The following is a guest post.
Recently Buzzfeed.com announced their picks for the all-time hunks of PBS. Though Brit-heavy as it should be, the list was flawed. As my colleague Melissa pointed out they lost credibility with her when they placed Bill Nye the Science Guy ahead of Kenneth Branagh.
And in case you’re wondering, Laurence Fox of Inspector Lewis fame came in as #1 hunk.
Then earlier this week, the BBC America blog, Anglophenia, launched their third annual Anglo Fan Favorites Tournament: The Men of 2013. It’s a pleasant diversion that pits two different British male celebrities who often have something in common against one another. They start with seventeen matchups and through on-line voting candidates are eliminated down to a final pair.
Sometimes I find the choice easy . For example, Matt Smith vs Kit Harington. Who? Sorry, I don’t watch Game of Thrones.
Other times it’s much more difficult to cast one fellow aside for the other. The worst was when I had to flip a coin and chose James Corden over Martin Freeman…
Of course I’m glad to see all this attention directed towards British talent and handsomeness. People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive issue usually leaves me scratching my head and Brad Pitt has never been on been on my hunk radar.
Or perhaps it’s just that I lack hunk radar altogether. I prefer less muscle, more brains; less swagger, more sensitivity; less of an action hero and more of a self-deprecating sweetheart.
Everyone has their own tastes and I like to think that mine are a bit eclectic. The list I have compiled below features British actors with variety of styles and talents and they hail from all corners of the UK .
A word of warning -you will not find the very popular Mr. Cumberbatch here. While I enjoy his work a great deal, I’m just not a Cumberbunny, I’m afraid.
So without further ado, I present my short list of the British actors with which I have been smitten – in no particular order:
My favorite Northern Irishman, Nesbitt has been on the acting scene since the mid-eighties. I first saw him as lovesick Pig Finn in Waking Ned Devine, but it was his leading role in Cold Feet as the mischievously charming Adam Williams that made him a star in the UK. Most recently he’s spent a lot of time cavorting in New Zealand where he played Bofur, a very endearing and optimistic dwarf in that little film called The Hobbit.
No matter the role, Nesbitt’s devilish smile and self-deprecating charm shine through. And yes, he has some new hair now which I believe was quite a smart career move.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention his lovely voice…
James first caught my attention in The Last King of Scotland. Sure, Forest Whitaker won an Oscar for impersonating Idi Amin, but I was more intrigued by this young Scottish actor.
Next I watched Starter for 10 and became a McAvoy fan for life. From Jane Austen’s true love to Tolstoy’s idealistic secretary, James has the ability to steal your heart and break it within the space of 90 minutes.
He’s made some choices towards the action genre lately that don’t particularly thrill me, but blockbusters do pay the bills so even if I just wait for the DVD, I do watch them all.
And this James can cook and croon a bit as well…
You may remember I wrote at length about Chris O’Dowd awhile back. This Irishman made a name for himself in some circles with his role as tech support geek Roy in The IT Crowd. And he’s on fire now. Pirate Radio, Bridesmaids, Girls, Moone Boy, Family Tree…just see my earlier post for the details.
What makes Chris so attractive? He’s a tall, gangly and nice-looking in an ordinary guy way. More to the point he’s funny on-screen and very clever on Twitter (@BigBoyler) yet doesn’t seem to think he’s a very big deal – as this musical interlude with Rob Brydon will demonstrate.
Welsh-born Tom Ellis is admittedly the eye candy of this lot. He always has just the right amount of stubble and I like me a man with dark curly hair and a boyish grin.
But apart from that, even if you don’t know his name, he’s done a load of telly work so that handsome face should look familiar. He played a doctor on EastEnders and a sexy PA on Monday Monday. He helped Martha Jones save the world and plotted the takeover of Camelot in Merlin.
Of course, Tom Ellis is best known for his role as Gary Preston, Miranda’s romantic interest extraordinaire. We all love Gary because he looks like he does, but he’s actually a big fun-loving dork just like Miranda.
There are many musical bits throughout the Miranda series, but they’ve mostly been cut into fanvids and compilations on YouTube. However, I did find this clip of Gary and Miranda dancing the tango…
Okay, I know. One of these things is not like the others but I’ve come to accept that Noel appeals to that bizarre side of myself that I keep hidden.
First off, I love his very English name. I also admire his artsy East London vibe and fearless ambiguity. He dressed as Kate Bush and recreated her Wuthering Heights music video for Comic Relief after all.
And he has very lovely blue eyes that are always well accentuated with eyeliner.
When my son first introduced me to The Mighty Boosh I didn’t know quite what to think, but since then I’ve seen Mr. Fielding as a banished Goth business executive on The IT Crowd and he’s been serving as a long-term captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Cue the music please…
Please share your short list. Who are your favorite British actors/celebrities to watch or just look at? And be honest, I know you’ve got your own Noel Fielding too!
Carmen is an American wife and mother of two college students who live away from home. With her yellow lab Malcolm by her side, she watches and writes about British television for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK I Learned from the BBC. Read more of Carmen’s posts here.