People are talking: Niall's date is no secret
Wasn't Niall Horan's mammy Maura just telling us the baby-faced singer wasn't ready to settle down? Has she not heard the rumours that her 20-year-old son is doing a bit of a line with Victoria Secret model Barbara Palvin?
The pair were spotted holding hands while sneaking out the back of the X Factor wrap party last weekend. Stop the lights, a pop singer and a model holding hands! Not only that, they'd apparently been playing golf earlier in the day. Tis all a far cry from Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg -- maybe Niall's mammy knows exactly what she's talking about.
Niall's bandmate Harry Styles has held manys a hand since One Direction exploded into being three years ago. The serial dater is currently being linked to Kendall Jenner, the younger (half) sister of the Kardashians, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney. Neither party has confirmed a relationship and with Harry's busy schedule they are rarely in the same country. If young Kendall were given to pining at Harry's absence she doesn't have much time to indulge herself as she's been busy comforting older sister Khloe, who has just filed for divorce from her husband Lamar Odom.
The ink is barely dry on her divorce petition and already she's been linked to LA Dodgers star Matt Kemp, which she has described as 'BS'. Kendall might be advised to move the sympathy wagon onto poor Kim, who's been vilified on social media for allegedly waxing her six-month-old daughter's eyebrows. Phew! Keeping up with Kardashians -- no wonder they need cameras to document their every move.
Anne Marie Scanlon
So Katy was out of sync... aren't we all
WAS Katy Perry lip syncing at the NRJ music awards in Cannes last week?
The online video of the performance would suggest yes, after she had to restart a performance twice when the wrong backing track was played. But the event organisers say no, having released a statement to clear her good name -- announcing it was all their fault and was just a problem with the sound.
Either way, Katy deserves a break. After all, aren't we all lip-syncing a bit this time of year? Yeah sure, we've got jobs to do and parties to go to and if we are Katy Perry, public obligations and glitter and happiness to distribute like a neon-pop Christmas elf, not to mention a probable handful of a boyfriend (John Mayer) to manage. But now, more then any other time of year, we all get that there are some things you just have to coast through.
Katy's "Nouvelle Radio Des Jeunes" performance is not so different to that last strategy meeting before the holidays, where the hangover and realisation that over the next few days you'll have exactly 55 minutes shopping time to buy the whole family presents collide, and you find that though you are present in body, and apparently involved in the conversation, you're not actually really there in spirit or in mind.
Which is why, just this time, Katy Perry deserves a lip-synching free pass. If she wasn't using it at Cannes, maybe she might want to cash it in somewhere else over the holiday season. A good moment might have been her recent X Factor performance, where she opted against a lip-synching moment and decided to have a screeching karaoke moment instead. The critics mauled her, of course, but we should be more forgiving. After all, we've all been there too.
We'll fight for cheap spuds
Hands off our veg, Simon Coveney. The Agriculture Minister is worried by the vegetable price war going on in our supermarkets. Does he not realise the only thing that has kept us going recently is the 39 cent head of cabbage?
Say what you will about the Germans, but while Angela was taking with one hand, her friends in Aldi and Lidl were giving back with incredible value in parsnips. The result is that any Irish supermarket worth its onions will now have a rack of fruit and vegetables for less than 40 cents. This has done more than we realise to hold the country together. Who knows how many people were all set to riot but went shopping instead because Aldi added broccoli to their Super 6?
Here's another thing. It's not like the supermarkets are engaging in a battered sausage war. They are luring us into their shops with stuff that is good for us. Given the way things are going with the HSE, they could do with all the help they can get in the fight against obesity.
There will always be people who say they don't know how you can sell a bag of spuds cheaper than a bag of Tayto. But there are also people who wonder how politicians could be paid so much. So our advice to the government is leave well enough alone. And hands off our veg.
A message from the President
Here at People are Talking, we've obtained an exclusive extract from this year's Christmas address by President Higgins.
Without further ado, here's the man himself: "People of Ireland, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking 'bejaysus, the Queen looks different this year'. That's because you've accidentally switched over to me. Don't panic. At least it isn't Enda patronising the nation again.
"Now I realise you're just killing time before another Harry Potter movie begins, so I'll be brief. It's been an historic year. (Insert obligatory Nelson Mandela reference). It's been a poignant year. (Quick, someone, get me a Seamus Heaney quote!) It's also been a sad year for those who had to leave jobs.
"There comes a time in every President's life when he's called upon to utter a few platitudes about the Diaspora, and I shall not be found wanting. I'll even finish off with a few words of Irish you're only pretending to understand.
"All that's left is for me to wish everyone a happy Christmas. Except that Oliver Callan, who's been making a complete Aras of me in his radio show. Well, there's a limit to peace on earth and goodwill to men ... "
Bieber's a lad only a mother could love
It's time to break out the sherry and mince pies early -- Justin Bieber is to retire.
In a radio interview last week, Bieber answered a question about his future with "I'm actually retiring, man". Twitter frenzy ensued -- some jumped for joy, others were broken hearted.
Bieber was once a fresh-faced, cherub-cheeked boy with a Jesus crush; the kind of boy that mothers love. Now he is an ink-stained lad who reportedly frequents Brazilian brothels; the kind of lad only a mother could love.
Much like Miley Cyrus, he's broken free of his clean-cut former self to party as if he were Peter O'Toole or Richard Harris, albeit without the charm and charisma. Beliebers say such loathing is because "haters are gonna hate". Maybe, although it's likely such loathing is because he's a bit of a tool.
In 2013, he attacked a photographer in London; inadvertently insulted the memory of Anne Frank; had his pet monkey confiscated by German authorities; reportedly spat on fans; and urinated into a restaurant's mop bucket, as you do when you're a paragon of Christian values.
Recently it emerged he and his friends have taken to graffiting the streets of cities they tour in, to the anger of Rio de Janerio authorities, where he reportedly faces arrest. So, retirement or not, here's hoping that the Copacabana, Rio and its brothels are too hard to resist.
Big Phil's one trendy politician
IT'S NOT often that you'd put the words twerking and Phil Hogan in the same sentence but that's the world we live in.
In fairness, the closest that most Irish politicians have come to a wrecking ball is the metaphorical one they used to demolish the economy.
But Big Phil is topping the Irish Google search charts for 2013, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Breaking Bad's Walter White.
In the trending politicians section, Phil easily trounced rivals with Enda Kenny coming second followed by Mick Wallace and James Reilly.
It's the biggest surprise in the list of Google's most popular search terms among Irish internet users.
But before the mind wanders and you have a vision of Phil doing unspeakable dance routines at music awards, the reason for his popularity is more prosaic. It was, after all, the year that property tax and water meters were introduced and Phil was the target as he's the Environment Minister.
My fear is that Mick features so prominently because he's got a twerking video somewhere...
Nigella need not be lonely this Christmas
Spare a thought for poor Nigella who will doubtless be going (serving?) cold turkey this Christmas with zero white-powder-dusted mince pies. But does anyone doubt that our all-time favourite celebrity chef will be back with a vengeance in 2014?
She has everything going for her, after all. She's still the most fanciable woman over 50 in Britain (You can hear the collective male thought rising: "Hang on, you mean she's hot, can cook, has a sense of humour and knows a good dealer?") Her ability to write crack cookbooks is undiminished -- she just needs a few lines on every page and if she dares to throw in a recipe for hash brownies she will get our vote for the Booker.
Her career in TV need not stop for a moment. The cookery show pun possibilities are endless -- Master Spliff? Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Plus, if she gets lonely on Christmas morning, she need only remember she's better off rid of yer man Saatchi anyway. Firstly, he clearly has no taste: even post ravages of drugs, Nigella is still chaise longue to Trinny's park bench.
And where's that one's credibility anyway? We would have thought the throat-grabbing zillionaire was definitely what not to wear, but maybe that's because we're card-carrying members of Team Cupcake and recognise Saatchi needs to get a grip. Actually scratch that last bit.
Robotic delivery, but best line ever
Those three little words. So cliched yet they seem to mean so much to so many people. I'll. Be. Back.
Arnie's line from The Terminator has been named the most memorable movie catchphrase of all time, winning 25 per cent of the vote and beating "Bond, James Bond" into second place.
It doesn't seem to matter that Arnie looked so uncomfortable delivering the line that he may as well have been asked to nail a soliloquy from Macbeth in one take.
And no one seems bothered that he delivers the line so robotically because, well, he was at least playing a robot (what a stroke of luck, it was the role he was born to play).
Nor does anyone seem to care that the catchphrase really only grasped the imagination second time round -- in Terminator 2 -- when he once again announced his attention to return.
No, these things don't really matter because, frankly, it's Arnie, so who cares? A quick look at the rest of the entries in the top 10 show a whole host of lines well within Arnie's range. It's not hard to imagine him saying "Heeeere's Johnny" or "Run, Forest, Run". And if he had said one of those lines then that would probably have won the poll because basically we just want to laugh at Arnie. That's all we ask.
And all victories are basically good victories these days for Arnie, for whom most stories since he split with Maria Shriver are either a sex scandal of sorts (for latest, see Tom Arnold's recent claims about Arnie's "harem of women") or something mildly amusing (see recent Arnie riding a toy horse video).
So, it's time for us all to rejoice in this moment. I'll be back. Much like Arnie himself, it just won't go away.