Category Archives: Lustbox

Lustbox: Sam Axe

I can only blame my lack of enthusiasm for zombie films for keeping Bruce Campbell off my radar until now. I’m told that he had plenty of female pulses racing back in the day when he was younger and thinner.

I may get round to checking out those young and thin days, but in the meantime I am totally loving today’s snarky and charismatic model as seen in the guise of Burn Notice’s Sam Axe.

Sam’s loyal, laid back, kickass, funny, smart and happy to exploit his charms to get whatever info or favours his buddy needs. It makes me wish I had some top secret intel that Michael desperately needs to get his hands on…

Even Sam’s awareness of his own charms (Mikey: I could kiss you. Sam: Get in line…) is part of his allure.

The only bad thing I can say about Sam is that his personal taste in shirts does him no justice at all. Stick that man in a suit, and a brief spell in the PLA fridge with Inkface’s smelling salts becomes necessary.

Posted by Jo the Hat

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Lustbox: Tom Hollander

Charisma is a difficult thing to describe, but by crikey, you know it when you see it. Tom Hollander has shed-loads of it. He’s positively dripping in the stuff. When he’s on screen, you barely notice anyone else, even if he’s playing against Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean), or Maggie Smith (Gosford Park), or James Gandolfini, himself no stranger to the Charisma Fairy (In the Loop).

Tom H is an unlikely sex god, being short-ish and not conventionally handsome, but sex god he is nonetheless. There’s something about his intelligent face, knowing smile, suppressed energy, the way his mouth turns up at the corners, the way he pronounces certain words… hmmmmpgh… [pause while your correspondent sticks her head in the Pauselivaction fridge for a moment].

It was almost too much riches, him being central to every scene in Rev. When he looked lustfully at his wife Alex, or flirted in heavy-handed fashion with the she-so-does-not-deserve-him headmistress Ellie, or even just had a quick smoke and banter with Colin, I had to rely on old-fashioned smelling salts to see me through. And in the magnificent last episode, when he went off the rails and started swearing and eating whole boxes of jaffa cakes, it was all I could do to stop myself converting to Anglicanism in order to sit in his draughty church and listen to his uninspiring sermons. Then I remembered it wasn’t real. Whaddawewant? More Rev! Whendowewantit? Now!

 Bloody good actor too.

Posted by Qwerty

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Lustbox: Alastair Campbell

I’ve thought Alastair Campbell to be pretty darn sexy for quite some years, but have been reluctant to blog about it. This is because, from what I’ve seen (and I met him briefly because I know someone who worked with him) he has a pretty high opinion of himself. Plus his partner, Fiona Millar, is a mighty fine woman, and I can’t imagine he is the easiest man to live with, so the last thing I wanted to do was contribute to the monstrous ego of her other half.

But fanciable he definitely is, even if he knows it. I like his tallness. The fact that he used to write porn is amusing. And I know for a fact that far from being a monster to work with, he’s actually a witty man, warm too. He’s almost certainly too sharp for his own good, but I’ve always liked brains in men. His taste in women is impeccable, and his Sky News wind-up of Adam Boulton was one of my favourite moments of the election.

But I feel the need to speak out now after spotting him on Top Gear and with Fern Britton at 5 recently. On both occasions he was trying to play the nice guy in the face of irksome Jeremy Clarkson being rude and the rather strange sight of Fern trying to be tough. Campbell may well be much nicer bloke than his scary reputation would indicate, but it’s not something that anyone who doesn’t know him would ever believe. Or want to, frankly. As Qwerty demonstrated so nicely, it isn’t something that makes him less attractive. So this is a plea to him to stop with the chummy nonsense. We don’t want to see that. We want to pretend you’re a mustachioed pantomime villain, a sweary, shouty Malcolm Tucker-esque monster of control-freakery. It’s much more fun.

Posted by Inkface

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Lustbox: Jack Dee

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

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Whatever happened to James Redmond?

He’s the actor I became fond of referring to as “Abs from Casualty,” probably due to his portrayal of the character “Abs” in Casualty (So tall! So handsome! And that lovely Bristol accent!). But since Abs walked off into the Holby sunset hand-in-hand with Jo Lipsett from Waterloo Road (who had a peculiar hairstyle even then), whatever has happened to James Redmond?

A quick google-stalk has divined that the divine James has turned his back on acting, in favour of an even more unpredictable and scary profession. After attending comedy night school (who knew?) he’s become a stand-up comedian.  A “dry, slick and subtle” one, apparently (doing very well to be dry and slick at one and the same time).

He’s made many appearances, but is he any good? Well, I couldn’t tell you because a YouTube search for “James Redmond” comedy or “James Redmond” stand up yielded only this clip of him discussing hepatitis. I waited for a punchline, but there isn’t one. He’s being serious. And I’ve gone and missed his appearance on the Bingo Channel last night as well.

It’s not like he’s terribly into self-promotion about the comedy stuff anyway. “I don’t really tell people I do it, actually,” he told the Liverpool Daily Post, coyly adding, “if you were a national paper I wouldn’t mention it at all.” Bless.

Posted by PLA

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Lustbox: Eric the Viking

Really, if you like your vampires tall, blonde and Nordic, you need look no further than Alexander Skarsgard. True Blood has so many marvellous moments, but the joy of series 2 for me so far is the expanded role that Skarsgard inhabits; that of Viking Sheriff, Eric Northman. You’ve got to love a man whose first question, after committing a gross act of violence with foil-wrapped hair (he’s in the middle of getting his blonde highlights touched up), and addressed to a cowering and terrified Lafayette,  is “Did I get any blood on my hair?” I guess it’s the vampire version of “Does my bum look big in this?”

Trouble is, Eric took rather too long ripping the limbs off his victim and sucking him dry (oh lordy, pass the smelling salts we keep for these writing-of-Lustbox moments), which meant the peroxide ruined his long locks, so he has to have them cut off. But Eric is no Samson. He loses no power with his locks. It actually makes a very fine looking (if, you know, profoundly evil and all that) chap even more gorgeous. And the tight-fitting Sue Sylvester style track suit is the cherry on the top of a mighty sexy vampire.

I’m only up to the second episode of series two, but I’m thinking there’s trouble brewing between Eric and Bill over Sookie Stackhouse. Eric wants to get his evil fangs into Bill’s girl, and frankly, if I were her, I’m not sure I’d put up too much of a fight.

Posted by Inkface

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Lustbox: Paul Gross

Funnily enough it was the sight of Nick Clegg in his orangey-red tie that reminded me of the sublime Paul Gross.

Given a choice, I would take my favourite Canadian over the Lib Dem leader any day of the week (and twice on Sundays…)

Of course, there’s one big red reason we know Paul Gross on this side of the pond: Due South – one of the best things about the nineties as far as I’m concerned. If you haven’t seen it, get the DVD boxed sets right now.

I can’t always be counted on to lust after the conventionally handsome – but in this case, I suspect most women (and men) will see where I’m coming from. And that’s before we even get to the Mountie uniform…

As Benton Fraser, he’s moral without being sanctimonious, gorgeous without a hint of vanity (he is blithely and wonderfully unaware of the effect he has on the women he meets); and he’s funny too. (Gross is an actor who can do deadpan, irony and slapstick equally brilliantly.)

Fraser’s best friend is a deaf, lip-reading wolf. His other best friend is a stereotypical American cop (well mostly – Due South loved to play with US/Canadian stereotypes and cliches). He’s completely loyal to them both. He’s smart and brilliantly adapts all his outback tradecraft (not to mention the skills learned from his grandparents – travelling librarians from Tuktoyaktuk) to fight crime. And he gets terribly lonely too. What is not to love? And did I mention the uniform?

I adored Due South – Benton, Diefenbaker, the Vecchios, the playful writing – but most of all I adored Paul Gross. And, can you really blame me?

Posted by Jo the Hat

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Lustbox: The very versatile Steven Mackintosh

I first noticed Steven Mackintosh in a four part BBC drama called Undercover Heart, back in 1998. He played an undercover cop who gets so involved with the case he’s working on that he risks his career, his marriage and his sanity. In a strong cast (Daniela Nardini, Lennie James), Steven Mackintosh’s performance was amazing – his character looked like an angel who’d been plunged into hell.

He’s not a very bulky bloke, but he has an amazing physicality – his characters are often at least a bit on the dark side, and he’s brilliant at understated menace and pent-up tension. He did a show-stopping turn in Prime Suspect 5, as Manc gangster The Street, all arrogant swagger and completely immoral.

Steven Mackintosh seems to be drawn towards difficult or controversial roles. He’s played a male to female transsexual in Different for Girls, and won numerous awards for his heartbreaking portrayal of a sexually abused boy in Care. He also recently played Peter Mandelson in Mo, and a bigoted cop in Criminal Justice.

What I love most about him is his voice. You’ll have heard it hundreds of times on ads and doing voiceovers for documentaries – it’s a perfectly pleasant voice-over voice (he’s also wonderful reading audiobooks – check out his reading of The Beach). But when he’s playing a role that requires a bit of menace, that voice gets a fabulously threatening, sexy edge to it.

His next TV role is in the crime show Luther, which starts next Tuesday. I’ve already got it on series link.

Posted by PLA

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Lustbox: men in heels

From time to time, the sight of a man in heels catches me unexpectedly as being quite breathtakingly goddamn sexy. And I don’t mean short men trying to boost their height with inserts, and I’m looking down at you when I say that, M. Sarkozy.

Katie Price obviously concurs with my view on this, though the Reidanator in drag is not to my taste. Muscles a-plenty I grant you, but I enjoy a side-order of sharp brain and elegant wit with my stiletto-wearing male lust object.  The all round gorgeous and adorable Eddie Izzard is therefore the obvious, if slightly teetering, suspect, and indeed he’s second on my list of divine, hot-heeled men.

But the first man in heels I took a second (and third) look at was Miguel Bose in Almodóvar’s 1991 film High Heels (or Tacones Lejanos in Spanish). I loved the contrast between his intelligent and very masculine daytime persona as Hugo/Juez Domínguez, versus his drag artist night-time alter-ego, ‘Letal’. Like Izzard, Bose plays it straight in whatever footwear he happens to be wearing, and the impressively athletic dressing room sex scene nearly made my fall off my cinema seat. I couldn’t do that in heels. Kudos to you Miguel Bose.

Posted by Inkface

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Lustbox: I’d quite like to be stuck in the middle with Nick Clegg

I know it looks like I’m jumping on the post-debate bandwagon here, but what’s actually the case is that I’ve decided to come out of the orange-tinted closet. I’m a bit nervous about saying it out loud, but the truth is: I quite fancy Nick Clegg.

Mr Inkface can testify, albeit with a grumpy face, that my pre-debate comment was ‘That Nick Clegg is a sexy dark horse you know’. Don’t know if it’s the half Dutch, or part Russian genes, or the fact that he’s multilingual (one can only hope that being a cunning linguist is a generally encouraging sign in a man).

But he seems to have good taste in women. In my opinion, his wife, the lovely lawyer Miriam González Durántez is by far the most interesting and attractive partner of the three current party leaders. She seems her own rather smart woman. No smarming for the cameras, and no sign of their three young sons as election props. Nice that she’s kept her own name too.

Yes I too shuddered at Clegg’s thirty sexual partners or more faux pas. He’s certainly not a Clinton-esque league Mr Smooth. But he’s intelligent, egalitarian, nicely tall and really rather attractive. He knocks Cameron and Brown into a cocked hat.

Yes I would, actually.

See here for more high-brow political commentary on the leaders’ debate

Posted by Inkface

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