I'm rooting for the smoothies, Marty

DOLLY PARTON apparently once said “just because you lost your fuzz, don’t mean you ain’t a peach”.

And she could well have been talking to you, Marty Whelan.

Marty announced last week that in order to keep his TV career going. he felt it was necessary to have a hair transplant. So, are men now also having to conform to some kind of set image in order to have a career on our TV screens? Instead of getting rid of such ridiculous notions for women, are we in fact going backwards?

You see, Marty, women are not generally as shallow as you assume TV executives in our national broadcaster to be. We, generally, don’t have an issue with baldness. My extensive research pointed to the fact that it is ‘balding’ that women aren’t too keen on. I am thinking of poor old Prince William (and also Prince Harry now it seems) and king of the dreaded comb-over, Donald Trump. Jackie Healy Rae could be included here too but constant cap-wearing kind of rules him out.

So, Marty, before you rushed off to have your crown rethatched, did you not consider going the opposite way? You see, for women, a shaved head can be quite the thing. In fact, there is quite a lot of research which confirms that bald men are generally perceived as more powerful and more dominant. And for all our banging on about equality, even old feminists like yours truly have a soft spot for a powerful man.

Let me present the evidence. It is a list of extremely attractive bald men, based on my own preferences but with some input from women friends.

John Malkovich — well, what can I say? The thinking woman’s sex symbol. Look at those eyes. Sigh.

Sean Connery — come on, he was the ultimate James Bond and gorgeous. The accent helped, but still...

Samuel L Jackson — cool and hot and powerful. I could almost rest my case right here. But there are loads more. Bruce Willis, Patrick Stewart, Michael Stipe, Andre Agassi. All men of a certain age and all very attractive.

Now I will concede that these men were attractive to start with. And in my opinion one of the common features they share is sexy eyes. All have eyes that are full of depth or mischief or both.

The only weakness in my argument so far is that these men are all foreign. What about Irish men? Have we any Irish bald sex symbols? Well, it is ironic that the most famous bald Irish person is a woman. But the beautiful Sinéad O’Connor also proves my point about having fabulous eyes.

Attractive bald Irish men are definitely more difficult to name. But there is a list, albeit one that’s a bit on the short side. And coming in at No 1, (pay attention now Marty) is the devilishly attractive Brian O’Donovan of TV3 News. He’s got the eyes, he’s got the smarts and he’s got the shaved head.

In second place, may I present Dave Evans, aka The Edge — although he chooses to hide his shaved head under his trademark beanie. I also offer you Brian Purcell, (Bill Cullen’s erstwhile advisor on TV3’s The Apprentice), and of course there is the hugely successful but equally follically challenged comedian Dara O’Briain.

The final list I will present to you Marty, in support of my argument for baldy boys, are the transplant guys. This is the group you have chosen to join. Leading the pack is probably the most famous, Wayne Rooney. But also in this camp we have Australian cricketer Shane Warne, Northern Irish actor Jimmy Nesbitt and, of course, our very own Louis Walsh. Do you see where I am coming from here, Marty? Compare the sex appeal quotient of this group against either of the two preceding groups? Do you get it?

Now, I admit it’s somewhat refreshing to hear a man talk about the importance of appearance in a TV career, but Marty I think you may have made a rash decision here.

Look in the mirror. You have great eyes. Dark pools that laugh easily. I think you could have carried off the bald look quite well. You know I think you might have even given that young O’Donovan from TV3 a run for his money. But, Marty, now we will never know. I just hope the powers that be in RTÉ appreciate what you have done — and that they don’t read this column.

Yours etc.,


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