THE classic cartoon Dungeons and Dragons followed the quest of six teenagers. Each week their hopes of leaving the Realm were lifted by the appearance of the midget Dungeon Master but, just when it appeared they would find the magical porthole to transport them back to the real world, evil one-horned Venger would appear to thwart them.

It’s a similar impending doom that greets BBM every week when we happily sense the weekend on the horizon, only to be drawn back into a world of misery by writing Irish news.

This week’s doom and gloom: more than 450,000 people are now out of work and signing onto the dole. That’s the highest number in the history of Ireland.