Monday, December 24, 2007

Male on Monday - Hugh Laurie

Christmas Eve! Can you believe it! And it's Natasha's final Male on Monday choice for 2007 ....

After much deliberation she's decided to keep with the English theme and give you ... Hugh Laurie.

Or, in fact, James Hugh Calum Laurie, OBE - actor, writer, comedian and musician. Born 11th June, 1959, in Oxford, he's the youngest of four children. He went to Eton and then on to Cambridge University.

Like his father who is an Olympic gold medalist, Hugh was an oarsman.

"I went there to row. I'll be blunt with it. It's been ten years, and I think the admissions tutor can take it now . . . but that's really what I went for, and anthropology was the most convenient subject to read while spending eight hours a day on the river."

In 1980 he took part in the famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. (Cambridge lost.) He's a member of the Leander Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world - as is my fictional Hugh Balfour in 'The Business Arrangement'. There must be something about the name Hugh!

Whilst at university he joined the Cambridge 'Footlights' and met Emma Thompson (at the front of this photo). Apparently they were a romantic item for a time. I do so love these little details. And it was Emma who introduced Hugh to Stephen Fry (standing at the back with the pipe). In Hugh's final year at university they took their annual revue, written principally by Laurie and Fry, to the Edinburgh Festival and won the first Perrier Comedy Award.

That award let to a West End transfer for 'The Cellar Tapes' and a television version of the revue, broadcast in May 1982. It also resulted in Laurie, Fry and Thompson being selected along with Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane and Siobhan Redmond to write and appear in a new sketch comedy show for Granada Television, 'Alfresco'.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, here in the UK, we've had him as a fairly constant someone - usually with Stephen Fry. Notable for me was 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie', his various roles in the Blackadder series and as Bertie Wooster in the TV adaptation of 'Jeeves and Wooster'.

Then in 1995, Hugh played Mr Palmer in 'Sense and Sensibility', adapted by and starring Emma Thompson. (Don't you just love these little twists of fate. Oh and that was the movie during which Emma met her second husband, Greg Wise.)

Then Hugh played a criminal in the 1996 movie '101 Dalmatians'. After that there was Ben Elton's adaptation of his novel 'Inconceivable' called 'Maybe Baby'. (Ben Elton who co-wrote the Blackadder series.)

Perhaps you first met him as Mr Frederick Little in the three 'Stuart Little' films?

International stardom really arrived in 2004 when he was cast as Gregory House in the American drama 'House'.

Asked what he thought his late father's reaction to his character would be he said, "He would be absolutely appalled. He was an endlessly polite, generous and soft-spoken man. He was no pushover, but he would never hurt, shock or outrage people just for the hell of it. At the same time, I hope he would be entertained and see that science and logic are like a religion to House. He'd approve of that."

And his speech after winning a Golden Globe for "House M.D." (2004)] was "I am absolutely speechless. Seriously, I don't have a speech. People are falling all over themselves to send you free shoes and free cuff links and colonic irrigations for two. Nobody ever offers you a free acceptance speech. There just seems to be a gap in the market. I would love to be able to pull out a speech by Dolce & Gabbana."

And how about that accent??? "It's as if you're playing left-handed. Or like everyone else is playing with a tennis racket and you have a salmon."

Hugh has been married to Jo Green since 1989 and they have three children: Charles Archibald Laurie (1988), William (Bill) Albert Laurie (1991), and Rebecca Augusta Laurie (1993).

He says, "Girls are complicated. The instruction manual that comes with girls is 800 pages, with chapters 14, 19, 26 and 32 missing, and it's badly translated, hard to figure out."

He's also written two novels - 'The Gun Seller' and 'The Paper Soldier'.

Oh and have I mentioned he's an accomplished pianist?

So, what do you think?

With love

This July saw the start of a brand-new series in the Presents line - The Royal House of Niroli.

"The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule? "

Book 1: The Future King's Pregnant Mistress - Penny Jordan
Book 2: Surgeon Prince ... Ordinary Wife - Melanie Milburne
Book 3: Bought By the Billionaire Prince - Carol Marinelli
Book 4: The Tycoon's Princess Bride - Natasha Oakley
Book 5: Expecting His Royal Baby - Susan Stephens
Book 6: the Prince's Forbidden Virgin - Robyn Donald
Book 7: Bride By Royal Apointment - Raye Morgan
Book 8: A Royal Bride At The Shiekh's Command - Penny Jordan

Natasha's book, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride', is available NOW in the UK and North America - and is a Romantic Times Magazine Top Pick.

Come visit Natasha at her blog!


  1. A clever, musical man with blue eyes. Yep. Works for me.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for all the smiles this year :o)

  2. I agree. Clever, funny, intelligent. All highly attractive elements in a man for me. And he's a little rugged around the edges too.

  3. *sigh* Definitely on my list :-)

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Oh those incredible blue eyes. I watched him on House last night and had no idea what he was saying as I tried to find a description for the particular shade of blue.

    I love the dry humor and the rough edges he brings to House. The character could have been such a jerk, but Hugh Laurie makes him human.