Monday, July 20, 2009

Male on Monday - Tom Chambers

Today Fiona Harper gets all soppy during the Male on Monday spot. (Well, she's a Harlequin Romance author - what did you expect!)

Unlike many fellow authors, who find pictures of people and cast them as their heroes and heroines, I do the whole thing back to front. I have a vague idea of what my characters look like and sometimes I find a picture of someone or see someone on TV who resembles them and sometimes I don’t. The real-life person tends to be a similar physical type to my character rather than a dead ringer.

This is exactly what happened when I was writing my December 08 release, Christmas Wishes, Mistletoe Kisses. I was watching the telly one Saturday night, enduring the lotto results while waiting for Casualty to come on and I saw a bloke who looked just like my hero, Ben. Or at least close enough to be his cousin or his brother.

The ‘bloke’ in question was actor Tom Chambers, who was then best known for his portrayal of hot doc Sam Strachan on BBC’s Holby City. While he’s not pretty and perfect like many of the Male on Monday guys, there’s a certain lop-sided charm to him and he definitely has some on-screen charisma going on. (I think 'pretty and perfect' is boring, anyway.) His character, Sam, was a bit of a babe magnet and shared many a steamy kiss with his female co-stars. One memorable scene involved a raunchy locker-room lip lock with his boss, Connie. (More on that later...)

But, despite his character’s reputation for being a bit of a love-rat, there’s a sweet story about how he met his wife, Clare. They dated when he was 20 and she was 15 and he knew straight away she was the one. He went home and told his mum that he’d met the girl he was going to marry. But Clare was much younger than him and he told her, “I’m
going to come back here in seven years and marry you’. Clare agreed and they went their separate ways.

They kept in touch and he even carried a photo of her in his wallet through the years (ahhh!) and he said that it was torture to see her go out with other guys, but he knew he couldn’t say anything. However, that changed when Tom survived a plane hi-jacking in 2000. A passenger stormed into the cockpit and the autopilot disengaged. The plane plummeted. In an interview, Tom described how everyone was praying and that he thought his time was up. He realised he might never see Clare again. “All I could think was, ‘I have to marry Clare,’ he said.

And so he did. Ten years after they'd first dated, he married his childhood sweatheart.

(I’m just a total sucker for a romantic story like that!)

In the run up to
Christmas Wishes, Mistletoe Kisses being released last December, I discovered that Tom was in the line-up for the hugely successful TV show Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing With The Stars in other countries). It was kind of weird seeing someone who resembled by down-to-earth gardener hero Ben strut his funky stuff on the dance floor.

But congratulations to Tom! He and his partner Camilla went on to win the series.
He even went on to use the steamy locker-room kiss from Holby City to help him get into character for the tango:

And talking of dancing...

Watch out for Fiona's September release, Invitation To The Boss's Ball from Harlequin Romance.

In this modern-day Cinderella story, plain Alice's world is turned upside down when she's askes to organise tycoon Cameron Hunter's charity ball...

She finds herself spending a magical night dancing in his arms, even though she knows that everything will be back to normal on Monday morning. But for now, she's going to enjoy every second...


  1. Spiritual twins again there, Fiona - guess who I ended up casting as my hero in 'Falling For the Playboy Millionaire'? (And the Strictly Come Dancing bit inspired something that helped to lighten up a very dark story - I was so pleased when he won!)

    Great choice.

  2. Seriously, Kate. You're scaring me. And I began seriously eyeing up a Pandora bracelet in the duty-free catalogue on the plane this morning...