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I'm on my way, says Rhys Meyers as IFTAs buzz hits fever pitch

Hollywood hunk Jonathan Rhys Meyers (32) is tipped to trip down the red carpet of the Burlington Hotel at this evening's Irish Film and TV Awards (IFTAs).

The Tudors star (32) was a noticeable absentee from the bash last year, despite being up for a gong -- and clearly wants to make amends tonight.

The Herald can reveal how the smouldering actor has made a surprise last-minute visit home after flying into Dublin last night -- he told his pals to expect him home this weekend as he was heading for the IFTAs, Ireland's answer to the Oscars.

The star currently has a break in his schedule, after having finished his new movie with John Travolta, From Paris With Love.

"It was kind of an unexpected move on his part but he is expected to make it along to the event tonight as he is up for one of the biggest awards," said a source.

The TV3 programme, which sees him take centre stage as King Henry VIII, is up for a string of awards this year, with Rhys Meyers hoping to take home the Best Actor in a Lead Role award.

His co-star, Sarah Bolger, who plays his daughter in the hit series, has also been nominated for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award, while Emmy-award winning Joan Bergin is up for Best Costume Design.

Hosted by Victoria Smurfit, there will 39 winners in a string of different categories.

They will be dished out tonight with most of our best-known TV and movie stars turning on the glam full beam for the occasion.

Among those battling it out and hoping to take home a prestigious award, will be TV3, who shunned the awards last year after claiming it was unfairly biased against them.

They are up for the Best Entertainment Programme award for The Apprentice and are 4/9 favourites to win the gong.

In the area of entertainment, Xpose's Tribute To Stephen Gately has received much recognition and has been installed at 2/1 to scoop the accolade.

Rising talent Saoirse Ronan (15) it being tipped to take the Best Actress in a Lead Role award for her stint in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.

Hollywood heart-throb Colin Farrell is the 4/7 favourite to win Best Actor in Neil Jordan's flick Ondine -- but punters seem to be favouring Darren Healy for his role in Savage at 5/1.

Wicklow-based director John Boorman will be picking up the Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented to him by his good pal, Oscar-winner Jon Voight, who has flown in from LA.

The Herald's own Gerry O'Carroll, a long-time friend of Voight's, will be attending the ceremony with the Hollywood legend.