After the very successful Part 1 of this impromptu series I thought it was time to broaden the playing field somewhat with a well timed Part 2... So here we go...
1) Anna Maxwell Martin
It was Anna’s Little Dorrit that first caught my eye. A little mousy in the early stages, constrained by Dickensian reserve, but then the wallflower became a sunflower and Anna blazed across the screen with a wonderfully plummy red-haired glow. From there on she has staked a major claim in period TV drama and looks as divine in tweed as she does in whale-bone. I think what I like about Anna is her slight, almost imperceptible lisp. It should distract a little from her actorly enunciations but actually it doesn’t. She sounds as polished and as vocally rounded as the head girl from Mallory Towers and as up for a midnight feast as the best of them (with lashings of cream). I don’t know what it is about Anna – she has an “auntie” feel about her even though she’s not particularly old. I feel like she should be an auntie to somebody. Anybody. Preferably me. The kind that waits until you turn 18 and then seduces you in black lingerie and turns you into a man.
We’ve all had that fantasy, right?
No? Just me?
Was that too weird? Oh well, never mind.
Onto number 2) Sarah Millican
I think it’s the accent. Geordie or Mackem, I’m not sure but the way she says “pet” makes me wants to sit up and beg. And I like her glasses. Big, bold, glasses that say proudly, “I am wearing big glasses and I’m proud of it – none of this John Lennon steel-rimmed nonsense that disappear into your face; I’m wearing chunky framed glasses ‘cos I’m as blind as a bat without ‘em. Deal with it. Pet.” And I like her smile (which for some reason I find reminiscent of Morrissey – yes, bit of an oxymoron there: Morrissey and smiling but run with me on this one please). And I like the fact that she’s big. She’s a big girl. A big real girl with an anti-size-zero metabolism. And she’s funny. But never in a nasty way. There’s something unassuming about her and yet she does stand-up comedy. There’s a possible conflict there but it kind of works. And she strikes me as honest and homely. A proper girl next door. The kind that, if you asked her to lend you a cup of sugar (a) it would actually be sugar and none of this Canderel bollocks and (b) she’d throw in a couple of teabags as well and possibly a couple of well sized baps from Greggs. Dinner and a show. Who could ask for more?
And baps lead me nicely onto number 3) Mel Giedroyc
Oh Mel. Mel Mel Mel. In my twenties I worshipped at your student-chic shrine. I loved Light Lunch. I was working part-time and used to be home in time to watch it religiously. Mel & Sue (Perkins) were my ultimate two-girl fantasy. But much as I adore Sue (and I do adore Sue) it was Mel I could see myself setting up home with and having babies with. Now, of course, after disappearing off our screens to set up home and have kids with someone else (Mel – how could you? I was here for you, woman!) she’s back on the telly once again in The Great British Bake Off (were my baking trays sub-standard, Mel? Did I not knead my sour-dough hard enough for you?) accompanied by the gloriously quirky Sue Perky. Look at Mel’s eyes. They are perfect. They are eyes that the phrase “limpid pools” was invented for. So soft and kind and yet sparked through with a naughty sense of humour. And she likes cakes. She loves cakes. What is there not to love? Mel can batten down on my Battenberg any day of the week. Mel, it might be a good decade since I was in my twenties but still I dream of being baked off by you. And I bet you have a gorgeous little AGA to boot...
So there we have it. Three more unlikely but not so unlikely (when you think about it) sirens who I think are some kind of wonderful. This post was brought to you not in a spirit of gratuitous sexual gratification but in the spirit of celebrating real women and real womanhood. I haven’t done it for me. I’ve done it for you. I’ve done it for feminism and women’s lib and equal opportunities.
I’ve done it for...
Oh sod it.
I’ve done it for sexual gratification and equal opportunities.
So Sue me. Sue me good and proper.
(And yes, that means you, Perkins.)