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The O-Zone: On Gore Vidal

- Monday Gore Vidal once boasted, "I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television." OZone is of exactly the same mindset, but this AM a serious dilemma arises: what to do when separate opportunities for both come up simultaneously?

Today is my first day as star -- all right, roving reporter -- of the Galway Arts Festival's online TV channel, GAF TV. It's just a preview of the Human League/Heaven 17 gig, so it's not a particularly important shoot. Or so I convince myself. And herself.

Fully sated, I eventually swagger into the G Hotel's Oyster Bar an hour late for filming. Director Justin McCarthy is utterly unimpressed. "Where the f**k have you been?" he demands.

OZone shoots him a smug smile: "Justin, the answer lies in your question."

- Tuesday More infuriating NAMA nonsense dominating the front pages today.

Twenty years from now, when the expensive dust from all those failed building projects has finally settled, Irish citizens will look back in disgust and ask why we allowed a bunch of parasitical politicians, bankers and developers to rob us blind.

In a nutshell, what's happening with NAMA is that having always privatised the profits, the speculators are now retrospectively socialising the risk.

Adding insult to injury is that most of these badly tailored jokers aren't even particularly bright. If this was France, heads would already have rolled. Though I'm not sure the guillotine would work on some of those thick Irish necks.

- Wednesday Troubled actress -- or, at least, 'in trouble' actress -- Lindsay Lohan is sentenced to 90 days' bird in a Beverly Hills court after a judge ruled that the 24-year-old had violated her probation by missing a string of alcohol education classes imposed for a 2007 drink-driving arrest.

Lohan broke down upon hearing the sentence, having earlier tearfully begged Judge Marsha Revel for another chance. Sadly for her, Revel wasn't sympathetic, pointing out that she'd missed seven classes over the past six months.

"I did the best I could to balance jobs and showing up," Lohan sobbed. "I was working . . . I was working with children, I wasn't taking it as a joke . . . I wanted to come back and make you happy."

Later, a telephoto lens picked up the diminutively defiant message 'F**K U!' painted on her fingernail. Why can't our homegrown starlets misbehave more like this?

- Thursday Morning Aer Arann flight to London. I sit beside actor Eoin Geoghegan. He's heading over for a movie audition, looking very tanned and healthy following a recent charity cycle to Africa in the company of poet Steve Murray and others. Sounds like an eventful trip. Their bikes got stolen along the way. Even so, they raised a decent amount for the Galway Hospice.

OZone's over to meet maverick rocker Richard Ashcroft in Blakes Hotel. Following last year's messy break-up of The Verve (for the second time), the Wigan-born singer is now trading under the moniker RPA & The United Nations Of Sound. Their eponymous debut album, released next week, is absolutely superb.

Back in 1992, I witnessed Verve (the 'The' was added later) performing at the CMJ Music Seminar in Manhattan. No stranger to psychedelic drugs, Ashcroft was obviously tripping out of his head and somehow or other managed to bring the light rig crashing down onto the stage.

They played on, but the drum-kit was near destroyed. All music critics in the audience agreed that the band were a waste of space.

Several million album sales later, Ashcroft is still going strong. However, that disastrous night in New York obviously left a slight scar on his psyche. "Oh Christ, no!" he laughs, burying his head in his hands when I mention it. "You were there that night?"

- Friday Telephone interview with Patrick Kielty. The Northern comedian is taking over Jonathan Ross's BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning slot over the summer (Graham Norton will present permanently from October).

He's looking forward to it: "I think what's nice about it for me is that there's really no pressure. I haven't done a lot of radio. I've done a couple of things for Radio 2, and they liked it. And the fact is there's really no pressure on you because you are not going to be the full-time host in that slot. There'd be a lot more pressure if you were taking over that slot full-time. So, for me, it's just a good chance to shoot the s**t on a Saturday morning."

To Druid Theatre in the afternoon to meet award-winning playwright Enda Walsh for GAF TV. The author of Disco Pigs and Hunger, Walsh's latest play, Penelope, is previewing tonight before beginning a festival run. You can watch the interview on www.galwayartsfestival.com/gaftv.

- Saturday The Film Fleadh has been on all week, but I've been too busy starring in the (disaster) movie that is my own life to actually go to anything. This evening I bump into Andrew Meehan from the Irish Film Board on his way to a screening.

He invites me to the Town Hall premiere of Sensation -- starring Domhnall Gleeson as a sex-obsessed young farmer who begins a not altogether wholesome relationship with an ageing prostitute. "I'd say you'd really like it," Meehan assures me. "It opens with the main character having a w**k in a field." Eh?

OZone has expectations of a certain type of film so I'm disappointed that the director Tom Hall, introducing Sensation beforehand, comes across like a normal, well-adjusted individual. Right from that opening scene, however, the film is powerful stuff -- brave, funny, original, true and troubling. It's absolutely not a date movie.

- Sunday While he doesn't especially look like a Toy Story character, the GAF TV stills photographer is an Aussie named -- wait for it -- Boyd Challenger.

"Ha -- did you make that name up to get work?" I enquire.

"Nope," Boyd laughs. "But I presume you made up Olaf Tyaransen."

"You've got me there," OZone replies, blushing. "Call me Mickey."


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