Wednesday 25 April 2018

Medb Ruane: That was the November when we all wore a red poppy -- for our milkman's friend's older brother

Shayne Ward returned to the X Factor on Saturday with a new song and a poppy on his belt. The frail little flower shook and shivered as Ward hip-swivelled for the TV audience and judges.

Every judge had a poppy. Simon Cowell's looked vaguely debonair. Cheryl and Dannii pinned theirs on, debutante-style. Louis, the man from Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, wore his on a neatly pressed lapel, as did presenter Dermot O'Leary, who calls himself part-Irish.

Solidarity or style statement? It was hard to tell. If wearing the poppy is about respecting the dead, you'd think there'd be better places than Shayne Ward's pelvis. Then again, the poppy almost caused a riot in Celtic Park last weekend.

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