Don't follow the news? Bluff it.

Here are five things you should pretend to know about this sunny Thursday.

Saucy Shatter

Alan Shatter has transferred responsibility for censorship of his racy 1989 novel Laura out of his department. A complaint to the Censorship of Publications Board alleging the novel is obscene posed a serious dilemma for the Minister whose department has ultimate responsibility for the board. The book contains a saucy sex scene in a fictional TD’s Leinster House office that is sure to make readers quiver (with disgust).

RTÉ wheels out oldies

The season of repeats is upon us. RTÉ will be wheeling out the oldies for the summer. The broadcaster doesn’t have the budget for new shows, so the repeats are endless. Rachel Allen’s Easy Meals takes the prime time 7pm slot, giving new meaning to the phrase “here’s one I made earlier”.

Berlusconi appeal

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi took a knocking in the courts today. The judiciary in Italy’s constitutional court rejected an appeal by his defence to have a four-year jail sentence for tax evasion from 2001—2003 overturned on a technicality. No cause for a bunga bunga just yet, Silvio.

Late appointment

A Limerick man was given a consultant’s appointment for Christmas Day in eight years’ time. Victor Brown got a letter from St John’s Hospital in Limerick to confirm an appointment with an unnamed consultant for December 25, 2021. A spokesperson for the hospital said it was a mistake on account of human error. The spokesperson also assured patients that the hospital complied with “the national target of no patient waiting longer than 12 months for an out-patient appointment”. So only a year of watching the post - and watching the heart monitor.

RIP Gandolfini

And finally, tributes to American actor James Gandolfini flooded social media today. The Emmy-winning Sopranos star died aged 51 in Italy of a suspected heart attack. "[James] was a genius," said Sopranos creator David Chase. "He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes."