It’s all in his character

I had a bit of an epiphany moment this week and I wanted to share it with you.  Quelle surprise it’s all to do with men.  Fanciable men.  Actually that last bit’s open to debate but stick with me and I’ll try and explain what I mean…

My husband has always told me I have an eclectic taste in men, a long list which includes the likes of Rik Mayall (I’m starting with teenage crushes here), Jimmy Nail, Craig Charles, Hugh Grant, Patrick McGuinness, Richard Armitage…need I go on?  But none of these desirables – well in my eyes anyway – come close to the man I have idolised since I was 12 years old when I first sat down to what I thought would be a riveting evening watching a drama about the Napoleonic Wars with my babysitting-uncle.  Up come the titles *dah, da, dah*, that now oh-so familiar painting of the rifle, cut to Sergeant Richard Sharpe of the 95th Rifles and there you have it.  Love at first sight. 

As a teenager the rough-and-ready Sean Bean sat companionably alongside Mark Owen in my ‘General Book’ at school but although my teenage pop fantasies about members of Take That faded into adulthood, my feelings for my beloved Yorkshire Man became somewhat of an obsession.  I have more framed photos of Sean Bean in our house than I do of my husband.  And the largest of which resides in our living room.  Or at least it did until this week when I had to take it down to decorate.

Ooh Yes Please *Drools*

 Ooh, yes please *drools*

Which was when my moment of intuition occurred…

I turned around to find the alluring Mr Bean giving it his all as Boromir in Lord of the Rings, thinking ‘ooh, how exciting’ before – most depressingly – realising I don’t actually fancy him as Boromir. 

And here’s the thing; for me Richard Sharpe and Sean Bean are inextricably linked.  They are one and the same.  I have never met Sean Bean, probably never will *sighs*, and perhaps a little part of me never wants to because I imagine him to be a flirtatious, chivalrous, passive-aggressive gentleman who’ll get me out of whatever little quandary I might find myself in. 

And once I started on this train of thought I couldn’t stop.  When Matt Smith was announced as the new Doctor Who I scoffed ‘How the hell can he play The Doctor, he only looks about 12!’  I’d seen him in The Ruby in the Smoke and hadn’t given him the time of day and now – after 13 episodes of Saturday night frivolity – I am absolutely smitten.  I even buy my 7 year old the Doctor Who Magazine so I can drool over the pictures. *cringes* 

It doesn’t stop there.  I salivated my way through Thursday evenings as a teenager, rushing to school the next morning to discuss with my best friend Cassie how utterly heart-stopping Craig Charles looked as Lister in Red Dwarf.  And yet I’ve never tuned in to watch him in his latest role in Coronation Street, in fact I’d be hard pushed without the use of Wikipedia to tell you his character’s name.  James Corden sets my pulse racing as Smithy in Gavin and Stacey but I can’t the same happens when I sit down to an episode of Horne & Corden.  I never batted an eyelid at Richard Armitage in North and South and he almost repulsed me in Robin Hood but as Lucas North in Spooks  I find myself utterly besotted with yet another member of the opposite sex *feigns fainting*


  *bleeugghh* hellish Guy of Gisborne


*mmmm* heavenly Lucas North


Okay, okay I know what you’re asking; what’s my point?   Other than, that is, me taking a rather gratifying trip down romantic memory lane…  It’s dawned on me – and perhaps I’m slow on the uptake here – that I’m far more attracted to the character, their traits, their idiosyncrasies than how they look.  And having taken onboard this eureka moment I’m going to put it to good use in my writing.  There’s no point boring the reader with lengthy prose on what my character looks like.  A cursory nod in the direction of his hair colour perhaps, his frame and build, but I shall keep my trap shut and leave at that.  Far better I leave my reader to her own fantasies over what my protagonist looks like and get her to fall in love with his personality instead.

Having said all that I’m still in love with Sean Bean and probably always will be.  And if I want to make sure it’s him and the character I’m besotted with I can rely on my copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover to keep me happy.  My favourite fictional character and my most lusted-after actor all wrapped up in two hours of delicious indulgence *mmmmm*


12 thoughts on “It’s all in his character

  1. Hooray! Let’s hear it for telly crushes. A girl (well a grown-up woman) can never have too many. In my case I’ve learned a lot about characterisation from watching Holby City. May you have many more happy hours in the company of Sean Bean. Fiona


  2. The names you picked just show how different we all are.

    For me, I think it’s the eyes that are most important (well, maybe a bit more than that, too!). Richard Armitage is always dreamy, no matter the gear he’s wearing nor the character he’s playing. I thought he was to die for in North and South. But as for Matt Smith, James Corden, even Sean Bean … they just don’t do it for me.

    Vive la difference! (Sorry about the lack of accent)

    Liz x


  3. Oh yes, we do fall for their character, think you’re spot on with your description on that. And, I also think it’s how ‘box’ them. We tweeted about Brad Pitt this week. I loved Brad when he was with Jennifer but leaving her for Angelina put me right off my perceived idea of who Brad was. Richard Armitage in Spooks, very nice too. One man for me on the silver screen is John Corbett aka Aiden/Sex and the City and in real life he’s going out with Bo Derek who, as a teenager, I wanted to look like. So he’s still in my ‘good’ box. As for my own man, well, he’s my Aiden. Ahhh!


  4. I love Patrick Dempsey in “Grey’s Anatomy” and can’t wait for Friday nights, but can take him or leave him in “Maid of Honour”. It must be the surgeon’s scrubs I’m in love with.

    J x


  5. Yes I quite took a shine to Richard Armitage in North & South too 🙂 How can you not even have a smidging of yearning for Richard Sharpe though Liz? xx


  6. Interesting what you say Jacki; I usually annoy women by saying I just can’t see the attraction in Brad Pitt! I’ve seen him in various genres & he does nothing for me – perhaps I need my sanity checking?! I’ve never watched Sex and the City too – I know shamless seeing I write chicklit – so I will have to go and check this John Corbett out *opens up new browser* x


  7. The most interesting thing about this post is all the lovely men I’ve yet to discover & you’ve just introduced me to another one Jude! Thanks for backing up my theory 🙂 L x


  8. Maybe he’s a bit too smooth. I like a bit of danger, and I don’t see it in him. Nor in Craig Charles. Aaargh!


  9. I was forced to buy the entire series of Sharpe on DVD ….. my mother is a huge fan and enjoys said drama when visiting you do understand.

    Much the same happened re Sky Plussing Robin Hood.

    I am, as you can see, all heart.


    Ooops, have fainted.


  10. This makes interesting reading as a man – I can see why woman find the character’s attractive, they are your strong, flawed/troubled but basically good men – all you want from a romantic hero.

    I think this is why Daniel Craig as the new Bond has worked so well, he is more of a realistic character (plus the body must help ladies 😉 and not like the slimy sex pest type in the old Bond films.


  11. Duncan, you’re sooo right – nothing better than a vulnerable male! Think you’re right about Daniel Craig but I can’t get on with him, his character from ‘Our Friends in the North’ sticks in my mind! Thanks for the comment, L x


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