E! is an American television station with an exclamation mark in its title (you can find it far down the dial near TLC!!! and Huh?). On the UK vers(...)

Mary Berry in Dublin recently. “I know the subject of baking and I’ve just got to be fair, encourage them [the Bake Off contestants] and try to say something nice even when it’s pretty awful”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times 4:58

Mary Berry is very polite and very proper. “Oh, I’d never put my elbows on the table,” she says, when the Irish Times photographer asks her to lean(...)

Dividing people into winners and losers might seem like weirdly reductive behaviour, but Alastair Campbell was once the British Labour Party’s director of communication and strategy, where he thrived on reduction. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

On the cover of Alastair Campbell’s new book, Winners and How They Succeed, there’s a big number “1” made from the names of the subjects and interv(...)

“I’m blind!” screamed PJ on teen-soap Byker Grove in 1992 and a generation was warned forever of the dangers of paintballing without goggles. S(...)

A screengrab from Irish director Ruari Robinson's proof-of-concept trailer for The Leviathan

Irish film-maker Ruairí Robinson’s latest project The Leviathan has been picked up by X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg and Ch(...)

I need some uniforms for a tough paramilitary fighting unit; what have you got?” “Okaaaaay, let me think, how about a bright red jacket, white (...)

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One of the following things does not happen in the new series of House of Cards:a) President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) urinates on his father’s g(...)

“And with a swing of her hips...” Chris de Burgh serenades Tubridy and the nation on The Late Late Show. Screengrab: RTE

“It lives not, yet it cannot die,” is a strange motto for a television show, but it works for The Late Late Show. Its continued success makes no se(...)

Home place:  Patrick Freyne with his sister Maria at their home in Douglas, Cork, in 1979. Photograph: family collection

When I was six years old my family left Douglas, in Cork, and moved to Kildare, where my dad was stationed with the Army. We were very close to our Co(...)

And the nominees for weirdest category are (clockwise from top left): Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carell, Meryl Streep and Optimus Prime 2:02

The “practice Oscars” are over (Baftas, Emmys and Grammys: pretend awards for losers), the cut-throat Wacky Races-style lobbying is at an end and n(...)