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The Insider: Congrats to Banville

HUGE congratulations to Irish author John Banville who is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award at the upcoming Irish Book Awards.

The Wexford novelist will receive the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards next Tuesday, November 26. John will be joined at the glitzy bash by an array of Irish authors across genres of sport, crime, fiction and children's writing. Banville joins the hall of fame of other celebrated Irish authors including Maeve Binchy, Edna O'Brien and Seamus Heaney. Born in 1945, Banville has published 18 novels over the years, including five under the pen name Benjamin Black, and he was awarded the Booker Prize in 2005 for acclaimed novel The Sea.

The worst-kept secret in showbiz has finally been made official – it just took longer than usual. Top model Roz Purcell and Voice of Ireland star Bressie attended their first social event together as a "proper couple" over the weekend. The handsome pair were hand-in-hand and all smiles at new Sunday dining experience Le Drunch at the Marker Hotel. "They were really relaxed and didn't mind being seen together at all," said an onlooker.

A Dublin rock outfit are channelling the spirit of music legend Bob Dylan for their latest venture. Irish music collective UFO (The Universal Funk Orchestra) are taking on the challenge of Dylan's hit album Love and Theft for their November classic album assault. Taking place at the Wicked Wolf in Blackrock on November 30, the group will embrace their love of blues, jazz, rockabilly and country swing for a throwback night of good music and entertainment.

The Project Arts Centre is getting controversial next month when it plays host to history classic Way to Heaven. Courtesy of the Rough Magic Seeds company, Way to Heaven will run in Dublin from December 9 through to December 14 and tickets are priced at €16. The play unravels the true story of how international inspectors and aid workers missed what really happened at Theresienstadt concentration camp during the Second World War. Written by acclaimed Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga, the chilling story was a hit at the Royal Court in 2004 and has since been performed all over the world.