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The Late Late Show is all over the place

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The Late Late Show wouldn’t be the Late Late Show if it wasn’t a little bit all over the place. That is certainly the case as the venerable carnival of chat returns with its first studio audience since the start of the pandemic.

One moment Kerry-born CNN journalist Donie O’Sullivan is singing the praises of a popular crisp brand, the next the son of murdered Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier is gazing into the camera and pleading with the Irish public to help bring her killer to justice.

In other words, it’s just the Late Late being the Late Late. Host Ryan Tubridy is in upbeat fettle throughout – helped, no doubt, by the novelty of an audience off which to bounce.

They are seated bistro-style around small tables. And their presence brings down the curtain on 18 months of the Late Late taking place in front of a howling void upon which we have all projected our escalating dread and claustrophobia. It’s definitely an improvement.

Because it’s 2021 and everyone has an opinion about everything, Tubridy tends to catch a lot of flak – particularly on social media. But a) who doesn’t? And b) he has become a presenter forged in the image of the Late Late in that he’s a bundle of contradictions – his earnestness and irascibility co-existing slightly uneasily yet co-existing nonetheless.

Tubridy is, in a way then, the Timothy Dalton of Late Late anchors. He’s two removed from the definitive Late Late host (Gay Byrne) and probably won’t be fully appreciated until he’s gone.

Unlike Timothy Dalton’s James Bond, he is, however, up for a chuckle. That is made clear in a pre-credits sequence pinched from James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke and featuring Olympic gold medallist boxer Kelly Harrington (whom Tubridy is driving to a wedding).

Back in the studio, he sits down with Boy George, judge on a new Virgin Media talent show. It’s the former Culture Club frontman’s inaugural appearance on the Late Late – a shock to Tubridy but even more so Boy George.

“Mum’s from Dublin, Dad’s family from Thurles… My aunt would put on rebel songs on Christmas Day,” says George, a confident interviewee who understands immediately that it is his job to wax about his Irish roots.

Kerry charm

He’s followed by Donie O’Sullivan, the Cahirciveen journalist whose Kerry charm has gone down a treat in the US. Chuckling he shares the secret of surviving his long day reporting on the right-wing takeover of the US Capitol Building in January. “It was the Taytos that got me through it,” he says.

Then there is a tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan, who would have turned 50 on September 6th. Singers Emma Langford and and Kellie Lewis deliver a mash-up of Dreams, Linger and Zombie with support from the Irish Chamber Orchestra and an outdoor choir. The performance is followed by Tubridy conversing with The Cranberries’ Fergal Lawler and O’Riordan’s mother, Eileen.

“I can’t cry after Dolores,” she says. “I can’t cry yet. I know she’s happy now…I talk to her and pray to her all the time.”

The final interview is with Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s son, Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud. And suddenly we’re a long way from the week’s musical guests The Script and from Boy George talking about his love for Jedward. “My mother’s blood has entered your soil,” he says. “It’s not an easy issue for me. “

Baudey-Vignaud has come to the Late Late with two goals. He wishes to remind us his mother was a real person – not a protagonist from a true crime potboiler. “It’s a drama…with Netflix. My mother is more like a fictional character in the TV and in the media.”

And he wants anyone with information about her death to come forward. “You have a murderer still living in Ireland,” he says. 

It’s a difficult interview. All Tubridy can really do is sit back and give Baudey-Vignaud the floor. But the fact it arrives at the end of an evening of song, dance and Tayto giveaways is also the Late Late in a nutshell. The episode is topsy-turvy, full of laughter one moment, tragedy the next, and with a drizzle of sentimentality sprinkled on top. And if that doesn’t capture life in Ireland, then what does?

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Lighthouse workers end up with front-row seats for Storm Barra

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Four lighthouse workers who went to Fastnet Lighthouse in west Cork to carry out maintenance on Friday ended up having front-row seats for Storm Barra as they had to stay onsite due to the conditions.

The lighthouse recorded a wind gust of 159km/h on Tuesday morning but Irish Lights electronic engineer Paul Barron said that it was a safe place to be as the country battened down the hatches to face the storm.

Mr Barron and his colleagues Ronnie O’Driscoll, Dave Purdy and Malcolm Gillies made the journey to Fastnet on Friday to do maintenance work and were due back on Tuesday but their helicopter flight was cancelled because of the storm. They hope to arrive back on the mainland on Thursday.

Mr Barron said they are passing their time onsite by watching Netflix and having a few steaks and rashers. He admitted it was a day to remember on the lighthouse which is 54 metres above the sea.

“There is a team of four of us out here. It has been quite a rough day. We started off this morning at around 2am and by 10am or 11am we were in the eye of the storm. I was in the merchant Navy before as a radio officer so I have seen a lot of bad weather. I am with Irish Lights 32 years but I haven’t normally seen it like this. We wouldn’t normally be out in this. You are talking 9m swells with winds gusting up to 90 knots.”

He captured some footage of the storm on his phone. During the worst of the weather the men found it hard to hear each other as it was so noisy during the squalls.

The tower was “shuddering a bit” but Mr Barron managed to shoot video footage which attracted attention online and even a call from Sky News.

He says the lighthouse has kitchen facilities and they always bring additional food in case of emergency.

“It could be a fine summer’s day and there could be thick fog and the chopper wouldn’t take off so we always bring extra food. We are passing the time by watching Netflix! This is a good place to be in the eye of a storm. This lighthouse has been built a hundred years so it has seen a lot of storms.”

As for families being concerned about the men Mr Barron jokes that their loved ones are probably relieved they aren’t at home hogging the remote control.

Meanwhile, in Cork city centre the river Lee spilled on to quays and roads on Tuesday morning but no major damage to property was caused. Debris and falling trees kept local authority crews busy and power outages were reported in a number of areas across the county.

At least 23 properties were flooded in Bantry in west Cork. The council had placed sandbags along the quay wall and the fire brigade had six manned pumps around the town.

In north Cork, a lorry driver had a lucky escape in Fermoy when his vehicle overturned on the motorway during the high winds. Traffic diversions were put in place following the incident.

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Top tips on how to avoid a large energy bill this winter

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Five easy tips and five things to avoid to get the most from your heating this winter – and dodge a big energy bill

  • We reveal some simple steps to lowering your heating bills this winter 
  • Tips include tucking curtains in behind your radiators to stop heat escaping










Rising energy bills mean the cost of keeping warm is an issue for many households this winter.

But there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce your energy bill without compromising on keeping cosy.

We take a look at 10 top tips for saving money on your heating, which include things to do and things to avoid doing. 

These include tucking curtains in behind your radiators to stop heat escaping, while not putting clothes on the radiators to dry, as this will block the heat from dispersing through the room.

We provide a list of little fixes that will help to keep your energy bills low this winter

We provide a list of little fixes that will help to keep your energy bills low this winter

John Lawless, of designer radiator company BestHeating, said: ‘Winter weather always sparks the debate around leaving your heating on low all-day versus a couple of hours a day. 

‘Sure, your boiler will have to work a little harder to heat up a cold home when you first switch it on but having it on constantly will use more energy than just switching it on when you need it.

‘The best thing to do to lower bills and keep warm is to insulate your home, prevent draughts, and set up better heating controls. Don’t have the heating on full whack in a room you don’t use, just heat the room you spend the most time in.

‘Our advice is to heat smarter. You can’t control the weather but you can control your heating and how your home loses that heat.’

NetVoucherCodes.co.uk agrees, saying: ‘Saving energy can help you be more energy-efficient and considerate of the environment, but it’s also a great way to save money.’

Here are the top ten tips…

The things you can do

1. Use thick curtains

Having thicker curtains helps reduce the amount of colder air coming in, while also helping to reduce the amount of hot air escaping.

The thicker the material, the more heat will be contained. Also tuck your curtains behind your radiator to stop even more heat escaping.

INSULATING PIPES 

Pipes can be insulated by covering them with a foam tube. 

This includes the pipes between a hot water cyclinder and a boiler. 

That will reduce the amount of heat lost and keep your water hot for longer. 

It is as simple as choosing the correct size from a DIY store and then slipping it around the pipes.

2. Cover up exposed pipes

Exposed pipes allow for heat to escape easily. Try covering them in an insulating material to maximise their efficiency.

3. Only heat the rooms you spend most time in

Heating rooms in your home that you don’t spend much time in will not only be a waste of energy, but also a waste of your money.

4. Cover up draughts

You can lose a lot of heat from gaps in your doors and window frames. Make sure you fill in these gaps with a draught proof material, such as draught-proof strips or even just a thick cloth for a quick solution.

5. Turn your thermostat down by one degree celsius

Experts have proven that reducing the temperature of your home by one degree celsius saves you up to £80 a year.

Drying clothes on your radiator will block the heat from dispersing through the room

Drying clothes on your radiator will block the heat from dispersing through the room

Things to avoid

1. Dry your clothes on the radiator

Drying clothes on your radiator will block the heat from dispersing through the room and will have to be left on much longer to have the same effect without a blockage.

2. Keep the heating on all day

Your home will take longer to heat up if you keep turning it on and off, but it will save you more money by putting your heating on a timer for a few hours a day. Try setting a timer on your boiler, so it only turns on for a few hours a day.

3. Allow your radiators to get dirty

If you notice any cold spots at the bottom of your radiators when the heating is on full this could mean you have a build-up of sludge in the system.

This stops the hot water circulating properly, stopping your radiators from getting hot enough when you need the heating the most. Give your radiators a good clean to make sure you aren’t wasting money on heating.

4. Turn your thermostat above 18 degrees Celsius

Research shows that the average thermostat setting in Britain is 20.8 degrees celsius. However, experts have stated that 18 degrees celsius is warm enough for a healthy and well dressed person to remain comfortable during winter. This will be controversial suggestiong for many, for whom 18 degrees might feel a bit chilly – and how you feel at 18 degree central heating will depend on how well your home is insulated.

5. Don’t place large furniture in front of your radiator

Blocking your radiator with furniture, such as sofa or a table, will stop the flow of warm air. This blockage will cause your boiler to work harder to heat your home, resulting in expensive heating bills.

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Woman receives multiple injuries after fall from height at apartment building in Cork

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A woman has been taken to hospital following a fall fro a balcony at an apartment building in Cork city centre on Tuesday morning.

Gardaí and the emergency services were called to an apartment building on Meade Street off Sullivan’s Quay in Cork city centre following reports of a woman in her late twenties or early thirties falling from a height.

The woman incurred multiple injuries after falling from a balcony three storeys high shortly after 8.30am today.

Cork City Fire Brigade, gardaí and paramedics attended at the scene.

The woman was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where she is being treated for non life-threatening injuries. She is in a serious condition and was slipping in and out of consciousness whilst being treated on the ground by paramedics.

Gardaí are conducting an investigation to examine the circumstances of the fall. It is not thought that the incident is related to Storm Barra in Cork city.

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