Monday, January 08, 2007

Male on Monday - Richard Armitage

This week The Pink Heart Society's very own Natasha Oakley introduces us to a potential romance hero in the form of English actor Richard Armitage...

Anyone else a fan of 'Vicar of Dibley'?

For those who don't know, it's a long-running UK comedy series (written by Richard Curtis of Notting Hill fame) about the life of a female vicar in a small Oxfordshire village - and it all came to an end over the Christmas holidays with two painfully funny feature-length episodes.

In them, Geraldine (Dawn French) is finally swept off her feet by a tall, dark and handsome stranger played by the very gorgeous Richard Armitage ... who just has to be my choice for Male on Monday this month.

Who can resist a man who fills a cottage doorway this perfectly???

Richard Crispin Armitage is 35 years old, 6ft 2" tall, with grey eyes and a voice that makes you feel like you've just stepped into a vat of chocolate.

He was born in Leicester on the 22 August, 1971 - which, I gather, makes him a Leo.

At 17 he joined a circus in Budapest, staying there for eight weeks and earning his Equity card (Equity is the UKs actors' union), and then trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

Richard has had a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company, been in the West End and appeared in TV shows such as 'Cold Feet', 'Doctors' and 'Casualty' but I think his first 'break' came when he was cast as John Standring in the BBC production of 'Sparkhouse' (2002) which was loosely based on 'Wuthering Heights'.

His first leading role came in 2004 when he was cast as John Thornton in another BBC production - this one an adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskill's 'North and South'.

As the charismatic and handsome cotton mill owner he became a serious rival to Colin Firth's Darcy in female affections and several internet forums experienced what's become known as 'Thornton-mania'. Visitors to the BBC Drama website voted him 2004's Best Actor and Most Desirable Drama Star.

As soon as the BBC closed their 'North and South' forums, his legions of female admirers formed themselves into 'the armitage army' and can be found by clicking here. Another website - - is his official fan site and occasionally he sends a message for the them to post.

Asked how he felt about this new identity as a sex symbol Richard replied that he wouldn't mind Colin Firth's career.

2005 saw Richard playing Angus in 'Macbeth', part of BBC's ShakespeaRe-Told series and Dr Alec Track in ITVs 'The Golden Hour'. This past year he's been on our screens as the young Claude Monet in the BBC's 'The Impressionists'.

Most recently he's been giving me a reason to keep my children company while they've watched the new BBC big-budget series of 'Robin Hood'. Richard plays the vain, brutish and ambitious Sir Guy of Gisborne - very, very well because even I didn't want him to get the girl! :)

He seems to be a private man and there's not much on the web about his life. Nevertheless, I've managed to track down a few interesting nuggets for you :
- His favourite TV programme is said to be 'Six Feet Under'.
- His favourite drink is vodka.
- He prefers bodices over bustles because bustles ‘are not sexy’.
- He can play the flute and the cello.
- He enjoys running and likes to go the gym. (See, no-one is perfect!!)

Oh, and he's not married. How could I have forgotten that! :)

With love Natasha

Natasha's latest release is her one and only Silhouette Romance before the line merges in Febraury with the new Romance line.

Millionaire Dad: Wife Needed is available in stores now and online at eharlequin.

You can check to see how Natasha is getting on with her Diet and with her writing at her Blog.


  1. I must confess I just didn't get the interest in him in Robin Hood until I went and got the North And South dvd and watched it again... oh my... I got it then... He was a fabulous romantic lead in that!!!

    And Vicar Of Dibley was hilarious! You gotta respect him for keeping a straight face through filming never mind anything else!!!

    Keeping his private life private and not playing the media game is a big plus too imo...

    So GOOD CHOICE Natasha! And do feel free to keep on finding the single ones... ;)

  2. Oooh, we haven't seent eh end of Vicar of Dibley yet! In fact we haven't seen any new episodes here in years.

    Not since the Christmas epsiode where Alice had the baby Jesus. Goooorgeous show!!!

    Now, I've heard this guy's name thrown about by lots of Brits. Though I admit I've never seen him act, in his piccies he looks a bit like a vampire. I quite like vampires, so I'm fine with that!

    Thanks for introducing me to an unknown quantity.

  3. Was he is Shakespeare last night?? I haven't watched it yet. He was divine as Mr Thornton, when he said 'Look back, look back at me..' I just cried a bucket. He is better in period pieces I think. I saw him in a Midsomer Murder and didn't like him at all. I'm looking forward to Robin Hood, and the fact that his middle name in real life is Crispin has only made him better!!! He is very gorgeous!!!

  4. Interesting. I have never heard of him. Or most of the shows he's been!

  5. Oh, be still, my beating heart...!

    Richard Armitage is gorgeous! I actually have this guy (no pun intended) as my desktop background, dressed as Sir Guy of Gisbourne and looking very moody, all in black.

    Yes, he is single and another tidbit is that he would love to have Cate Blanchett as his leading lady.

    Well, I look like her! (A bit!) If she's not free, Richard, I'll do it! I'LL DO IT! (Is there lots of kissing in the script?)

  6. Oh Ally, you MUST watch North and South. I can lend it to you :-)

  7. I agree! 'North and South' should be prescribed viewing for all who are passionate about category fiction. :)

    For those of you who are yet to see him in 'Robin Hood' I should warn you he's vile in that. Quite intentionally. Somewhere on this worldwide web (probably the BBC site) you can hear him interviewed and saying how his aim was to make everyone's flesh crawl when he's wooing Marion. I think he achieved his objective!

  8. Yes please Fiona!!! Once my re-watching of Sex and the City is all done I will be desperate for new material.

    I'm quite scared actually, am suffering SatC withdrawal, so much so I had to blog about it extensively yesterday, and I still have 4 episodes to go.

    Excited now!

  9. Hi ladies.

    Well. Jess told me to hot-foot it over here as Natasha had chosen the lush Mr Armitage as MoM. Richard is the reason I began writing romance - in fact writing fiction per se. After watching N&S in Jan 2005 I wrote a 45k fanfic to N&S because I thought John Thornton was the ultimate alpha male. Then just 3 months later I launched into my first ever novel, Decent Exposure which was bought in April 2006 published by Headline Little Black Dress in October 2006.

    I also interviwed Richard (I'm a frelance journalist) for a couple of publications last year, resulting in him phoning me on wet winter Monday afternoon. He's a lovely guy with a great sense of humour.

    Thanks for brightening up a very dull Monday, Natasha. I just linked the PHS to the mega Richard Armitage fansite so watch out...

  10. Phillipa, I can't believe you didn't email me with the fantastic news of your sale. I couldn't be more pleased! I'm going to see if I can buy a copy this minute!!!

  11. Natasha

    Thanks - it seems ages ago now. I'm sadly behind with my own reading and blognetworking these days (Been in revisions cave and now have silver bucket). I think your book about Hugh Balfour as well as 'A Family of Her Own' were some of my first HMB romances. That and Liz's 'Her Wish List Bridegroom' and Barbara's Mirrabrook series.

  12. Philippa, I'm so jealous! You got to interview him! Was it just telephone interviews or was it in person?

  13. Natasha --

    I love Vicar of Dibley but there haven't been any new shows over here in the US in a long time! So,I will have to keep a watch for these episodes...and Richard Armitage.

    BBC America will be showing Robin Hood in March so I know what I'll be watching!

  14. Natasha:
    Thank you for choosing the fabulous Richard Armitage! I loved him in North & South and had to see some of the other things he'd been in. I have some DVDs of things he's been in from Amazon UK to watch on my computer! The US is on the wrong side of the pond for a RAbid fan and is a RA famine zone. I have seen a few clips from Vicar of Dibley on YouTube and hope we get to see it here in the US. I am in the midst of watching Robin Hood on DVD from the UK. He is Fabulous!!!

  15. You know, Marcia, I've been thinking about that - perhaps you ought to move? The UK is really a very nice place to live ....