Category Archives: Lustbox

Lustbox: Endeavour Morse


I feel a little guilty putting young Endeavour in the Lustbox – it seems far too crude for him. But lovely as he is, Shaun Evans doesn’t provoke in me all the feelings that Endeavour does, so poor old young-Morse will have to suffer the indignity as best he can.

There’s a quite magical alchemy going on with Endeavour (the show). It’s been excellent from the beginning, but Coda, the last episode of the third series, was one of the best bits of British TV I’ve seen in ages. They’ve taken a good idea, thrown every piece of talent they could find at it and produced a real, bittersweet gem. And the jewel in the crown is young Morse himself.

Shaun Evans is simply astonishing in this role. You can see the man Morse will become, even as you realise that Endeavour is in some ways a very different person from the prickly DCI in his future. Evans never makes the mistake of impersonating John Thaw, though he clearly channels him – there are moments when a movement, a stance or simply a thought flickering across his mind can floor you.

And obviously it helps to be beautiful (regular visitors to the Lustbox will know I’m a sucker for a pretty pair of eyes and cheekbones you could pare parmesan on), but there’s a stillness in Evans’ performance that makes it impossible to take your eyes off him.

The setbacks that young Morse encounters, particularly his unluckiness in love, are heartbreaking  – doubly so if you allow yourself to remember that there will never be a happy ending. Looking at Endeavour – clever, respectful, kind and with a “weakness for the fairer sex” (as Felix Lorimer tells our hero in Coda), it seems impossible that he’s destined for such a lonely life.

I can’t be the only one who wishes she could change that future.

 Jo the Hat

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Lustbox: Robin Ellis

A tale of tin mining, lust and pasties

Poldark. A tale of tin mines, lust & pasties

Sue recently reminded us that she’d had her eye on Aidan Turner long before he started a trend for topless scything in the new series of Poldark. I’m enjoying watching it, and Aidan Turner is undoubtedly very pretty, but I’ve long had a soft spot for the original (and the best, certainly in terms of scar make-up) Robin Ellis.  Continue reading


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Lustbox: Alan Alda

HawkeyeMy mum (AKA TheBestMumInTheWorld™) gave me the complete M*A*S*H boxed set of DVDs a couple of years ago, and I have been eyeing them nervously ever since.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t start bingewatching as soon as I had the sofa and TV to myself, it was because I loved M*A*S*H in the 80s. I was allowed to stay up late after Guides on a Wednesday night to watch it and the disappointment I felt if I didn’t get home on time was acute. I looked at all those DVDs and was scared that it simply wouldn’t live up to my teenaged adoration.

Then a couple of weeks ago someone reblogged some M*A*S*H screenshots on to my Tumblr dashboard, I plucked up the courage to begin at the beginning and now I’m hooked all over again. Naturally, you’ll be getting a Joy of Sets review before long, but first things first. This was going to be a Lustbox for Hawkeye Pierce – then I started reading up on Alan Alda and it was clear that my focus was wrong.

Because while I love Hawkeye, with his whip-fast wit and scalpel-sharp comebacks – not to mention his liberal outlook and love of womankind (yes, he’s a womaniser, but he’s polite, respectful and always a gentleman (I’d choose Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce over Richard Gere’s “officer and a gentleman” any day of the week.)) – the man who brought him to life is even more interesting. Continue reading


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Lustbox: Gillian Anderson

INTERIOR . Meeting Room. Several people in office attire sit around a table.

HEAD OF DEPT: Now, if we can just get underway…

A woman in her late twenties, VELOCITY GIRL, bursts in, looking dishevelled.

VG: I am SO SORRY I am so late…

HEAD OF DEPT (wearily): What was it THIS time, VG? Broken down car? Cat vomit?

VG: No, actually it was *pauses* Gillian Anderson.

IT CHAP: What, the Thunderbirds dude?


FACILITIES MANAGER: You mean her that was Agent Scully in the X Files?

VG: Yes!

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR: She was so good in that, she was serious enough to play a sceptical Dr…


IT CHAP: …whilst still being proper phwoar enough to win FHM’s Sexiest Woman In The World in 1996!

VG: The very same.

HEAD OF DEPT: So what happened to her after she was in it – she seemed to disappear for ages…

Continue reading


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Lustbox. Chris Packham

chrispackhamI don’t watch Springwatch. I’m sure it’s delightful, and I know lots of people who adore everyone in the team and feel connected to them, much in the way that the Blue Peter presenters of our youth seemed like cool, older siblings (well, sort of – what constituted ‘cool’ growing up in Newbury just meant people not wearing Marks & Spencer slacks. The bar was very low).

In the past, I’ve noticed people becoming gooey over the very mention of Kate Humble. And fair enough. I’d have married Valerie Singleton if only David Cameron had only made it possible in 1977. 

But there is one presenter I have a soft spot for, not for Springwatch, but having seen him as a panelist on various comedy programmes, and that’s Chris Packham. He comes across as funny and frankly a bit nuts when I’ve seen him on Have I Got News for You? and Would I Lie To You? (he was on that with Victoria Coren, who is also a bit admirably scary).

Some people admire clean-cut Rob Lowe types, or the heavily muscle-bound. I don’t object to either, but it’s not my favourite thing. Witty is good, and I just happen to like people who look like they might be up for some mischief, and also come across as a little mad, bad and dangerous to know. 

I mentioned this on Twitter, after re-tweeting the splendid Jake Yapp’s loving review  of it (full of sweary words, be warned)  and it seemed to strike a nerve with a couple of people. I ended up DM-ing a fellow admirer, saying: “What I like about him is he seems like he might be a bit of a filthy pervert. In a good way.” They concurred.

He does lots of good, important conservation and educational work too, saving bats and that. You can click here for more about that. 

But frankly, I’m shallow. I just think he’s gorgeous.

Postscript 13 Oct 2013 If you’re quick you can catch him on one of the greatest Desert Island Discs ever

Posted by The Divine Bebe, @thedivinebebe


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Lustbox: Men who can sign

sign languageNow, PLA and I were having a bit of a collective swoon about men who use sign language yesterday, and I suggested lustboxing the lot of them.

Then I worried that perhaps it was offensive or patronising or something. Anyway, after a lot of thought (and, I’ll be honest, there’s not usually a lot of thinking going on when lustboxing) I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just a variation on finding bilingual men sexy.

Leroy Jethro GibbsThe conversation started with silver fox Mark Harmon, who as Special Agent Gibbs regularly (though not regularly enough) converses in sign language with Abby Sciuto (who proves that signing women are sexy too), and moved on to Connor from Waterloo Road who signed his wedding vows.

Then there’s double signing with Guppy Sean and Sam Colloby from Casualty in the late nineties and more doctors signing in ER – proving that sign language can make even doctors Benton and Romano seem a lot more human.

Josh LymanSadly I couldn’t find you links to the rare bit of signing we get from my favourite West Winger Josh Lyman (Season 2, Episode 20 – thank you Twitter hive mind), though I can give you Joey Lucas and Kenny signing AND annoying Josh at the same time. What’s not to love?

And then of course there’s CSI’s Gil Grissom. Smart, geeky and a signer. Not to mention William Hurt in Children of a Lesser God. Who have I missed? Let me know. And feel free to share more sexy signing women too.

Finally, why not follow @BritishSignBSL on Twitter and learn a new sign every day?

[NB I nearly included Benton Fraser here, but although he understands ASL, he doesn’t actually sign for us in Due South, and semaphore may be a niche attraction even by my standards…]

Posted by Jo the Hat


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Lustbox: Aidan Gillen

Aidan Gillen*inhales deeply from Inkface’s smelling salts* *puts the PLA fridge on standby*

So. Aidan Gillen. He’s been off my radar for some time what with being in things on Sky and The Wire (I tried it, honestly, but it didn’t grab me), but his appearance in Mayday was frankly the only thing that kept watching. I had forgotten what an incredible presence he has.

The man radiates dangerous sensuality from every pore. Not to mention a general air of knowing lots of somethings you don’t. Also, like princes of the Lustbox David Tennant and Rufus Sewell, he has excellent hair. It’s no surprise that his version of Phil Hendricks in Sky’s TV adaptations of Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne novels isn’t shaven-headed.

It’s a mark of his extraordinary charisma that he made it possible to root for Stuart Alan Jones in Queer As Folk (NSFW), a man who (I suspect) even the most benevolent person could only describe as ‘deeply flawed’.

This is also, naturally, a consequence of being a very talented actor, and as we have testified in the Lustbox before, talent is incredibly sexy. His gift for intensity helps of course, as does that voice. Unlike a Scots accent, I can take or leave an Irish accent (I blame overexposure to James Nesbitt some years back), but I could listen to Aidan Gillen read the terms and conditions of an Adobe update. If I could be gazing into his mischievous eyes at the same time there’d be no hope of getting anything useful out of me for the rest of the day. Or week, probably.

Anyway, I’ll be in my bunk…

Posted by Jo the Hat


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Lustbox: Horrible Histories Boys

Anyone with kids won’t have been able to miss the hugely successful CBBC series, Horrible Histories, but increasingly, large numbers of women are watching for entirely different reasons. Yes, the comedy sketches are genuinely, award winningly funny and the songs are infuriatingly catchy but underneath the beards, wigs and historically accurate outfits, those boys are HAWT.

(I don’t want to forget the women of Horrible Histories who are gorgeous too, but I shall leave their virtues to another time and another blogger…)

When I first mentioned the attractiveness of the HH cast on twitter, I was surprised by the reaction, not that it came back positively (and then some), but how different the focus of people’s lust is, I’d assumed that *everyone* just fancied Mat, but not so…

For ease, I like to list my lust for them in order of which George they play in the fabulous West Life pastiche Born 2 Rule. So for me it goes: George I, George II, George IV and then George III, yet I’ve met women who have that list entirely reversed.

So here is why each cast member deserves to be in the Pauseliveaction Lust Box (in the order I’d let them in)… Continue reading


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Lustbox: Sherlock (and John)

Oh dear me, Irene Adler couldn’t have been more right when she said “Brainy’s the new sexy.” Though let’s be honest Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have not exactly been beaten with the ugly stick, have they?

Actually, I think what really earned Sherlock and John their place in the PLA Lustbox is their devotion to snark. Done properly, it will make me go weak at the knees and these boys go by the Official Big Book of Snark – leaving me struggling to stay upright.

Bonus points are earned for:

  • their devotion to each other – Martin Freeman broke my heart in the closing scenes of The Reichenbach Fall (reviewed for you here by Inkface), though it hadn’t been left in a very serviceable state by Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance a few moments before.
  • just enough residual militaryness (here and there in posture or phrase, not to mention his decisive action near the end of A Study in Pink) to remind us that John Watson was a soldier as well as a doctor (move over Irish Dr Greg)
  • that coat! That hair! Those cheekbones…
  • running. Lots of running (enhanced by The Coat)* *note this may just be conditioning from five years of watching Captain Jack and the Tenth Doctor running around in long coats…
  • the odd bit of homoeroticism…

And yes, Sherlock gets the coats, the big brain and the cheekbones, but John is played by a man made of kittens (thank you TV Tropes) who is loyal, brave and a deadpan snarker. Separately they’re interesting, but together they are great.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to lie down on the sofa and have a little swoon while I wait for the postman to bring me the first series boxed set of Sherlock…

Posted by Jo the Hat


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Lustbox: Harry Pearce

As Spooks faces the final curtain on Sunday, and most of us cross our fingers for a happy ending for the top Spook and his favourite analyst, it seems
appropriate to welcome Harry Pearce and his almost-permanently clenched jaw into the PLA

Spooks has given us much more conventional eye-candy over the years (Adam, Lucas and Dimitri, for example), but ten years’ exposure to Harry’s buttoned-up persona, super-dry wit and botched wooing of Ruth has left me with a soft spot for the head of Section D.

In our X Factor, look-at-me, sex-sells world, Harry’s understated, but always totally dedicated, approach shines like a  diamond in a pile of ordure.

Like my other favourite spy (Michael Westen), Harry may be the best in the intelligence business, but is undone time and again by his inability to manage his relationship with the woman he loves, Ruth Evershed.

Their relationship is like something out of a Jane Austen novel, all meaningful glances, misunderstandings, witty banter, brief touches of hands, bad timing and other people’s problems getting in the way. (Although as I recall, there weren’t quite so many dirty bombs and terrorists in Pride and Prejudice.)

I love the fact that the Harry and Ruth relationship has grown from the genuine affection and chemistry between Peter Firth and Nicola Walker. You really should hear the two of them talking on Radio 4 Extra while you can. Not only is it a lovely interview, it’s a chance to wallow in Peter’s wonderful voice too.

Now imagine that voice reading out these lines (just some of Harry’s greatest hits):

HOME SECRETARY: You know, back in my days as a student radical, our dreams were all about the glorious proletariat.
HARRY: We’ve still got those dreams on file somewhere.
JOHN RUSSELL: What aren’t you telling me, Harry?
HARRY: John, I’ve been up all night, my psychic powers are at a low ebb. Please elaborate.
FERNANDO TORRES: La vida no vale nada, as they say.
HARRY: Not an expression we hear very much around these parts, but then again we did have rather more success in seeing off the Spanish than you.
HARRY: Did I not say to shut that bloody journalist up? We’re supposed to be MI-5, not the Stoke Newington branch of the Green Party.
HARRY: I’m aware I have not played nicely with the other children.
HOME SECRETARY: Would it have killed you to pick up a golf club every once in a while?
HARRY: It may well have done, yes.
DIMITRI: How was your, er, um, break?
HARRY: In one particularly dark moment I actually considered gardening.
Farewell then Harry. All that remains is to keep our fingers crossed that he and Ruth get a good ending. For the rest of us, well, there’s always the boxed sets to fall back on…
Posted by Jo the Hat


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