Wednesday 19 December 2018

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Comedian Eric Idle launches his 'sortabiography'

'It had to be funny - I've no interest in settling scores' - comedian Eric Idle launches his 'sortabiography' 

It is a comparison that has been made time and time again. Monty Python, it's said, is to comedy, what The Beatles are to music. If the Fab Four forever changed the pop and rock landscape, it is surely fair to suggest that television comedy would look very different if a bunch of whip-smart and super-funny young men hadn't appeared on the BBC in 1969 with a show that still generates belly...

Football to the rescue: McMahon is a fitness coach and motivational speaker at Mountjoy Prison. Picture by Frank Mc Grath

Legalising drug use: a tough pill to swallow 

It is a chilly midweek evening in October and Philly McMahon arrives early at Ballymun Kickhams, the GAA club he has served with distinction for the best part of 20 years. The Dublin Gaelic footballer - a six-time All-Ireland winner who will be among the galaxy of stars hunting for an unprecedented five-in-a-row in 2019 - may have one part of his mind on tonight's training session, one of the last of a long season, but another part is thinking about a subject that's long occupied him: drug abuse.

Singer and songwriter Ruth-Anne Cunningham. Photograph: ©Fran Veale

RuthAnne Cunningham: Streetwise Irish songstress who has penned songs for Britney Spears and One Direction 

RuthAnne Cunningham talks about the immense satisfaction her career has given her and she is reminded of the gloriously strange path she has taken in the most random of places. She will be in a spin class in London when the Britney Spears' single, Work B**ch, booms from the speakers and she allows herself a secret smile knowing that she part-wrote the smash hit and not a person sweating...

Ed Sheeran. Photo: Getty Images

John Meagher: 'Ed Sheeran's massive success demonstrates that we're living in an age of mediocrity' 

Even in an industry as given to hyperbole as music, we've never seen the like before. Kicking off tonight in Cork, Ed Sheeran plays nine sold-out shows in stadia and parks on this island and more than 400,000 tickets have been shifted. That's one tenth of the entire population of the Republic and he could probably play another few dates at the Phoenix Park and they'd still be clamouring for more.