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Monday 18 December 2017

Anna Nolan: Eilish's boozy day out forces the rest of us to look in the mirror

Bunclody's Eilish Kavanagh pictured with Kathryn Thomas
Bunclody's Eilish Kavanagh pictured with Kathryn Thomas
Eilis Kavanagh
Dr Ciara Kelly
Kim Sears
Stephen Fry

Everything in moderation. Except alcohol, that is.

As we watched Eilish Kavanagh tot up her weekly allowance of units on Operation Transformation, we saw her make the decision to have them all on the one night.

As Dr Ciara Kelly, one of the experts on the hugely popular television show lost her cool with the leader, the nation jumped on the bandwagon...as Eilish fell off the wagon.

It was an interesting clash of culture and medicine last week as the two women went head to head.

Eilish didn't meet her target, Ciara made Eilish her target. She called it "an abomination" that Eilish drank her weekly allowance in one day.

The doctor was "disgusted" and as she turned into the new school mistress of Irish television she said those words that would bring the strongest of us to our knees: "You let yourself down."

Ouch!

The reaction was fascinating. Some people were appalled that Dr Ciara was talking to Eilish like a child. They found it humiliating.

But more than that, many of the viewers felt that it wasn't that big a deal. Sure it's only 11 units. What's the big deal?

I met Dr Ciara on the Marian Finucane radio show on Sunday, where I was on to discuss the topic of reality TV and the reality for those who take part.

Before I arrived at RTE, I had done my preparation. I had watched the show, I had spoken to viewers of the series, I had read all the press in relation to the outburst and I had rung someone who works on the show. I wanted to see it from everyone's point of view.

I put across my feelings to Ciara: I thought the point of the outburst was valid, but the tone was all wrong. She admitted that herself.

Let's deal with the tone first. Yes, it seemed far too emotional. It was coming from a place of annoyance. It could be described as a heightened reaction instead of a reasonable conversation.

But this whole episode brings up a very important issue - Irish people and our relationship with alcohol.

We feel that binge drinking is ok. We accept a level of alcohol consumption that is dangerous.

We drink an unhealthy amount of gargle and we come up with too many excuses.

Eilish seemed apathetic about what she had done wrong.

I would be too. Eleven units in one day - sure that's nothing!

We really have a big issue with how we drink in this country and it needs to be addressed soon.

 

Explicit content? At least Kim's one WAG that I'll pay attention to

If you were a WAG, which one would you be? Which wife or girlfriend of a famous sports star?

Would you be the quiet and unassuming one? Or would you be loud, passionate and holler anytime they played well.

There's the golfing wags, who turn up looking like Stepford wives, ready to run with a child in their arms onto the 18th hole when hubby wins the tournament.

There's the soccer wags, who sit in the stands looking a million dollars as they cheer on their lads. All the while we presume that they all hate each other and none of them know the offside rule.

The tennis WAG is the personification of middle-class entitlement. We like to think that these women simply tour the world with their boyfriends or husbands, sit in the fancy box and count the dollars as they make their way to the next round.

But last week, we saw a wag who broke the rules. Kim Sears, fiancee of Andy Murray, showed the world the she felt as passionate about tennis as he did.

She screamed and roared as he progressed through the Australian Open. What she didn't know was that lip-readers were about to analyse exactly what she was saying.

What came out of her mouth wasn't gentle. Apparently it was "f------ have that you flashy Czech". Or something like it.

I love that she used such colourful language. Many would have died with mortification afterwards but not Kim.

At the next match she wore a t-shirt that read: "Parental Advisory. Explicit Content."

Funny and clever. I like it. Yep, I would be a wag like Kim Sears, happy to drop an f-bomb when my partner was playing well.

I wonder what was coming out of her mouth after the subsequent final Murray lost?

Probably too x-rated to print.

God better be out when Fry arrives

Wow, wow, wow. Did you hear Stephen Fry's response to Gay Byrne on The Meaning of Life when he was asked what he would say to God when he got to the pearly gates? Well, I hope God isn't in that day, 'cos he's gonna get an earful!  Fry said that he would tell him what an evil being he was because of all the horrendous things that he has allowed to happen on earth. I can't do the response justice - google it. It's pretty magnificent.

Congratulations to Jack Reynor who won the special jury prize for acting at the Sundance Film Festival. I cannot wait to see his movie Glassland. I remember seeing Gerard Barrett's previous film Pilgrim Hill and found it so very moving. Barrett's new film sees Reynor's character taking care of his alcoholic mother, who is played by Toni Collette, and it sounds like a must see.

I didn't really rate Katy Perry before now. I thought she was grand. But after her Super Bowl appearance at half time, I am now such a fan. What a performance - dancing, singing, engaging with such a massive audience. She rocked!

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