Marie Louise McConville: I'm thrilled that Barbie is finally getting her big screen debut

Australian actress Margot Robbie is to star as Barbie in a live-action movie for the big screen
Marie Louise McConville

It's happening - finally.

At long last, after almost 60 years, Barbie is to make her big screen debut in a live-action movie.

I don't mind admitting I was a big fan of Barbie as a little girl and in recent years, have become a fan all over again thanks to my four-year-old daughter.

I have no problem with this because despite criticism from some quarters, I believe Barbie is a fantastic role model for children - boys and girls - as she inspires them to believe they are capable of anything.

From doctors and artists to racing car drivers and chefs, Barbie invites children into a world of imagination and takes them on colourful adventures where their confidence grows, as well as their aspirations.

Looking back, one of my favourite Christmas mornings was when I ran into the living room to find that Santa had left me Barbie's big yellow camper van.

I absolutely loved it and Barbie and myself had some great adventures together.

Decades on, I'm delighted that Barbie has re-entered my life through Abbie.

At Christmas, Santa brought Abbie Barbie's mobile clinic along with Nurse Barbie - Santa had an extremely difficult job tracking down a Doctor Barbie - and she has spent much of her time looking after poor Ken, who tends to break his leg a lot.

Is anyone going to tell me that my young daughter playing doctor is a bad thing? I don't think so.

And now I'm over the moon that I will be able to take Abbie to see the iconic doll on the big screen.

This week, it was announced that Australian actress Margot Robbie is to star as Barbie and I think she is a great choice.

Beautiful and confident, I have no doubt fans will just love watching her take on the world.

Speaking about her new role, Margot said she believes the movie will have "a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide".

Great news.

Now, the only question is who will play Ken?

Names already thrown in the mix include the Hemsworth brothers - who are in too many movies in my opinion - Matthew McConaughey, Scott Eastwood and Jake Gyllenhaal who I think are all a bit `over-the-hill' to play a twenty-something.

I really do hope they cast Ken wisely and choose someone who is a positive role model both on and off screen.

Until then, we'll just have to continue to spend our time believing we "can be anything".


I've really been getting into Dancing On Ice this series - it's just a pity it's been spoiled by a certain reality star nobody.

The show has been good fun so far but now Gemma Collins, who thinks the world revolves around her, has wrecked it for me.

The contestant, who sees herself as the show's `biggest star' is threatening to quit after host Holly Willoughby criticised her unprofessional backstage behaviour - including leaving a show early because she was bored.

Come on Gemma, if you're going to get on like a diva, what do you expect?

Time to leave GC - and good riddance.



If January is dragging you down and you’re feeling dreary and drained, how do you fancy winning a stylish break at the newly refurbished Jurys Inn in Belfast city centre?

Situated in the heart of the city at Victoria Street, Jurys in Belfast has just undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, completely transforming its bedrooms and public areas.

The final phase of the hotel’s refurbishment programme has seen the addition of 80 new bedrooms, which boast the new DREAM bed by Jurys Inn, custom designed for ultimate comfort and relaxation, along with flat screen televisions and complimentary high-speed WiFi.

Belfast is one of 36 Jurys Inn hotels locations across Ireland, the UK and the Czech Republic.

Further information is available at

To celebrate the refurbishment, I have a voucher for one lucky reader for an overnight stay at Jurys Inn Belfast for two people with breakfast and an evening meal.

If you fancy winning the voucher pair, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

(Q) How many new bedrooms have been added to Jurys Inn, Belfast?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winners of the Iconic Bronze competition are Orlaith Skeffington, from Coalisland, Sharon Daly, from Downpatrick, and Kayley Knox, from Richhill.

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