ANNE GILDEA

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - REAL LIFE - Anne.gildea@mailon­sun­day.ie

lead­ing: ter­ror­ists fax­ing each other weapons, or­gans fab­ri­cated for trans­plant at the push of a but­ton, ir­ri­tated homemak­ers telling their tardy spouses, ‘Your din­ner’s in the printer’?

Also, in med­i­cal sci­ence, re­searchers used trans­planted brain cells to cure epilepsy, in mice.

And in sport: Brian O’Driscoll had a baby girl. His lovely wife, Amy Hu­ber­man, also found time to launch her own range of shoes. If that soc­cer player’s spouse Vic­to­ria Beck­ham can do frocks, sure why not our rugby wife and the clogs? ‘Each shoe is named af­ter my favourite girlie movies,’ she said. Just as well not favourite TV se­ries, what?

3D print­ing was big news in 2013. The mind bog­gles about where this is lead­ing: ter­ror­ists fax­ing each

other weapons?

For ex­am­ple, The Fall! Or just favourite movies in gen­eral: Jaws, Vertigo, Rocky as names for shoes, any­body? (And that’s quite enough of that.)

My favourite movie of the year was Pil­grim Hill. This de­but by 24-year-old Kerry writer/di­rec­tor Ger­ard Bar­rett is a quiet, dev­as­tat­ingly mov­ing and starkly re­al­is­tic por­trayal of a mid­dle-aged bach­e­lor farmer in iso­lated ru­ral Ire­land, made for a mere €4,500. (Hands up, when I say the com­par­a­tive ‘favourite’, I should men­tion that I didn’t ac­tu­ally get to see The Hang­over Part III, or Grown Ups 2.)

Mean­while, re­search sci­en­tists man­aged to sup­press a pro­tein that is se­creted by the hy­po­thal­a­mus and thus ex­tend life ex­pectancy, in mice. In other sports news, Brian O’Driscoll’s wife, Amy Hu­ber­man, was on telly in ads for New­bridge Sil­ver. Her num­ber- one beauty tip, she says, is ‘just smile’! Is that a back-handed way of say­ing Vic­to­ria Beckman is a bit ugly?

We said farewell to Man­dela, Mar­garet Thatcher, Un­cle Monty, Lou Reed, Peter O’Toole and Ron­nie Biggs. Man­dela spent 27 years in cap­tiv­ity for his be­lief in uni­ver­sal free­dom and equal­ity. Pass­ing away a fort­night af­ter the great states­man, Ron­nie Biggs spent 26 years on the run for his part in a vi­o­lent train heist. Was life throw­ing up some mes­sage, in the con­trast­ing ex­am­ple of th­ese two deaths? Some­thing about how to live, in the good and bad ex­am­ples of th­ese very old men? ‘Walk on air against your bet­ter judge­ment,’ per­haps, as Sea­mus Heaney once said, another sadly de­parted in 2013.

In books, and con­comi­tantly, sports news, rug­by­wife, mother, shoe-de­signer, beauty-ad­viser, sil­ver­jew­ellery-flog­ger, ac­tress and best­selling nov­el­ist Amy Hu­ber­man pub­lished another in­stant best­seller, I Wished For You. Also, wrinkly, cur­mud­geonly pun­dit, wit and for­mer foot­baller Ea­mon Dun­phy pub­lished the first vol­ume of his even more in­stantly best­selling au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. And I pub­lished a mem­oir in Septem­ber. ‘I pre­dict it will be huge best­seller,’ a clair­voy­ant told me, ‘if peo­ple buy it in suf­fi­cient num­bers.’ They didn’t, it seems.

On a lighter note, sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered that sim­ply by al­ter­ing gut mi­crobes, they could achieve 20 per cent weight loss, in mice.

On YouTube, Mi­ley Cyrus swung about nude on a wreck­ing ball, and a song about what a fox ac­tu­ally says was a mas­sive hit. Sim­i­larly, things in North Korea re­mained com­pletely nuts. Mean­while sci­en­tists de­vel­oped stem cells to re­pair reti­nas and so re­verse blind­ness, in mice.

So that was 2013 — a great year for Amy Hu­ber­man, and mice health, rather ex­cel­lent for my chest, if not my book ca­reer. Here’s to 2014!

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