1) Monica Galetti.
Anyone who has ever watched Masterchef will know that Monica Galetti is Michel Roux Jr’s senior sous chef and right hand man. Literally. She is like the personal body guard to the godfather of food. This woman spends 90% of her time looking so fierce that she’s more of a serious Sioux chief than a senior sous chef. You mess up that jus or crash that ganache and this woman will have your trembling gonads plucked and par-boiled in a white wine reduction before you can say egg chips and spam. I have seen professionally skilled contestants on Masterchef quail and gnash their teeth when faced with the warrior palate of Monica Galetti. This woman does not pull her punches. This woman knows culinary karate. Offer her a dog’s dinner and she’ll fillet you in the most painful way possible. I suspect that even Michel Roux Jr himself is secretly terrified of earning Monica’s stinging disapprobation. But when a chef gets it right, when a contestant delivers the dog’s bollocks then one word of praise from The Galetti Machete is enough to reduce the hardest, toughest chef into a bubbling soufflé of sheer pleasure.
This woman is undoubtedly high maintenance. She is exacting and demanding and expects perfection every time. That would be enough to kill most men. But what a way to go. Because there is just something about Monica that does the business for me. There is something of the Amazon about her (and I’m not talking about express delivery and better DVD deals than Play.com). She is athletic in her brooding intensity. But I suspect that away from the harsh get-it-right-first-time plate-‘em-up pressure of a 2 Michelin star kitchen Monica is something of a Cadbury’s Flake eating Pre-Raphaelite fairy. Sort of floaty and into water colour painting and tantric yoga. Needlecraft and cushion making. The sort of woman who secretly wants to defer all decisions to a big hairy tattooed brute of a man.
Oh who am I kidding? It would be Monica on top every time with a carving knife against your throat and a garlic press up against your testicles. This woman cooks and, yes, I mean that euphemistically as well as literally.
Chef, I say, chef?! I think my custard has set!
2) Ruth Goodman.
I am, if I’m honest, hard pressed to state why I think Ruth Goodman is quite attractive. But I think she is. Yes, she has a pointy orc nose. Yes, her teeth are not perfect (but neither are mine). Yes, she is so freckly she must have the melanin levels of an entire Mediterranean country. But she has something that makes me go “Hmm” every time I see her. She’s clever. She’s into history and is not averse to squeezing herself into a corset (ah – that might be it) to provide televisual re-enactments of days gone by. She has also got, I suspect, a filthy sense of humour as evidenced by her butter making skills on Victorian Farm Christmas this week when she informed the audience that when butter has been successfully churned the correct term to use is that “the butter has come”. This woman makes butter come! I mean, come on! That’s got to hit the spot of every red blooded male for miles around (well, barring all those that are on Benecol, of course). She then inserted herself up a windmill in the same episode so that she could admire the grinding mechanism. She is plainly insatiable.
To be serious for one moment though, I think the most likeable thing about Ruth Goodman is that she’s honest. She’s on TV a lot but she doesn’t dress herself up or go in for personality fakery. She is what she is and she neither apologizes for it nor forces it down your throat. She’s the woman next door. The woman at the bus stop. Real and vivacious. In a corset and a Victorian bustle. And she makes butter come. Even Monica Galetti can’t do that (though I have no doubt that she can stiffen a soufflé).
3) Miranda Hart
I’m not really sure if Miranda qualifies to be here in the sense that I think she is plainly very fanciable. It doesn’t feel as “out there” or as leftfield to say one finds Miranda Hart attractive as compared to the two lovely ladies above. I think this is simply because Miranda is warm and funny and smoothly spoken and kind and personable... I mean, just what is there not to like?
But a lot of people find her height and stature off-putting. I can appreciate that. After all, she is a majestic giantess of a woman. A colossus with an impressively deep décolletage. Her ideal partner in terms of physique would be The Cerne Abbas Giant. But what hillside would not be improved with an impression of Miranda Hart carved into the side of it? Hell, my own lawn is big enough and I’m pretty good with a hoe - if Miranda fancies a modelling assignment I’m free most weekends. I’ll even leave a few strategically placed dandelions dotted about the place. There may even be room for a vegetable plot. It would double the pleasure of seeing the legumes pushing through the topsoil next summer.
Miranda strikes me as being jolly good company for all occasions. She sounds posh but isn’t at all stuffy. She’s statuesque but delightfully feminine. She’s a comedy extravert and yet also winningly shy and demure. And, Godammit, she just has a very beautiful face and a smile that makes you want to hug her. She’s a gorgeous ‘gel’ and no mistake.
She’s given me a funny bone.
So, over to you guys. Who is your guilty pleasure on TV these days?