The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Vanessa Hudgens as Stacy/Margaret/Fiona

Vanessa Hudgens reswaps relationships in The Princess Switch: Switched Again

 Patrick Freyne tries out an electric scooter from Dublin company Lifty. ‘It’s pretty easy to use the scooter, though any bumps in the road cause significant turbulence,’ he says. Photograph by Crispin Rodwell

Sales have soared as we seek alternatives to public transport. Pity they’re illegal

In a time of plague, it makes sense to me that Ant and Dec would hole up with a pile of celebrities in an old medieval castle waiting it all out. Photograph: ITV

Once we wanted our celebs glamorous. Now we want them crying on I’m a Celebrity

Photograph: John Lewis and Partners/PA

Patrick Freyne: There’s nude pigeons, flying snow people, heart-shaped haircuts – and a broken time-space continuum

Nigella Lawson in Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat: My favourite of her food plays/food lies was ‘fish finger bhorta’ starring my favourite food actor, ‘fish fingers’. Photograph:  Jay Brookes

Here's the thing, herbs and spices are costumes. Rice and pasta are ‘extras’. Bowls and plates are sets. Chicken is the lead chara(...)

Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan in Wild Mountain Thyme

Here’s seven of the best Oirish films including a soulful hunky IRA man, and a corned beef and cabbage plot

Chairman: Ray D’Arcy. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

The broadcaster says his working-class roots make him crave security and fear failure

Don’t Rock the Boat contestants Jodie Kidd, Craig Charles, Adam Thomas, Fleur East, Victoria Pendleton and Tom Watson. Photograph: Jon Hall/ITV

A more apt title for new reality show Don’t Rock the Boat would be Celebrity S**t in a Bucket

“Enter the Cube! at your own risk: Philip Schofield on The Million Pound Cube. Photograph: ITV

Patrick Freyne: it’s amazing how mundane tasks can be enlivened by a time limit and dramatic music

Dermot Bannon at home in Drumcondra with his cast-iron outdoor bath. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

The TV presenter on his first steps in architecture and new series of Incredible Homes

Lily Collins in Emily in Paris: pretty hard to stop watching

Patrick Freyne: Frenchies are depicted as smelly, sex-obsessed, work-shy and nude

Lucy Kennedy and Adele King aka Twink, with her shoulder-cockatiel

Adele King, with an actual cockatiel on her shoulder and a terrier called Teddy Bear, lodges with Lucy Kennedy

Roddy Doyle: “Slagging is virtually always very affectionate.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

He knew this because, when he started writing The Commitments, he knew it was good

Top Gear: isn’t quite working

Patrick Freyne: Freddie Flintoff and the Top Gear presenters still feel like they’re on an awkward team building weekend

Tom Curran and his partner Marie Fleming, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, leaving the Four Courts in 2013 after Fleming lost her case to be allowed to die with dignity.  Photograph: Sam Boal/

The public view on this controversial issue seems to be changing. But should the law?

The dayglo quartet: Matt, Noel, Paul and Prue.  Much has changed since the early days of The Great British Bake Off. Paul Hollywood’s hair, for one, has  become even more eye-burningly white, the whitest white you have ever seen.

Patrick Freyne: Paul Hollywood has emerged from slumber and is hungry for power – and cakes

Michael Harding lives on the border between Co Roscommon and Co Leitrim, having bought the land 25 years ago. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The author on the poetry of religion and the heart attack that gave him a lift

Matthew Malone in Fishamble’s Embargo, part of the Dublin Theatre Festival

Deirdre Kinahan on her site-specific play about the 1920 munitions strike

Fiona Bruce flies a Spitfire over Kent in a Pathé newsreel from the future. Or maybe it’s just the Antiques Roadshow. Photograph: BBC

Patrick Freyne: Antiques Roadshow delves in second World War jingoism while cats plan our demise

High tea with the richest kings of Europe?

Patrick Freyne: What constitutes a ‘simple comfort’ in Mary Berry’s world?

‘Where’s the nearest buffet?’ Holliday Grainger and Tom Burke in Strike: Lethal White

Patrick Freyne: Luckily, JK Rowling’s smouldering detective and sidekick are distracted by a new case

‘We had one bandmate who would climb the walls and leap into the crowd when boozed up’

The rock music industry has long doubled as an efficient alcohol distribution mechanism

Mick Egan, who is to retire from Rade, the arts organisation working with addicts, at its premises in Dublin. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

As he retires, Mick Egan looks back at 30 years working with addicts in art and drama

Singer Mary Coughlan at home in Wicklow for magazine feature. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Through addiction, infidelity and other life struggles, music was her constant escape

 State witness Joseph O’Callaghan and his mother Mary. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Joseph O’Callaghan fears being shot, but he doesn’t regret testifying in a murder case

New skyscrapers gleaming on the Manchester skyline

BBC’s Manctopia suggests socially destructive real estate speculation isn’t unique to Ireland

Lovecraft Country: Writers of colour are remixing US pop-cultural tropes to better fit their own experience. Photograph: Elizabeth Morris/HBO/Sky

Racist sheriffs, not tentacled beasts, provide the real scares in this take on Jim Crow’s US

Passing It On: Ballymun Kickhams shows how good people gave young men in their community a sense of pride

Sorcha Glackin’s moving film about Ballymun Kickhams is a story of belonging and kindness

Maura doesn’t take to her new training regime with stoical good grace

Maura Higgins: You’re Joking Me! takes the former Love Islander out of her comfort zone

No Place Like Home: Kathryn Thomas

TV review: The RTÉ host is like the Ghost of Holiday Plans Past in No Place Like Home

Seán Boylan: the former Meath manager at Croke Park in 2016. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

TV review: Patrick Freyne sets the scene for RTÉ’s film about the GAA boss Seán Boylan

Harlots: Samantha Morton (front) as Margaret Wells. Photograph: Robert Viglasky/Monumental/BBC

TV review: The BBC’s 18th-century brothel drama isn’t as gratuitous as you might think

Little Birds: Juno Temple as Lucy Savage, with Hugh Skinner as the gay aristocrat she’s married off to

TV review: Little Birds tries to be shocking but can just look like a Duran Duran video

Muppets: some have no Earthly analogues; some resemble the four main Earth species: bear, human, frog and pig

TV review: No wonder Miss Piggy, a career women in a male world, is so full of rage

As British as Churchill: sky-hockey player Paul Mescal in Normal People and aristocratically foreheaded Andrew Scott in Sherlock

Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott are no longer Irish, apparently. We get Prince Andrew in return

Prodigal Son: Michael Sheen and Tom Payne as the serial-killing Surgeon and his serial-killer-profiling son

TV review: Yet more serial killers are on the loose in this daft, gruesomely fun Sky drama

Robert Sheehan> Photographs:Erin Patrice O’Brien/Netflix

The Portlaoise-born actor talks about London living, meditation and lockdown writing

  Albert Connaughton, director at Belmont House,   believes public guidance was ‘behind the curve’. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill

Thirty per cent of Belmont House’s 150 residents tested positive for coronavirus

Gardening Together with Diarmuid Gavin: The host  shows us some gardening tricks that involve, as far as I can tell, imprisoning hydrangeas using coat hangers. Photograph: RTÉ

Patrick Freyne: Gavin hasn’t had a land-hungry American visit yet, but it’s surely coming

Men’s health charity Movember’s Conversation Piece campaign paired artists, writers and musicians to talk about mental health and (...)

Rupert Murdoch in The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty: Benny Hill music to be added later.  Photograph: Tom Pilston

Patrick Freyne: Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty is another great sitcom on a powerful patriarch

Paul O’Connell. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne Paul O’Connell. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne Paul O’Connell: GPS was a revelation for me. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The former rugby player talked tactics and training at the Irish Times Summer Nights Festival

Clockwise, from top left: Hugh Linehan, Jennifer Bray, Pat Leahy and Harry McGee

The Irish Times political team discuss the sacking of Barry Cowen, at an Inside Politics event

Anne Enright: “I looked at how men manage their confidence and their time. I took a few leads out of their book.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

The author appeared at The Irish Times Summer Nights Festival on Wednesday evening

Zac Efron is, to be fair to him, engaged and funny and doing his best to learn.

Whoa! Do you think we could do this in America, asks the wide-eyed but elderly teen star

Dr Mark Shrime in the operating room on board a Mercy Ship. Photograph: Katie Callow

Surgery is as key as vaccination, nutrition, and mother-and-child health, says RSCI professor Mark Shrime

Supervet: I’d choose a warm blanket and one of those head lampshades at Noel Fitzpatrick’s dog-fixing emporium over a spell at the Mayo Clinic

Welcome to The Supervet: Puppy Special, where Noel Fitzpatrick is like Dog Jesus

Generation Covid: (from left) Jack o'Neill, Megan Atkinson and Daniel Airey

Medically, they were spared the worst. But Ireland’s young will be hit hard by Covid-19

Irish actor Eve Hewson in BBC’s new period drama The Luminaries. Photograph: Kirsty Griffin

Patrick Freyne: The Luminaries looks great and has spirited acting, but what is it trying to be?

Dermot Bannon in Monday’s Home School Hub

The architect is back in the ears of the nation’s children in Monday’s Home School Hub

Dr Ebun Joseph says white people need to be actively anti-racist.

Black Irish Lives: Dr Ebun Joseph is encouraging young white Irish people to discuss racism

YouTube made €15bn in ad revenue last year

Patrick Freyne immerses himself in the musings, stunts and tears of YouTube’s biggest stars

Contagion featured many of the pandemic phenomena that have become too familiar to us now.

Film-maker Scott Z Burns looks back on his meticulously researched pandemic film

Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich – Princess Camilla, a super lady and so supersmart and intelligent

Monaco is filthy rich and hasn’t much of an army. I think we could take it in a fight

James Farrell (left) and Brian Kiernan working a night shift to help keep the city centre litter-free. Photograph by Crispin Rodwell for the Irish Times

Post office workers, cleaners, grocers and gardaí marvel at changes Covid-19 has made in Dublin

On First Dates Hotel, lovesick individuals lounge around the hotel pool before eating what looks like chipper food but artfully arranged

Patrick Freyne: Lovesick individuals are treated a little differently in First Dates Hotel


During Covid-19, Core in Inchicore is staying connected to its young charges via video games

Rin and Robin draw inspiration from the East in their parenting style.

Entering a show called Britain’s Best Parent? should automatically disqualify you

Keith Lemon and Eamonn Holmes in The Fantastical Factory Of Curious Craft. Photograph: Channel 4

Channel 4’s judges ‘eat, sleep and drink craft’, aka a coronavirus cure

Lucy Worsley’s Royal Photo Album: the historian turned cosplayer got to dress like Queen Elizabeth

TV review: Lucy Worsley’s Royal Photo Album looked beneath the images’ glossy surfaces

On the road again: Bernard O’Shea and Marty Morrissey

TV review: And it’s not Bernard’s fault he is but mortal while Marty’s an earthbound angel

Dana: the demure portrait of itself that theocratic Ireland keeps in the attic

TV review: ‘Dana: The Original Derry Girl’ was a cosy portrait of a demure singer

Sean O’Rourke: ‘I cracked it in the end and now I’m walking away.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The broadcaster, who retired on Friday, looks back on his career high and low points

‘Oh, get a room, you two!’ Another sexy scene from Grey’s Anatomy

The show featuring hunky doctors talking about sex is now on its 16th series

Debra  works as a live-in carer in Galway: ‘I tell my grandson in the Philippines I cannot go home because I have no papers’ and he says, ‘There’s lots of paper here. I’ll send you some paper.’ Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

They fill key roles, minding older people and children, yet are illegal and undocumented

Some of the Hollywood cast, from left, Jeremy Pope as Archie Coleman, Darren Criss as Raymond Ainsley, and David Corenswet as Jack Castello.

Netflix’s 1940s-Hollywood drama is brimming with petroleum-based rumpy pumpy

Zoom etiquette: you only need to clean visible dirt from your person, and you only need to clear the food packages and discarded items of clothing from the part of the house that’s in your laptop camera’s sights. Photograph: iStock

And if you're missing the workplace, re-create the atmosphere with this office-noise simulator

Danielle Baskin, co-founder of Quarantine Chat

Random strangers in quarantine can be surprisingly honest over the phone

Gangs of London: May I have the pleasure of the next dance?

Enjoyably choreographed ultraviolence almost makes up for Colm Meaney’s demise

Dublin Bus: seating capacity has been reduced to 16, to enable social distancing. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Taking a bus in what used to be the morning peak is now a trip into an eerie world

Covid-19: Smile on your neighbour, one of Annie Atkins’s public-service posters. Photograph: Annie Atkins/Instagram

Soothe your soul with art, discover ‘books’, and see why Cork is ‘better’ than Dublin

Britain’s Got Talent judges (from left) David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden, and presenters Ant and Dec.  Photograph: PA Wire

Patrick Freyne: BGT is back, but the UK is too broken for the judge to crush any more dreams

Adrian O’Sullivan, the manager of Tesco in Rush, Co Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Flour sales are up 300%, soap 700%. The warehouse is ‘stuffed’, and alcohol is ‘a priority’

Home School Hub is a soothing, calming and upbeat presence in a world gone mad

Patrick Freyne: What's ‘creepy’ about a middle-aged man enjoying kids’ educational TV?

Don Conroy: ‘If in my own small way I can distract people, and entertain them, with a few drawings and sketches and stories, I’ll be happy’

The children’s TV veteran on returning to the screen during the coronavirus crisis

Postman of 15 years Joe McDonald   meets many people in isolation and cocooning at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Bryan O Brien

In the Covid-19 crisis, postpeople are playing a crucial role checking in on older customers

Ciara Kelly: the broadcaster and GP was one of the first public figures to be diagnosed with coronavirus in Ireland. Photograph: Tom Honan

The broadcaster and GP wants to rejoin her medical colleagues after overcoming Covid-19

Joe Exotic from Netflix’s Tiger King

Patrick Freyne: Netflix’s new exotic cat drama isn’t funny, it’s just sad

Amy Huberman: ‘I was happy with toilet roll and hand sanitiser (as a birthday present) for now’

The actor says she received birthday presents of toilet roll and hand sanitiser

People stand on designated areas to maintain social distancing as they queue outside a general store during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Bhopal, India. Photograph: Sanjeev Gupta/EPA

Dubliner Brian Ingle describes the daily challenges under a strict Covid-19 lockdown

 If you find it difficult to self-correct,  you may need to talk to someone.  Photograph: Getty Images

Part of the stress is that we have lost structure to our days, so try to set up a new routine

Homeless Ray Halpin (left) and Cameron Neilson, who stay at the Phoenix Lodge shelter in Parkgate Street. The men were signatories to a letter sent to The Irish Times about the lack of social distancing in their accommodation. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Homeless people are a particularly vulnerable group during a pandemic

Sarah Webb: ‘I generally work from home and so does my other half, which is kind of handy. What I’m not set up for is having my teenagers around all the time.’

Isolation Diaries: Children’s author is running online workshops during Covid-19 crisis

Smokin’: Robert Finster in Freud

Netflix’s dreamy dream analyst invents brain science, hunts killers and avoids wet tunnels

Helen O’Rahilly: ‘It’s such a buzz to help people.... I’m a sarky old cynical bitch most of the time but it’s keeping me going.’

Isolation Diaries: TV executive is running to get supplies to older and vulnerable people

David O’Doherty: ‘I was feeling a lot of anxiety and I know other people are feeling anxiety too, and I thought it would be nice just to reach out and talk.’

Isolation Diaries: Comedian has brought his parents to their family cottage on Achill

John Boyne: ‘I literally started a new relationship, but he’s in London and we’re just at the early days. We’re talking every day but it’s a weird way to start a relationship where all of it’s on Skype or Whatsapp.’ Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Isolation Diaries: The novelist also tells us about his experience of the coronavirus shutdown

Brian Pennie: ‘I was such a mediocre drug dealer.’ Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Brian Pennie's memoir tells the story of addiction, recovery and redemption

Belgravia: the Battle of Waterloo happens offscreen.

Patrick Freyne: Downtown Abbey creator Julian Fellowes meets his Waterloo in Belgravia

Artists and arts workers have been left in desperate straits by the sudden shutdown

Five Guys a Week:  the female point at the middle of the aforementioned pentagram of love is Amy, a ‘thirty-something’. She says this phrase in a manner that makes me think that she genuinely doesn’t know exactly what age she is

Patrick Freyne: Five Guys a Week shows the crisis in heterosexuality is well under way

The Boomtown Rats singer on childhood, grief, rebellion, Brexit and Ireland’s progress

Rylan Clark-Neal, Akis Petretzikis, Anna Haugh, Romy Gill, Ellis Barrie and Mike Reid on Ready Steady Cook. Photograph: Graeme Hunter

They might soon be cooking with whatever they can scavenge from the forbidden zone

Jason: This is where I would have done a lot of drug use. A lot of selling, a lot of hanging around as a young fella as well. A lot of lads have horses and a lot of lads would be smoking weed, a lot of older lads would be drinking there and stuff like that. So, I was attracted to this place. You can go into the house; it was only boarded up the last two or three years.

An exhibition of photos of ordinary items gives sharp insights into addiction in families

Steve Martin and Martin Short. Photograph: Bryan Derballa/New York Times

The veteran comedians on Irish roots, timeless humour and touring with a partner

‘I’m from a whole other generation and we didn’t pick a wife like this’: Cameron meets his fiancé Lauren for the first time on Netflix’s latest reality show, Love Is Blind

Netflix’s dystopian dating show asks if it’s what’s inside that really counts (Spoiler: it isn’t)

Dancing with the Stars: Fr Ray Kelly and Kylee Vincent in rehearsals before the show. Photograph: Tom Honan / The Irish Times

Patrick Freyne visits the set of ‘the biggest show on Irish telly’

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