So it’s Saturday and I’ve been sucked into kid’s telly and I’m watching Dani’s House with my boys and I’m marvelling at how the girl that used to play Tracey Beaker has (seemingly overnight) blossomed into a hot young chicklet and the TV gets turned over because other household members (how dare they usurp my ownership of the remote control) have decided that 3 back-to-back episodes of Dani’s House is 2 episodes too many (hey not my fault if the BBC resorts to lazy scheduling at the weekends).
“Hey, I was watching that!” I cry.
“I’m sure you were, you old perv!” Comes the reply.
What? Old perv? Me?
I’m about to spew out the kind of retort that would have had Oscar Wilde creaming his fustian trousers when I stop short.
Am I an old pervert? Is the accusation well based?
Because suddenly I’m aware of a whole body of evidence stacked up against me, most of it (it has to be said) penned by my own hand. This here blog.
Post after post extolling the virtues of various TV stars. Katie McGrath, Alice Roberts, Lucy Griffiths, Cheryl Ladd, Emma Watson, Julia Sawalha... the list goes on and on.
The trouble is, right from a young age, I had an eye for eye candy. At 9 years of age I was heartily in love with Charlie’s Angels. All of them though Cheryl Ladd was definitely my queen bitch.
And this penchant for giving the glad eye to TV babes continued through my teen years and my lonely twenties. But it was fine back then. Acceptable. It’s what lonely guys who can’t get a girlfriend do. Er, so I’ve been told.
And then I hit my thirties and, gulp, despite getting myself all-girled-up I’m still casting a roving fantasy eye over the TV and the cinema. But hey. That’s us men for you. And, by Jove, you women too ‘cos I know from reading around the blogosphere that you lassies are also prone to a bit of butch visual confectionary.
It’s normal. And I’m at pains to point this out because it is my only defence.
But now I’ve just tiptoed into my 40s. And suddenly the balance has shifted. It’s starting to feel uncomfortable. Back when I was younger fancying a young bit of stuff on the telly was acceptable. Hell, Juliet was only a teenager and Romeo (so I’m led to believe) only in his twenties. And when I hit my thirties, well, if old goats and young lambs were acceptable to Jane Austen why should it bother me?
But now I’m in my 40’s and my 50’s are beckoning from the other side of the hill the fantasy element is beginning to become untenable. It’s beginning to verge on socially unacceptable.
And yet TV and the media are geared up to sell us sexy young things. We’re hit with it every day. It’s hard to resist.
I mean take Hermione from Harry Potter. Even Jimmy Carr makes gags about when it became acceptable to admit that you fancied her.
So. My question is: does acknowledging the beauty of much younger women make me an old perv? Should I perhaps be retraining myself to tune into eye candy of a different, much more mature sort? Should I be composing paeans to Thora Hird, Anne Widdicombe and Gillian McKeith? If I start mooning over them will that make me less of a pervert?
Or one that is far less easily understood?
Answers on the back of a lad’s mag to the usual address please...