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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Anton Savage : What are you thinking of Tom, telling the world your wife has 'let herself go'?

Tom Jones
Tom Jones
Tom Jones
Enda Kenny
Henry Shefflin
Brian Blessed

Tom Jones is coming across as far from the nice man you'd expect him to be.

He was quoted in several papers this week talking about his wife of 50 years, Linda, who he sescribes as the "love of [my] life, an unbelievable woman".

He also says "she has lost her spark" and "has let herself go".

In one horrible quote he says she's still the love of his life even though "she doesn't look like she did. I don't look like I did either, but I try my best."

Imagine telling someone you love that they've let themselves go, have lost their spark, don't look like they did when they were younger and aren't trying as hard as you are?

To say such things to a partner in private would be considered close to emotional abuse. To say such things in the press, where you know they will be spread worldwide, is astonishing.

It's not like Tom (right) has reason to want to publicly hurt his wife - he was the cheater. Yet when talking about that infidelity in his book, he makes his wife look bad - "I just stood there and took it. She chinned me. She punched and shouted".

Why in God's name would someone describe their partner's rage at being wronged in a way that implicitly portrays the partner as violent? Jones was in the wrong. Yet he still paints the world a picture of his wife's private (and some would say righteous) rage.

Perhaps Tom doesn't realise he is doing all of this because he's only read half of his book. Yup, that's right, half of his own autobiography.

It has been ghost-written by Giles Smith and Tom has admitted that he has read just 50 per cent of it. How lazy and thoughtless can you be?

This book describes his private life and the formative moments in his career and family and he can't be bothered to read it? Surely he has a duty of care to his family to check it over before something so intimate hits the shelves. Then again, given what he has been saying in the run up to its release, it's hard to imagine its contents being worse.

Fans of the Welsh crooner will probably argue that he was misquoted, or quoted out of context. But it's hard to make such excuses when he's being similarly thoughtless about his time on The Voice.

Until recently he was a judge on that show, until they fired him for being dull (not that they put it that way). His response this week was to tell us that in essence, he was doing the Voice as an act of philanthropy.

"It's a reality show, as much as I enjoyed doing it and helping the singers, that's the reason I was there...all that other bulls*** they do on there is not my thing."

Sure thing, Tom. You took the cheque to appear so you could help the little people... and Simon Cowell runs X-Factor purely to give unsigned artists a shot at the big-time.

Tom Jones may be one of the most successful UK singers of all time. He may have played Vegas with Elvis. But that long career took place without him developing either humility or empathy.

 

Election hype puts political anoraks into a frenzy - not so much the rest of us

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Enda Kenny

Dear god, can we please end the speculation about the timing of the election?

No one knows the date. Everyone has theories, notions and arguments. But no-one knows. Even the Taoiseach doesn't know. He may have a date in his head, but even that isn't definite until it's announced and anything from the global economy to the Rugby World Cup could influence it.

At bad times of political commentary an inverse relationship develops between level of knowledge and willingness to communicate.

When something is afoot politically those who actually know what is going on tend to shut the hell up, while those who don't have a bull's notion find metaphorical rooftops to stand on from which to roar their theories.

witchdoctors

Inevitably a few of them are proved right. It's just the same when witchdoctors do rain dances. It eventually rains but that doesn't mean they're possessed with major insight.

Elections are fun, hence analysts get carried away at the slightest indication of one.

Elections provide acres of stuff to talk about and they don't come around often. They're like a world cup for political analysts. The possibility of one on the horizon whips everyone in the political world into a giddy frenzy.

But there's a limit to how much giddy expectation the rest of us can cope with. And the current levels are like being trapped in a house in August with a group of hyperactive toddlers asking when Santa is coming.

The election will happen when it happens. The date will not be leaked in advance (doing so would remove the Government's advantage of surprise).

So let's all take a breath and go back to being excited over the rugby.

 

Ice hurling - the new fastest sport

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Americans are getting all excited about hurling after the TV show 60 Minutes broadcast a special report on the sport. We are told that 60 Minutes often has more than 15m viewers, which sounds huge. Out of a population of 318m though it ain't so big. So let's not get carried away.

But those Americans who watched 60 Minutes may feel resentment at discovering that ice hockey, often referred to as the fastest sport in the world, is actually a distant second for that title.

Although in fairness, they often compete while moving backwards, wearing ice skates. Imagine if we combined the two? Henry Shefflin (inset) scoring points while skating backwards at 25kph? Now that'd be a sport.

 

Is there anything this man can't do?

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Just when you thought Brian Blessed couldn't be any cooler, he kicks it up a level. He is an accomplished actor, having played Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon as well as starring in numerous TV shows and films (including Star Wars).

Blessed's also the oldest man to trek on foot to the North Pole, was a successful boxer who claims to have sparred with the Dalai Llama and has made three attempts at Everest, reaching 28,000 feet during one try.

All of which would make him one of the ultimate Renaissance men. But this week we discovered that back in the 1970s he delivered a stranger's baby in a park in England and bit through the umbilical cord before tying it off and nursing her until medics arrived. Now that's cool. Weird. But cool.

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