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In brief: FG's backing surges to 35pc

Fine Gael has extended its support while backing for Fianna Fail continues to dwindle, according to the latest opinion poll.

Enda Kenny's party stands at 35pc while Fianna Fail is at 14pc, the Paddy Power/Red C survey showed.

Labour has support of 21pc, while Sinn Fein has 14pc.

The Green Party stands at 4pc while Independents come in at 12pc.

Eamon Gilmore continues to be the most popular candidate for Taoiseach at 37pc, followed by Mr Kenny at 27pc and Brian Cowen at 10pc.

Injured Spidey actor at show

The actor badly hurt at the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark returned to the theatre for the first time since his accident.

Christopher Tierney, still wearing a back brace, went backstage to wish his castmembers good luck and then watched from the orchestra seats.

The 31-year-old performer said: "It's what I've been waiting for for the past two weeks -- to see my friends and finally watch the show."

Church regrets queen remarks

Charlotte Church has apologised for making unflattering comments about Queen Elizabeth -- and admitted she had been "foolish" to make the "flippant" remarks.

The singer had claimed in a magazine interview that the queen "has no idea what is going on" -- and never recognised her despite meeting her repeatedly.

But in a statement she said she was "deeply sorry" for the offence caused.

'App' picked as best new word

The American Dialect Society has chosen "app" as its 2010 Word Of The Year.

The slang term for a computer or smartphone application was picked by linguists as the word that best sums up the country's preoccupation last year.

"Nom" -- a chat, tweet and text-friendly syllable that connotes "yummy food" -- was the runner-up. It derives from the Cookie Monster character on Sesame Street or, more accurately, the sound he makes as he devours cookies, "Nom, nom, nom, nom".