Photo by Richard Turgoose
I’ve got previous when it comes to belatedly fancying people. I prefer my men once they’ve reached the lived-in stage. In the 1980s I didn’t even notice Simon Le Bon. I was too busy with Bob Geldof, who even when young really rocked that lived-in shtick. Then a couple of years ago I saw Mr Le-B on some programme and fell in love. He was older, plumper, and completely at ease with himself. And, and here’s the kicker – he had a very wry sense of humour.
A wry sense of humour: I cannot overstate how sexy this is. Ditto Tom Selleck: of no interest whatsoever till I saw him, aged 52, sending himself up in the weird 1997 film In and Out. Then, as with Simon, it was bing! I could suddenly understand what everyone had seen in these guys all those years.
Maybe Jack Dee isn’t quite in the Tom Selleck league of former heartthrob. But he’s dark and good-looking and has been knocking around for a long while. Yet in all that time he has never once appeared on my fancy-ometer. I vaguely remember his stand-up years; I think I saw one episode of Lead Balloon; but you know, he was on the periphery of my interest. That comedian who never smiles, yeah, whatever.
Then he starts hosting I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and I am laid-low by a crush of Eiffel Tower proportions, if that’s not too phallic a symbol for all you Freudians out there. Despite not being able to see him, I thrill to the sound of his sardonic delivery and – yes! – wry sense of humour. I know he’s always been famous for dryness, so clearly a wry sense of humour is necessary but not sufficient for fancy-ometer registration.
He’s stepped confidently into the shoes of the great lamented Humph, the man who everyone said no-one could replace, and has replaced him just fine. It confirms that truly, no-one is completely irreplaceable. There are some similarities between Humph and Jack: deadpan delivery, same sense of faint disgust with the proceedings. But Humph was never fanciable. His appalling double-entendres about Samantha were innocent, with a whiff of the Music Hall about them. When Jack delivers the same rude lines, he sounds wicked. I can’t help it, a naughty shiver goes up my spine. On last week’s episode, he was so damn phwoooar that Sandi Toksvig cried, ‘Jack, I think you could turn me.’ If he has that affect on lesbians, imagine what he’s doing to my peace of mind.
When Jeremy Hardy (a future Lust Boxee), is a guest on Clue, the two of them zing off the airwaves, creating such a wry sense of humour overload that I have to keep popping off to stick my head in the fridge.
Thank heavens for Listen Again. I have been. Again and again. And you can too, here.
Remember to keep a fridge handy.
Posted feverishly by Qwerty