MOD on Monday: Michael Flatley might have feet of flames, but that doesn't mean he can paint with them
Legendary comedian Tommy Cooper had a routine in which he goes to an antiques dealer with a painting and violin he found in his attic.
"What you've got there, said the dealer, is a Stradivarius and a Rembrandt," explains Cooper. "Unfortunately," he continues, leaving a pregnant pause, "Stradivarius wasn't a very good painter and Rembrandt made crap violins."
It's a pertinent memory, as today marks the day that Michael Flatley sees his paintings go to auction for the first time. Paintings which he painted with his feet.
Last Friday, the man charged with selling this oeuvre, art dealer Morgan O'Driscoll, went on The Late Late to explain the creative process involved.
Describing 'The Power', O'Driscoll explained "it's about the power of the universe, you can see the nucleus in the centre of the painting, and he builds it out from there".
For 'The Kestrel', O'Driscoll was reduced to simply explaining what a kestrel is - a colourful bird of prey - and leaving the viewer to forge a connection between this, and the apparently random series of bright squiggles on view.
Describing how Flatley creates his masterpieces, O'Driscoll revealed that "he dips his shoes in the paint, and he dances around". In return for this, the lucky buyer will only have to shell out something north of €70k for 'The Power' or, for those on a budget, a more reasonable €30k for 'The Kestrel'.
Art dealers have a vested interest in hyping up artwork, but it's hard to escape the conclusion that O'Driscoll's description of these oil-based hoofings is one part brown-nosing, one part hyperbole, and three parts the Emperor's New Clothes.
The conceit, of course, is that because Michael is a supreme dancer, then anything created with his feet must be special. That's laughable. To draw an analogy, it implies that if someone has particularly good handwriting, then they're going to write a great novel.
Hyperbole is nothing new when it comes to Flatley, who puffs up his shows as though they were an homage to mystical Celtic forces when, as far as I can recall, Fionn mac Cumhaill never went to battle sporting a bandana, cummerbund and baby oil on his shaved chest.
Lord of the Dance is, in reality, a succession of cheesy set pieces, albeit superbly choreographed and performed, which required no knowledge of Celtic folklore to enjoy, and certainly didn't increase our knowledge of same in any way. But we consoled ourselves with the fact that the end product was magnificent entertainment and, at less than €50 a head, good value.
But €70k for a painting that he banged out with his shoes? Luckily we Irish, as evinced by The Late Late Show audience, have a healthy nose when it comes to smelling bulls**t.
As such, we are very much wise to the modern version of Tommy Cooper's aforementioned gag. I suspect that Rembrandt wasn't a very good dancer. But I'm absolutely positive that Michael Flatley is an unfathomably crap artist.
Colin hasn't picked the best roles of late, but that's nothing to do with his kids
Wikileaks has a habit of releasing streams of confidential emails. Many of those who sent them would, of course, rather they hadn't been made public.
So how refreshing it seems that the latest correspondence to be revealed, that which took place amongst Sony Pictures management, rather than being embarrassing, instead portrays someone in an evangelical light.
So step forward, Saint Colin of Farrell, the man who turned down a multi-million dollar film role because he wanted to spend more time with his kids.
Farrell, apparently, was lined up to play a leading role in the comedy Grimsby, opposite Sacha Baron Cohen, which would have involved a fee of over $2m. His management, however, emailed Sony to say that he didn't want the role, as "he would have had no time at all with his kids and they are the most important thing in the world to him".
Farrell had also just come off a two-month shoot on The Lobster, it's been reported, so he was probably in need of a break anyway.
But the irony in all this is that Colin Farrell has hardly been quiet in terms of work in the past few years. The only reason he may have seemed to be is because he hasn't appeared in anything worth watching for quite some time.
Just like every other actor on the planet, Colin makes choices as to when to work, and what movies to turn down.
Unfortunately, unlike many others, Colin's choices in recent years haven't been the best.
Drumm's got a movie defence
There's a joke in The Shawshank Redemption that, whenever an inmate is asked about his crime, he answers, "I'm innocent. My lawyer screwed me". So it wasn't surprising to hear that David Drumm is appealing against a ruling that has made him personally liable for debts of €10m.
The US court ruled as it did because it decided that Drumm had concealed €1m by secretly transferring it to his wife to put it out of reach of creditors.
Drumm is claiming that he told US lawyers about the transfers, but they forgot to submit them in court i.e. his lawyers screwed him. It's apt that Drumm's pulled a 'Shawshank defence' as he has one thing in common with many of the movie's inmates - he still believes he did nothing wrong.
No changes on the forecaster front
A POLL conducted by Dulux last week revealed that Ireland's favourite weather presenter is not Jean Byrne (inset below), as one might have thought. Nor is it TV3 presenter Martin King. In fact, according to the scientific analysis that was no doubt involved, our favourite forecaster is RTE's Evelyn Cusack.
Normally, I would pour cold water over such findings, but in this case I must compliment Dulux. Because at the TVNow Awards in 2009, a public vote was held to find out exactly the same thing, and following the casting of over 10,000 votes, the winner was Evelyn Cusack, followed by Martin King, with Jean Byrne in third place.
All of which goes to show that while the Irish weather may be changeable, our taste in weather presenters most certainly isn't.