Saturday 17 March 2018

The unlikely heroes and villains of 2017

Meghan Markle and Ryan Tubridy
Meghan Markle and Ryan Tubridy
Sunday night fever: Dessie busts a move with dance partner Karen Byrne
Anthony Scaramucci. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) walks with his Irish counterpart Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (L) during the Montreal Pride parade in Montreal, Canada August 20, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
Lighter side of politics: Varadkar gives it socks during a visit by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who is known for his quirky choices underfoot. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Any year that began with the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump was going to be surreal.

From Dancing Dessie to Koala Diplomacy, here are my pick of the weird and wonderful winners and losers of 2017.

Patron Saint of 2017

Jedward with their barrister, Desmond Murphy at the Four Courts after the settlement of a High Court action taken against them by Patrick Joseph Noonan. Photo: Collins courts

For unforeseen levels of patience, the award must go to Jedward’s barrister Desmond Murphy SC who represented the brothers when they were up in the Four Courts this year. If the expression on his face is anything to go by, it’s fair to say he found it a demanding experience.

Biggest Let Down

Has to be when the President’s PR team vetoed suggestions that Prez Michael D be photographed with a koala on his head during his exhaustive tour of Australia. A tragedy and a travesty.

The ‘It Can’t Be Unseen’ award

Sunday night fever: Dessie busts a move with dance partner Karen Byrne

When Des Cahill shuffled around the dance floor on his arse in a velveteen Austin Powers suit. Marty Morrissey has a lot to live up to.

Most Stylish Irish Man, Woman or Child

Former Love/ Hate cat killer Barry Keoghan, who was hand picked by Dior as a style ambassador this year alongside Twilight star Robert Pattinson, Mr Robot actor Rami Malek, A$AP Rocky, and Christian Slater. Slow clap.

The ‘Sure Jan’ award

Vogue Williams at Robertas in Temple Bar

Shout out to Vogue Williams for keeping us up to speed with whether or not she’ll be attending any royal or quasi-royal weddings on the horizon. Earlier this year, she was unable to go to Pippa Middleton’s wedding as she was busy attending a prestigious photocall on Dublin’s Henry Street. Ahem.

Last month, she told showbiz journalists that she probably won’t be attending Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding.

Raising the question — would the girlfriend of the brother of the husband of the sister of the wife of the brother of the groom normally be invited?

The ‘U Ok Hun?’ Award

2017 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year jeans, the staple of so many of our daily wardrobes, lost their mind. Thong jeans, low-rise jeans, Clear Knee Mom Jeans, janklets (hot pants with the seams attached to the ankles), see-through jeans, and jean chaps. Let’s hope 2018 is a better year for them.

The ‘I’ve Seen It All Now Ted’  Award

There was plenty of consternation when three Babestation stars flew into Knock at the start of the year.

The, erm, ‘spokes-babes’ were there to apologise to locals after a dialling code mix-up resulted in callers to the X-rated hotline being redirected to households in the West. One of those affected was local Cllr Brendan Mulroy who said he was hounded by calls from elderly gents asking “Are you the lady on the telly?

The Tony (the Rebel) Hancock Contribution to Art Award

The Origin sculpture in Belfast was intended to look like a giant raindrop suspended in the sky.

Instead, it was selected as The Spectator magazine’s most hideous piece of public art 2017. “Imagine climbing the hills that surround Belfast and stumbling upon this 11-metre-high steel bollock,” it said. The magazine went on to ask; “Haven’t the people of Northern Ireland suffered enough?”

The Blink and You’ll Miss it Award

Anthony Scaramucci. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The rise and fall of The Mooch. It was a like watching a self-contained tornado rip through the White House. He came, he saw, and he said Steve Bannon could “suck his own c***”.

Best Correspondence

Nothing quite lifted my spirits quite as high this year as when Sonia Copeland Bloom — the mother of Pirates of the Caribbean star Orlando Bloom — sent me her son’s headshot, school exam results and a four-page CV complete with glowing reviews. One of which described him as “this generation’s Errol Flynn”. Sonia had sent the letter to stymie the publication of factually incorrect articles about her son. I was a bit confused as the only article I have written about Bloom focused on his penchant for naked paddle boarding — which is an indisputable truth. But I did find the letter exceptionally sweet.

Wide-Eyed Infatuation Award

Leading by example: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Leo Varadkar out for a run

Two winners. First, Ryan Tubridy and his obsession with Meghan Markle. Despite insisting that he abhors the royal family and everything they stand for, Ryan has been very VERY keen to remind us that he met Meghan at the White House.

“She’s particularly pleasant. Great fun,” he said. “We did photographs, we were all giddy.” A few weeks ago, he shared the selfie online saying everyone had been asking about it. Really Ryan?

Leo Varadkar and Justin Trudeau’s bromance was something else. And, listen, I get it, Justin has a magnetic charm, but the photocall jog, and the Max Wall hitching up your trousers to show off your socks was a bit much.

Ultimate Limelight Deflector

Bob Geldof returns his Freedom of Dublin city scroll to City Hall Dublin today. Pic: Justin Farrelly.

When Bob Geldof arrived in City hall with his Freedom of the City scroll tucked under his arm, a media scrum gathered around him Things came to a standstill however when a woman wandered in and shrieked “Bob Geldof — I have something to tell you”.

Bob silenced the crowd, and gestured for the lady to continue speaking. “Bob Geldof,” she said. “I wanted you to know that I am NOT a whore”. It’s rare Geldof is lost for words, but the exchange left him dumbfounded.

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