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The Insider: Sporting Widows

wwwThere will be plenty of sporting widows around the capital city this weekend, given that the Six Nations kicks off this Saturday when Ireland take on Italy at Croke Park.

The following day it's the turn of Leopardstown when the Hennessy Gold Cup gallops into action. And in timely fashion, Irish charity Fighting Blindness will hosts its annual Sporting Luncheon in the Shelbourne Hotel.

Among those on the guest list is the charity's patron Shane Byrne, alongside Denis Hickie and Bernard Jackman. Other attendees will include top trainers Top Taaffe, Conor O'Dwyer and Edward O'Gray.

Meanwhile, shaggy-haired Shane was over the moon after beating newsreader Anne Doyle and Fr Brian D'Arcy in the Celebrity Investment Contest on RTE Radio 1.

wwwTongues have been wagging all around town as to the line-up of the celebrity version of The Apprentice. But Bill Cullen and his co-star partner Jackie Lavin were discreet as usual when pressed about which stars were taking part.

Due to start filming in March, a dozen of our best-known faces will be trying to raise money for charity as they compete in various tough challenges.

But at the RDS this morning, it was business of a different kind for Cullen as he helped Norma Smurfit and Lorraine Keane launch the country's biggest Spring Clean for Charity sale.

The gang are calling on all you hoarders to unearth some of your hidden gems and set up a stall at the RDS on March 7 in aid of the St Vincent de Paul.

wwwA determined Facebook campaign has just been launched to help singer Colin Devlin win this year's Best Male Act at the forthcoming Meteor Ireland Music Awards.

The hirsute crooner, who is engaged to actress Sonya Macari, has been given the nod in the forthcoming awards, with hundreds joining a new internet page to support him in his bid to win the accolade.

The Devlins star is just back from the Sundance Film Festival, where he was rubbing shoulders with a legion of stars including Tommy Lee Jones and Orlando Bloom.

wwwWe'll have soap star Deena Payne in our midst tomorrow as the Emmerdale actress is jetting in for a launch event.

The TV star, who plays Viv Hope in the long-running programme, will be out pressing the flesh in the Elizabeth Taylor Suite of the Gresham Hotel tomorrow afternoon as she marks TV3's new deal with Centra to sponsor the show.



  • Sugababes' Heidi Range accidentally ripped her dress during a highly energetic performance at a charity fundraising gig.

The singer was showing off some dance moves when the seam at the side of her black dress gave way -- leaving a two-inch tear -- as she sang new single Wear My Kiss with bandmates Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen at the Fight Cervical Cancer In Style concert.

The star-studded music and fashion show at London's Koko, which also saw performances by Brit nominees La Roux and Pixie Lott, was held by Jo's Trust to raise awareness about cervical cancer among girls and women.


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