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Anna Nolan: Why men can't have it all

FOOTBALLERS really must be the most stupid of all sports stars. Is there a test given to them when they join their club as young boys, a test along the lines of, "When you are hugely successful, married to a beautiful woman and happy, will you (a) Work hard and love your wife; (b) Try your best to keep all you have achieved and live up to the role model you have become to thousands of youngsters; or (c) Balls it all up as soon as you can by having an affair?"

Answer (c) and away you go.

It has become increasingly obvious to me over the past few months that many footballers lead a charmed life, yet have this urge to throw it all away. . . in a spectacularly crass fashion.

And so it seems Wayne Rooney, multi-millionaire, married to the pretty Coleen, and father to cute 10-month-old Kai, thought life was just a tad dull when his wife was pregnant with their son and had an affair with a prostitute.

Here's the question. What part of Wayne Rooney's Shrek-like head talked him out of realising that this woman one day would sell her story?

What part of his little brain made him believe that these meetings with her would be their little secret -- that the £1,000 he paid her would never be public knowledge and that he was making the most discreet decisions of his life.

I suppose the part of the brain that is right beside the ego bit. In his trousers.

Just like a golfer we know.

So maybe that streak of stupidity isn't confined to footballers after all.

Just guys that have it all and can't help throwing it away.

After all the hype, Ryan's interview with Tony Blair was such a terrible damp squib, I turned the tv off

THE hype leading up to the Ryan Tubridy interview with Tony Blair on the first Late Late of the season was one that had Irish audiences sitting to attention on their sofas at 9.30pm on the dot.

Tubs' first guest of the new run was one of the biggest he's had on the show to date and I was hoping that this was going to be way better than the chat he'd had with Brian Cowen last year, that Ryan would have this time mastered his political questioning.

I got to tell you, I was so disappointed.


I had been eagerly anticipating this head to head with Blair for several reasons. I lived in London when Blair finally ousted the Conservatives.

The feeling of euphoria when new Labour moved in to Downing Street was enormous and I was dying to see Ryan grill the man who had gone from being one of the most feted to becoming one of the most mistrusted.

So there I sat, along with the rest of Ireland, all ears.

It started off woefully predictable ... and just got worse.

The Late Late Show's obsession with finding an Irish connection is irritating at the best of times (when is an Irish guest on Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton, or Alan Carr ever asked -- "So tell us your British connections").

But I suppose in a clumsy, tenuous sort of way it's supposed to have us going, "Ahhh, sure he's one of us". Summers in Donegal, Irish grannies, diddly bloody I... He just stopped short of doing a reel. Tony O'Blair -- Irish through and through. Blurrgh.

Then came all the sickly sweet guff about family life in Downing Street (yawn); then his relationship with Gordon Brown -- grand, interesting enough (but barely).

Then that question. Iraq. The same question again and again without changing the wording, over and over again, Ryan lobbing: "But there were no weapons of mass destruction found."

After the same question for the fourth time, I had to switch off the telly. I was cringing -- not for Tony, but for Ryan.

See, here's the thing. Blair stands by his decision to go into Iraq. Quelle surprise. He evidently feels that Saddam Hussein's treatment of his own people, let alone whatever crackpot plans he had for his neighbours, warranted an invasion.

Tubridy stated there were no weapons. Blair made the point that it was because of Hussein's treatment of his people that they went in.

Next! Move it on, Ryan!

Why didn't Blair invade Zimbabwe then, Ryan, where Robert Mugabe has persecuted his own people on a sadistic, destructive, self-serving level for years?

Ryan, why not ask Blair how he felt about his own people's terrible disappointment with him as a leader? Where did it all go wrong, Tony? What did it feel like to lose all that love and hope?

You don't ask the same question over and over again, especially one you know you're not going to get a proper answer to.

It makes for pointless, irritating TV.

It was as if Tubs was trying to be Tom Cruise's Lt Daniel Kaffee to Jack Nicholson's Col Nathan R Jessep in A Few Good Men.

Well, Ryan, can you handle the truth? Your interview with Tony was a wet squib.