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The Insider

WELL done to everyone involved in the 2fm Toy Appeal for St Vincent de Paul.

People dug deep into their pockets to support them.

The latest campaign saw some €1m worth of toys donated to the various drop-off points, making a total of 65,000 items.

This was an increase on last year by 9,000.

Among those who took part in the appeal were Larry Gogan and Ryan Tubridy, who said the total tally spoke volumes about the generosity of the Irish public.

•A WEEK-long season of new dance performances and films will kick off on Monday, January 28.

It takes place mainly at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin and marks Dance Ireland's 21st anniversary.

It will bring together a number of performances that have been created in Dance House over the past six years.

It will also feature 'first looks' by artists from nine European countries, as well as talks and nightly film screenings in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar.

•PREPARATION is well under way ahead of one of the hottest film events in the Irish calendar.

This year's Jameson Dublin International Film Festival will run from February 14-24 in various venues around the capital.

Guests will get a sneak peak on what's on offer at next months' event with a programme preview next Wednesday at the Light House cinema in Smithfield.

The party will continue at the Old Jameson Distillery to coincide with the release of tickets for the event going on sale just before midnight on January 23

•RTE has issued a casting call for ideas for its second round of Format Farm pilots.

Last year's inaugural project resulted in two programmes being picked up for six series by the broadcaster -- Norah Casey's The Takeover as well as Six In The City.

Using locations all around the country, that show sees 18 couples battling it out to host the perfect night on the tiles with the second series in production since the start of this month.

And if you reckon you have what it takes to find the next big show, you have until February 8 to submit your proposal, with plans to screen the resulting shows in the autumn of 2013.

Once a pilot is chosen to air on RTE, the broadcaster is promising to partly fund the production costs, with an international distributor matching the funds.

•SNOW Patrol's Gary Lightbody's dueting partner Martha Wainwright, above, will be flying to Ireland next month for a special show in the Cork Opera House.

She'll be joined at her February 1 gig with her new touring band as she promotes her latest self-penned release, Come Home To Mama.