Category Archives: Lustbox

Lustbox: Andrew Hall

It’s coming to something (old age, perhaps?) when you find yourself sharing an object of lust with Audrey Roberts from Coronation Street.

No, I’m not talking about Nigel Havers – do behave yourself. I’m talking about the man she’s currently bickering with Rula Lenska about. Audrey calls him Marc. I call him actor Andrew Hall. Or, more properly, I call him Russell Parkinson from 70s-80s sitcom Butterflies.

Ah, Russell… I used to get quite breathless when he was on-screen. Maybe it was his very figure-hugging jeans and lovely loose shirts. Or his lovely curly hair and firm jawline. Russell was always successful with the “chicks,” but could be kind and sensitive and (when provoked) nice to his long-suffering mum. He was cool, albeit in a slightly embarrassing, scripted-by-an-older-person kind of way, but he carried it off well.

Unlike his Butterflies “brother” Nicholas Lyndhurst, who went on to become a household face thanks to Only Fools and Horses etc, Andrew Hall kind of faded from televisual view. He’s had bit parts in Holby, Casualty and EastEnders (he was the man Janine almost slept with the night before she married Ryan), but has mainly been working in theatre as an actor and director.

So how has he aged (he’s now in his mid-50s)? Well, with that bone structure you’re never going to go far wrong, and he’s still pretty handsome (though PLA Jr reckons he speaks without his top and bottom teeth ever losing contact with each other). And he’s still got the fabulous, posh caramel voice that used to make my teeny toes curl.  Most definitely worth fighting Rula Lenska for.

Posted by PLA       (also in the Corrie-related Lustbox: Linus Roache, Anthony Valentine and Rob James-Collier)

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Lustbox: Keeley Hawes

Ah, Christmas. Despite my very best attempts to be a Good (Velocity) Girl this year, in return Santa’s Sack contained a broken speedometer and a chest infection. Thanks for that, Father Christmas – you really shouldn’t have! No, really. You shouldn’t have.

However, our old pal FC did at least partly redeem himself on Boxing Day, by providing your intrepid correspondent with the opportunity to drool ov- I mean ardently admire the acting performance of Keeley Hawes in the BBC remake of Upstairs Downstairs.

Upstairs? Downstairs? Anywhere you like, really...

Hawes has pretty much cornered the market in Dramas of all Periods – Our Mutual Friend, Wives and Daughters, Tipping The Velvet, Marple, Ashes to Ashes etc. Plus she’s done Shakespeare (she was a truly moving miscarrying Lady Macbeth in the ShakespeaRe-Told series on the Beeb a while back and was also very good indeed in the not-dreadfully-sympathetic role of Desdemona in ITV’s Othello) and Chaucer (again in the Beeb’s modern adaptations). And she also played probably the most sympathetic female role to date in Spooks (yes I know Ros was fab but she was also terrifying), bringing a touching vulnerability as an agent ultimately done in by having to continually choose Duty over Love. And whilst her struggle with the badly-underwritten role of Alex in Ashes to Ashes was all too plain to see in its first series, the way in which she went on to make the part into something that managed to be both strong and moving was impressive.

Having been at times written off as yet another Kate Winslet/Emma Thompson/Emilia Fox/Emily Mortimer/Keira Knightley etc English Rose, the fact that Hawes is almost continually in high-quality work such as Upstairs Downstairs surely speaks for itself. She’s not adverse to sending herself up either, as her turn in That Mitchell And Webb Look proved. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s even the face of Boots No. 7 make-up and the voice of Lara Croft. Carlsberg don’t make women, but if they did….

Posted by Velocity Girl

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Filed under Ashes to Ashes, Lustbox

Lustbox: Michel Roux Jnr

Woe, woe, misery and woe. The light has gone from my weekday evenings. And when Normal Masterchef returns with Gregg the Pudding Oinker, with it will come John Torode, all Australian and shouty rather than the pale and lovely Michel Roux. Very few people get Michel-as-lustbox. He is cadaverous, pale and wears truly terrible jackets. He looks like he needs a big sandwich made of Maman’s caramelised bananas. He has the gauntness of an etiolated marathon runner who never gets out during the daytime (which he is). Despite all, he is the King of Cooking Programme Lust.

Michel has is sternness combined with (occasionally) kindly mercy, extreme delicacy and exacting standards. This is very, very sexy indeed. One would need to try very hard not to be disappointing in any way whatsoever. The pressure to achieve the highest standards of taste and presentation would be immense. Swirl those nipple tassels unevenly and see his left eyebrow raise almost imperceptibly. Let your moustache go unbleached for a day too long and see a very small moue of disappointment. Serve the sushi from your bellybutton slightly too warm and Michel might sigh, deeply, painedly. But the joy, the pure joy, of making Michel smile…oooh! Oui Chef!

Posted by Working the Look

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Filed under Cooking shows, Lustbox

Lustbox: Fox Mulder

Intelligent, handsome, courageous, loyal, geeky and blessed with a super-dry sense of humour and great hair, what is not to love about Fox Mulder?

Well, okay the obsession with the paranormal and aliens is a bit of a downside, but as Osgood Fielding III famously said, “Well, nobody’s perfect”.

I was a huge fan of the X-Files back in the ’90s and am incredibly grateful to Channel One (what used to be Virgin 1 before it was sold to Sky, in case you were wondering) for reshowing the show from the beginning. (We’re just starting Season 2 on weekdays, with Season 8 (the one with Robert Patrick) at the weekend.)

Sometimes stuff you loved first time round doesn’t quite stand the test of time, but often the only things that give away the age of the X-Files are the size of Mulder and Scully’s shoulder pads and cell-phones.

Mulder’s suit jackets aside, there is much to catch the eye of the geek-girl about town. He’s not pretty-boy handsome but he’s definitely easy on the eye. I would be more than happy to get up close and personal with those lips. I’d even fake an interest in psychic abilities, crystal healing and crop circles if necessary.

In Mulder’s defence, in the X-Files universe there are actually weird things going on. If I lived somewhere that actually had flukemen and shapeshifters, I’d be grateful for his efforts to explain it all with such passion and thoughtfulness.

And he treats Scully as an equal – how refreshing is that? She saves his ass as often as he saves hers, and he’s never less than grateful for it.

Finally, and it should never be allowed to pass without notice, the makers seem to be pandering more to the female gaze than the male. Scully doesn’t wander round half-dressed, but Mulder does. Frequently. For that too, we give thanks to Mr Duchovny and Chris Carter.

Posted by Jo the Hat

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Lustbox: Emilia Fox

Picture the scene. Your correspondent (long-haired, dark, raffish, corduroy-trousered, female – hold on to the last bit, it will prove particularly relevant in about two lines’ time) is reclining on a sofa at a sympathiser’s house, having had an exhausting afternoon’s scrabble and cake session. As she sighs contentedly, her iPhone twinkles with the promise of exciting new activity. And so it proves – cue a message from Inkface! “Velocity Girl, we’re all a bit straight at Pauseliveaction. If you ever fancied doing a Lustbox on a woman, send to me and I will gladly post!”

Cometh the hour, cometh the lesbian, as they really should say more widely (I have just spotted the double-entendre here; unintended and therefore thoroughly deserved of its saviour from the cutting room floor. In your deceased face, Mary Whitehouse). When it comes to my subject for Lady Lustbox, there was only going ever going to be one winner  – Lovely Lovely Emilia Fox (to give her full and proper title).

Fox (easily the most appropriate surname your correspondent has seen on a lady in quite some time) most recently graced our screens in Merlin as the fiendish Morgause. You may also recall her impeccable English Rose charms from, depending upon the length of your memory, the original-off-of-the-telly Pride and Prejudice (as a flinty but sexy Caroline Bingley), David Copperfield, the otherwise-pretty-dire remake of Randall and Hopkirk Deceased (your correspondent’s very own Teenaged Odyssey) Joanna Trollope’s Other People’s Children, Ballet Shoes and That Thing About The Queen. So far, so middle-class and largely period (though, given her membership of the famous Fox dynasty, not entirely unexpected).

However, your correspondent’s heart was truly won over by her turn in Silent Witness. Drafted in to replace the never-knowingly un-Norn Irish Amanda Burton when she left (so she did), as Dr. Nikki Alexander Fox has truly made the programme her own. Doe of eye, pale of skin, blond of hair, white of jacket (swoon), Fox slices up bodies and relentlessly pursues The Truth with a vigour that knows no bounds or, indeed, any sort of personal safety whatsoever. Delicate yet feisty, pretty yet deep, here’s hoping Foxy Emilia (sorry, had to be done) graces our screens for some time yet.

Posted by Velocity Girl

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Lustbox: Dominic Cooper

Who’s a pretty boy then? Dominic Cooper is to be sure in Tamara Drewe, Stephen Frear’s recent film. Set in a remote Dorset village and based on a Posy Simmonds cartoon, Cooper, in kohl, black leather and banana yellow Porsche, plays Ben, bad boy drummer in indie band Swipe. After being interviewed by journalist Tamara (Gemma Arterton), he seduces her with a dextrous display of skilful drumming using cooking implements. Always a winner, until you get tinnitus. They embark on an affair watched by jealous teenage Swipe fan Jody, lurking in the disused bus stop (service discontinued) with her mate, snapping anyone in the village snogging with their mobile phones and hurling eggs at passing cars because they are so bored.

The story of Tamara Drewe, based loosely on Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, is all played out very amusingly and includes excellent performances from Tamsin Greig and Roger Allam. But my favourite character by far is the badly behaved Ben, with his long-suffering boxer dog, floppy black hair and designer stubble. What impresses me about Dominic Cooper, other than the fact that he’s gorgeous and funny, is that he never seems to mind losing his dignity. His role as Dakin in The History Boys is probably my all-time favourite, but he was great in An Education too, and even managed to not look like a total knob as the bridegroom in the enjoyably preposterous Mamma Mia!

Posted by Inkface

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Filed under Films, Lustbox

Lustbox: Linus Roache

How excited was I, watching Coronation Street the other night, to discover that Ken Barlow’s latest long-lost son is being played by his actual son, the very adorable Linus Roache.

Deirdre spotted the likeness immediately. “Even your mannerisms are the same,” she told her fecund husband. And they are! “Lawrence” is like a mini-me of Ken – handsome, with a lovely head of hair, and just a tiny bit tedious. Ok, very tedious. Lawrence is supposed to be an English Literature lecturer, and Ken is of course cockahoop about this. They have long, dull conversations in iambic pentameter, and Ken is in his element and couldn’t be more proud. It almost makes up for the other sons (Peter the alcoholic and the hairdresser’s kid Ken hardly ever sees).

Even better, Lawrence has a son, James, who is supposed to be the spitting image of Ken’s former girlfriend Susan (ie his gran), from which we can conclude that Susan looked like Charlie from Busted. And James is gay! What deep joy for Ken, who is very gay-friendly and has had a bit of a musical theatre void in his life since Gail’s gay dad went south. Not that Ken would stereotype, of course.

Posted by PLA

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Filed under Coronation Street, Lustbox