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Michael O'Doherty: Caprice, the Brian Cowen of modelling

Blow-up doll Caprice was at it again at the weekend, doing her 'lady doth protest too much' act.

When insisting in an interview that she doesn't lie about her age, she immediately whipped out her driving licence just to prove, yet again, that she's only 39.

And she likewise assured us that she hasn't had any surgery to her flawless, line-free and strangely shiny face which adorned the photoshoot. But she would certainly consider it in the future...

"Not now, but I will do, 150pc," she insisted. In much the same way, I'm guessing, that Cowen will, at some stage in the future, consider taking up drinking pints. 150pc.

A Late Late cringeathon as Rachel brings out the 'eejit in the background'

The biggest problem we have in VIP magazine is getting the man involved.

I've lost track of the number of times that we've set up a photoshoot with a successful and popular Irish woman who is either married, engaged or in a long-term relationship, only for our request that the partner step into one or two photographs to be met with a wistful, "I can't convince him to do it."

Hell

And for years I've wondered why. What it is with the reluctance amongst men to be party to publicity for their other half -- hell, it's only a photograph and a few inoffensive words?

My question was answered, however, on Friday night,when I watched Rachel Allen on the Late Late, in the company of her husband.

When Isaac came on the show, he was introduced by Ryan with a tone of surprise: "That's unusual, you brought your fella out with you!"

And a few minutes in, it will have struck many people as to why her husband has hidden from public view for so long...

Embarrassing

In perhaps the most awkward husband and wife interview in the history of the Late Late Show, Rachel and Isaac came across as one of those couples who'd been thrown together on Blind Date, realised within five seconds that they were utterly unsuited, but had been forced nonetheless to go on a date.

And, worst of all, come back to face the studio audience and describe how they got on.

They disagreed about the circumstances when they first met -- Rachel claimed he had a girlfriend at the time, Isaac denied it -- and then had an embarassing exchange when it came to describing which of them actually ran the business.

But worst of all was Isaac's recollection, after a few years of bumming around doing bugger all, following which he fell into debt with his own restaurant business, of how he came to be his wife's business manager.

"She was about to start filming her second show, and I could see there was possibly a little bit of potential there, and it seemed easier than trying to run three restaurants..."

Difficult

As the most awkward interview of 2010 drew to a close, Ryan thanked them both for appearing, with a special nod to Issac, "I know it was probably a difficult one for you."

"He prefers to be the eejit in the background," said Rachel, jokingly.

Or maybe not...

On yer bike with this war on drivers

The latest weapon being used by cyclists in their ongoing battle with car drivers is the 'helmet cam', a video camera which documents the many instances of car drivers treating them with scant respect on their travels.

Shame

Apparently, it is being used in court cases to back up cyclists' claims of dangerous driving against motorists, with clips also being posted on YouTube to name and shame errant drivers.

The argument being, of course, that cyclists should be entitled to the same protection as drivers.

In a not entirely unrelated incident, the Labour Party's pro-bicycle enthusiast, Andrew Montague, defended the cyclists who ignored a notice at the East Link to dismount and wheel their bikes across the bridge.

"There is no provision in traffic law to say that cyclists have to dismount," he argued. Which translates, as usual, as "we want cyclists to be protected by the traffic laws which suit them, but be allowed to brazenly ignore the ones that don't".

So I've a similar idea. I'm going to install a tiny camera on the dashboard of my car, and film Dublin's cyclists breaking traffic lights, riding on pavements, and cycling the wrong way up one-way streets.

And I look forward to comparing our videos in court.

Dempsey's lane kept clear by coincidence

A small country lane outside Trim managed to be ice-free last week.

It was thoroughly gritted, though, strangely enough, few of the surrounding roads were afforded this luxury. And the explanation?

Well, by a remarkable coincidence, Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has a house on that road.

And it must be a coincidence, as I fully accept Meath County Council's explanation that it was not a favour to Dempsey.

They would hardly bother gritting the road when they would have presumed Noel was off bronzing himself in Malta.


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