Small print


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Radio mimic aims to make impression on stage

NEXT THURSDAY, January 12th, and Friday, January 13th, Irish mimic Oliver Callan will take to the Olympia stage in Dublin for the first time since 2008. It’s a big brace of gigs for the young Monaghan impersonator who has gone from Gift Grub to Nob Nation and Green Tea.

Callan honed his Enda Kenny impressions and others with Gift Grub – now a rival sketch show – and expressed his dissatisfaction with his former colleague Mario Rosenstock when Callan alleged he was entitled to payment for his work on the programme in 2006 after a Gift Grub CD was released.

It was perhaps the first controversy Callan flirted with, but not the last. His occasionally acerbic sketches can spill over into real life. In 2008, a 2FM Nob Nation sketch that libeled a Waterford guesthouse owner saw the owner win substantial damages from RTÉ.

Last year, Callan’s jokes about Kerry footballer-turned-fashion writer Paul Galvin ended in an altercation between the two in a Dublin pub.

The argy-bargy attracted column inches and also accusations – along with Callan’s sketches of David Norris – of homophobia. Callan argued strongly against such accusations on RTÉ’s The Saturday Night Show, saying any criticism was unfounded considering he himself was gay.

Publicly, Callan prefers to stay in character than out, rarely giving personal interviews, and channeling his talent through impressions of Kenny as cross-dressing alter ego Dame Enda, and a frighteningly realistic take on Jedward.

Green Tea has been a big hit for RTÉ Radio 1, with Callan effortlessly transitioning from Gerry Adams to Giovanni Trappatoni, Charlie Bird to President Michael D Higgins. And it’s these razor-sharp impressions, not the controversies surrounding them, that audiences will be filling seats on Dame Street to check out this week.

Photographer sneaks behind the Iron Curtain

A YOUNG RUSSIAN woman has become a geek hero online after sneaking into a Russian military rocket factory and taking some amazing Star Wars-esque photos of what she found.

Lana Sator jumped the fence of an NPO Energomash factory outside Moscow with at least one other accomplice, and climbed through tunnels and stairwells to access control rooms and warehouse floors where rockets and other equipment are stored.

Remarkably, aside from some CCTV cameras, the factory was unattended although apparently functional, if the exterior shots of smoke billowing from chimney stacks are anything to go by. Her exploits have yielded some great shots around the factory, but also a more than slightly dissatisfied response from Russian authorities.

Sator seems rather apathetic about the dressing down, posting the letters she has received on her livejournal page alongside a gallery of photographs.

Her adventure has spread online, with photography and technology blogs and websites linking her urban explorations and commending her behaviour, namely illustrating it with a photo of Sator that appears to show her nestled comfortably in a large piece of rocket machinery.

Risky? Probably. Cool? Very.

You can check out all of the photos she took on