Ok, so by now you may well have heard that in a Romantic Novelists Association poll, Richard Armitage was voted The Sexiest Thing on Two Legs.
The Press Release states:
"British actor Richard Armitage has leapt from last year’s 4th place to this year topping the ratings in the Romantic Novelists’ Association 2009 Valentine’s poll, to take the title of Sexiest Thing on Two Legs, beating top Hollywood stars to the number one spot.
Johnny Depp, who topped last year’s poll, was pushed firmly into second place, with Hugh Jackman and George Clooney mere also-rans. “Richard Armitage took 20% of the vote, more than double the count of any other male on the list,” said the RNA pollster. “He was a clear winner from the off.”
The RNA is not alone in admiration of the actor, as numerous online Richard Armitage fan sites will testify. The ardency began with North and South, grew by leaps and bounds with his appearance as the leather-clad baddie in Robin Hood, and shows no sign of diminishing as Spooks takes to the airwaves.
‘It’s a coup for Britain,’ said one starstruck writer, ‘not just for sexy Richard.’
The full list: 1. Richard Armitage 2. Johnny Depp 3. Hugh Jackman 4. George Clooney 5. Daniel Craig 6. Sean Bean 7. Alan Rickman 8. David Tennant 9. Pierce Brosnan 10. Gerard Butler
Fair enough! Richard Armitage has long been one of my favourite actors for his superb performance in North and South. I watched it again last night to remind myself just how superb he was. Many of the other actors on the list have also looked very fine in historical films or TV series. But from the perspective of a historical romance author there are a few notable omissions to the list. So here are a few additional suggestions for the award of Sexiest Man in Period Costume.
1. Rupert Penry-Jones. Quintessential gentleman, dashing action hero with a suitably chiselled jaw. The best thing about the recent TV adaptation of John Buchan's superb novel The Thirty-Nine Steps.
2. Henry Cavill. Which would you choose, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as King Henry VIII or Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk? A writer friend and I had this debate when The Tudors first hit our TV scenes. Suffolk is a bad, bad boy, the ultimate rake. To me Henry is dangerous in a just-a-bit-too-scary-to-be-sexy way. Suffolk gets my vote!
3. Anthony Howell. The BBC is currently repeating Andrew Davies' adaptation of Mrs Gaskell's book Wives and Daughters which reminded me of the deeply romantic scene in the snow at the end. Maybe Anthony Howell didn't create a stir in this because he was playing such a nice-guy hero. But hey, he gives the heroine a wasp's nest as a present! What could be finer than that?
What do you think of the RNA poll? And do you have any nominations for the award of Sexiest Man in Period Costume?