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Ian O'Doherty: Are you really sure about that?

Well, here's a piece of good news -- a new survey has come out which says that the Irish accent is the sexiest in the world.

Indeed, it even trumps French and Italian when it comes to being the accent that gets people in the mood.

Frankly, the survey was obviously conducted by people who had never had an Italian girlfriend (ah, the happy memories of the sexiest Italian in the world. And that voice! Sadly, she was also completely mad).

The report said that the soft, lilting brogue of an Irish accent makes people feel relaxed; it is seen as a trustworthy accent and, bizarrely, it is a turn-on, particularly for foreign women.

But, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

After all, what woman in Ireland doesn't swoon at the dulcet tones of Brian Cowen and want to throw their knickers at him?

Yeah, that's a much sexier accent than any of those boring Italian or French ones ...

Okay, we'll see you in court

Who wudda thunk it?

Jeremy Clarkson and the rest of the Top Gear lads are back in the merde again after they apparently offended the entire nation of Mexico.

While talking about Mexican cars on last week's show, Richard Hammond called Mexicans "lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight" while Clarkson added: "That's why we won't get any complaints about this, because at the Mexican embassy the ambassador's going to be sitting there with a remote control like this (pretending to slump, snoring in a chair)."

It was obviously a joke but it would appear that when James May said that Mexican food was like "fried sick with cheese on it" (which you have to admit was a pretty good line) the Mexicans went ever so slightly mental.

The Mexican ambassador went through the roof, and contacted the head of the BBC to complain about -- yawn -- "racism and stereotypes", saying: "The presenters of the programme resorted to outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable insults to stir bigoted feelings against the Mexican people, their culture as well as their official representative in the United Kingdom."

With characteristic cowardice, the Beeb swiftly apologised, but that isn't enough for one Mexican who is living in London.

Irisa de la Torre is using the Equality Act to sue the BBC and the three presenters and she is demanding that not only are they all immediately fired, but she also wants compensatory damages for, she says, the "emotional distress" of watching her native country being lampooned.

Honestly, this is Top Gear. What the hell do people expect to see when they tune in? Fluffy bunnies? People being nice to each other?

Um, maybe they have a point?

Showing that they really have their eye on the ball, the Catholic Church in Britain have decided that they have a new enemy -- Wiccans.

Now, of all the religions, Wicca is probably the least threatening.

Frankly, it's just a bunch of hippies getting their kit off and waving their wands at each other or else it's teenage girls who think they're lesbians and have watched too many episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

But despite that, the church still feels threatened and has issued a new guide to "evangelising witches" to bring them back into the faith.

They also claim that Wiccans tend to be "feminists" (oh, the horror!) who have turned away from the church because they "see the Catholic Church as a patriarchal institution that has oppressed women down the years".

Really? What on earth could give people the idea that the Catholic Church looks down on women?

Just look at the all the women priests who enjoy full equality and parity of esteem with their male counterparts.

Oh, maybe not.

Aw, bless him, he's upset

They just don't make prisoners like they used to.

First we saw the story last Thursday where Charles Bronson, Britain's most violent and most famous inmate, started to complain that the prison services were trying to 'dehumanise' him by the way they were treating him.

When you consider that this is the guy who has a penchant for rubbing grease on his naked body to make it harder for prison officers to apprehend him every time he goes berserk, you would be forgiven for thinking he was doing a pretty bang-up job -- if you'll pardon the pun -- of dehumanising himself.

And then the other day saw the heartbreaking story of Amos Moonbeng, an illegal South African immigrant who is doing nine years in jail after being convicted of raping a white woman.

His DVD player and PlayStation have been confiscated and he is not a happy bunny, saying: "There is something rather alarming going on here at HMP Dartmoor. I will call it Operation Disenhancement, a massive and ruthless campaign to take away prisoners' rights. Whether it's cost-cutting or just down to the fact that the screws just don't like seeing us with our PlayStations and DVD players, I don't know."

Um, what part of prison do these people not understand?

Really, when you consider that there are law-abiding people out there who can no longer afford to have either item, it's tough to summon a huge degree of sympathy for him.

Big mouth strikes again

I love Elton John. He's irascible, he's cranky and he's always good for a quote.

And now the old queen has decided to have a pop at the Queen of Chavs -- Cheryl Cole.

Cole is one of the most irritating people in Britain and it would appear that good old Elt agrees, saying: "It's hard to tell Girls Aloud from The Saturdays. And then there's Cheryl Cole.

"It's all crap. British pop music like that is the worst, it's just awful. It could have been made by anybody. All lip-synchers should be shot. Only drag queens are allowed to lip-synch.

"And who is Kim Kardashian? Some stupid old tart from somewhere or another."

Cheryl Cole immediately issued a response, but because her hideous Geordie accent is bloody impenetrable nobody actually knows what she said.

DVD Time

Quentin Tarantino hated what director Tony Scott did to his original script, but True Romance (1993) remains a genuine modern great. Christian Slater and Rosanna Arquette are the young lovers who head to LA with a suitcase full of stolen coke. It's funny, sexy and brutally violent, featuring some brilliant cameos from the likes of a pre-Sopranos James Gandolfini and a characteristically threatening turn from the great Christopher Walken, while Gary Oldman is unrecognisable as the racially confused pimp who owned the coke.

Sample quote: "Sicilians are great liars. The best in the world. I'm Sicilian. My father was the world heavyweight champion of Sicilian liars. From growing up with him I learned the pantomime. There are 17 different things a guy can do when he lies to give himself away."

Irish Independent