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Michael O'Doherty: My suspicions over Faye's laptop theft

ONE of Ireland's top models, Faye Dinsmore, has been conducting an online poll to find Ireland's most influential model.

Sadly, her laptop with all the data she needed to access the voting was stolen, so Faye has extended the voting deadline while she gets the system back up and running.

And who do you think currently tops the list? Irish models who've made it abroad, such as Alison Canavan or Catriona Balfe? The best-known models who've stayed at home, like Rosanna Davison and Georgia Salpa?


Or the beautiful, up-and-coming models, much like Faye herself, such as Roz Lipsett or Rozanna Purcell?

Bizarrely enough, no. The current poll-topper is a 20-year-old Dublin model, Anouska Proetta Brandon, whom I, despite more than a passing acquaintance with the business, have never heard of. Perhaps Faye might like to do another poll, this time of the top suspects most likely to have benefited from her laptop being stolen! C'mon, I'm kidding.

A word of advice for Mathews and Linehan: just shut up and write

WATCHING the Father Ted special on New Year's day, I was reminded of many things. The brilliance of the writing. The memorable characters created by all involved. The poignancy of Dermot Morgan's death. And just how annoying Graham Linehan is.

Back in August, the show's co-writer, tweetaholic Linehan, revealed his shock when he discovered that people thought Dermot Morgan had written the series, and announced that he and Arthur Mathews were making the special show as a means of putting the record straight. "The documentary is a way of putting our names to it again," he said. "It was us -- it was our baby."

So with the somewhat less than charismatic Linehan and Mathews front of camera throughout, we got too little input from the funny, articulate Ardal O'Hanlon and Frank Kelly, and far too much of the writers' tedious ramblings. Especially Linehan, who seemed prepared to go to great lengths to establish their hitherto unappreciated genius as the creators of Father Ted.


Graham revealed how, so wrapped up was he in his oeuvre, he never took time out to appreciate the beauty of the Irish locations that were used. Or how the popularity of the show escaped them at the time. And even how a young girl loved the show so much that she wanted to live in the house where it was set.

Sorry, Graham, but who gives a shit?

And in their ultimate moment of hubris, the writers aired their own favourite episode, as if to suggest that while the fans may be allowed their own say, the writers should have the casting vote as to when it comes to taste.

On the same day as this Tedfest, the BBC broadcast a tribute to Morecambe and Wise.


While very different in format to Ted, it shared one important aspect -- hardly a word of their long-running series was penned by Eric and Ernie themselves, yet they took all the plaudits for the show's success.

Did this tribute involve the scriptwriters reclaiming the show as their own, correcting everyone's misunderstanding that Morecambe and Wise was actually written by the great duo?

No -- they barely got a look in because, for all their fine words, it's the people in front of the camera who are always the stars.

Like it or not, it's a writer's lot to be heard and not seen. It's a shame that Linehan and Mathews still don't realise this.

No end to hypocrisy of bigmouth Bertie

FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who decided to jump before he was pushed by announcing that he wasn't going to stand for election this year, criticised his successor Brian Cowen in a newspaper interview.

Reflecting on Cowen's apparent lack of communication with the Irish people, Bertie recalled how he himself never shirked from talking to the press. "I always took the view that you go out there every day, talk to the media and do your bit."

So which media outlet did Bertie choose for this exclusive interview? The News of the World, of course, who pay him handsomely to write a sports column each week.

And how did Bertie deal with the barrage of difficult questions about his own handling of the economy, and the whiff of scandal surrounding his personal finances? Strangely enough, he was never asked...

Jim perfect for flick on economy

AS THE Irish Film Board continues to pour taxpayers' money into loss-making movies such as Ondine, two of the industry's best-known names raised their heads at the weekend.

Neil Jordan, who hasn't had a hit since The Crying Game in 1992, reflected that if he had put a happy ending on to Ondine, co-funded by the Film Board, it might have done better than its measly €1.2m worldwide box-office revenue.

Meanwhile, Jim Sheridan, who's had the same barren spell as Neil -- The Field was in 1990 -- thinks there might be a movie to be made about the people who lost millions in Ireland's property crash.

His sympathies lie with the developers, apparently, as he said: "You can't blame a guy when he was offered money to go and develop . . . What were they going to do, say no? No, he's going to grasp it with both hands."

Of course Jim is going to defend people who took money to develop something and then pissed it down a drain. After all, that's what he and Neil have been doing for the past 20 years . . .