Category: Famous people

Jim Eastward - Jedi Jim

Last night’s nail-biting final of BBC One’s “The Apprentice” saw Jim Eastwood – dubbed Jedi Jim by many because of his salesmanship abilities and capacity for talking himself out of tricky situations – fired. The 32-year-old from County Tyrone has charmed his way through the series, leaving many of the other contestants awestruck in his path.

However, he fell down on the finale, which involved developing a credible business plan: Lord Sugar obviously felt that Eastwood’s plan of supplying entrepreneurial e-learning to schools lacked the touch that he was looking for.

Jim Eastwood was easily the best salesperson that the programme has ever seen, giving many memorable moments throughout the series, including a scheme to try to sell umbrellas as a tool with which to ‘point’ to tourist landmarks in Ireland.

He also set an Apprentice first by managing to talk himself out of being bought back into the boardroom by project manager Leon after losing a task – this being the act that coined him the name Jedi Jim by fellow Irishman Dara O’Briain.

It wasn’t all plain-sailing for Jedi Jim however – his charm and salesmanship failed at times to impress many of Lord Sugar’s closet aids, leading to a variety of dessert based insults: apparently, nailing something on Jim is alternatively like ‘nailing jelly to a wall’ or ‘nailing custard to the ceiling’ – though I can’t help feeling the second half would be more difficult than the first half.

Either way, Jim Eastwood raised the profile of business in Northern Ireland and went out from the process in glory with his head held high.


A portrait of James Joyce

Writing a blog post about James Joyce is quite a lot about writing a blog post about Marmite. Some people are going to love it, whereas others are going to hate it.

Incidentally, this also refers to the reception of Joyce’s writing itself.

There is a huge crowd of readers and scholars who queue up at every possible opportunity to say how much they love Joyce’s writing and how he was a hero who redefined the very meaning of literature. At the same time, there is an equally huge crowd who can’t wait to tell you that Joyce’s work is complete drivel that, in his efforts partly to deconstruct the idea of literature as having meaning, robbed the English-speaking language of a great aspect of literature. Indeed, some scholars think that he alternated between pure genius and pure madness (and anyone who appreciates the works of people like Picasso recognises that frequently a piece of art contains elements of both).

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Jim Eastwood - BBC Apprentice

When you are thinking of famous Irish people with an international media profile, who do you think of? Terry Wogan? Dara O’Brian? Bono?

Well, there is now another name to add to the list: Jim Eastwood is a contestant in this year’s BBC reality television series ‘The Apprentice’, which is broadcast in the United Kingdom. Christened ‘Jedi Jim’ by fellow Irishman Dara O’Brian because of his ability to persuade Project Manager Leon not to take him back into the boardroom, Jim has shown that he has the drive and dedication to succeed, maintaining his position in the series (albeit by the skin of his teeth sometimes) through a combination of charm, hard-nosed selling and a certain amount of manipulation of other contestants.

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The story of St Patrick

Everyone has heard of St Patrick. It is known that he is the patron Saint of Ireland and that his festival day (which fell on March 17th this year) is a great opportunity for a party and to drink more than is probably 100% healthy for you. What is maybe less well known is who the shadowy figure was behind this personality cult.

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