, liver, heart or lung transplants.
Taking TV to another dimension
2010 is being hailed as the year of 3D TV. Multimedia giants Sony, Philips, Panasonic and LG are launching sets. Some will require special glasses -- though they'll be a far cry from the blue and red affairs from the 1950s. And Sky are jumping on board with a specially formatted 3D satellite channel.
Fashion getting comfy
Bag up your Herve Leger bandage dress and ditch the killer heels, ladies -- the New Year has heralded a fresh trend and it's good news. Fashion is going comfy in 2010. Leading the way is a return of jogging bottoms as a wardrobe essential.
Footwear is also being brought back down to earth. Killer heels and platforms can be resigned to the back of the wardrobe as kitten heels make a welcome return.
Our obsession with vampires (and one vampire in particular) looks set to continue in 2010 when R-Patz returns to the silver screen for Eclipse. The third instalment in the Twilight saga is scheduled for release on June 30, 2010. Expect more emotional drama, life-or-death choices and even more acrobatics and special effects in the fang-tastic sequel.
We're going to find out what 'Lost' is about
After six seasons and a mind-boggling plot line, Lost is to finish in May 2010. After six baffling seasons, we're finally going to unravel all the secrets and mysteries that have beset the fictional survivors of Oceanic Air Flight 815 since it crashed on to a weird and wonderful island en route to LA.
Even make-up is set to go hi-tech in 2010. Beauty products will use nanotechnology and advances in biochemistry to produce psychological benefits in the wearer. Instead of relying on scent and touch, the new generation of hi-tech products will use ingredients that act on neurotransmitters -- making every wearer look, and feel, better.
The trend predictors at trendwatching.com reckon there's going to be a rise in products with built-in charitable donations, like the RED label, and more items with incentives such as buy-one-get-one-free, where the free item is donated to a needy organisation.
Giving and taking will go hand in hand.
Lady Gaga's star is only going to shine brighter in 2010 and she's bringing her completely revamped tour to Ireland. On February 20 and 21 -- an extra date was added to cope with demand -- the Paparazzi star takes up residence in Dublin's O2 with a bigger, better and utterly gaga new Monster Ball Tour.
Ireland ruling La La Land
Irish talent is set to shine at the 2010 Golden Globe awards with a host of home-grown talent up for gongs. With Daniel Day Lewis, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Sheridan and U2 all up for awards, January 17 could be an all-Ireland affair at the Beverly Hills Hilton.
Tickets for the comic's gig in Belfast next year sold out in record time. Fans snapped up 35,000 seats for Peter Kay in just two hours -- making him more popular than Westlife, Oasis and Take That. He plays the Odyssey Arena from December 2 to 6. But Dublin will have to wait until 2011 when Kay's highly anticipated Tour That Doesn't Tour finally touches down at the O2.
Falling in love with food
Forget size-zero, 2010 is going to be all about getting back into the kitchen and cooking for fun.
A recent Nielsen survey found that one in every five households has a budding gourmet chef and with many people still feeling the pinch, home entertainment is in and whipping up tasty treats for yourself and friends is the number-one thing to do this year.
The end of the recession?
According to the latest figures from the CSO and the tentative predictions of economists, 2010 could be the start of an improving economy.
Ireland's gross domestic product is growing and the jobless total is no longer rising, making 2010 look a lot rosier than 2009.