Monday, June 06, 2011

Male on Monday: Clever Men by Kate Hardy

Some years back, my then editors Tessa Shapcott and Sheila Hodgson took me out to lunch and were discussing my heroes. And they both pointed out that I have a real thing about clever men with a heart.

Busted :o)

And so today I’m being horribly self-indulgent: my MOM slot is all about clever men. Ones who make excellent documentaries that are required watching in our house (luckily DH enjoys the same sort of nerdiness that I do, though not quite as extreme, and I don’t think he realises how much of a crush his wife has on the presenters, LOL).

First up, we have Michael Wood. (I know I’m not alone here in thinking he’s gorgeous – Nicola Cornick definitely agrees with me on this one.) How clever? Postgrad at Oxford in Anglo-Saxon history. The first time I heard him reading Beowulf aloud on TV (in the days when I could still read it and translate simultaneously without having to resort to Sweet ), I was hooked. He knows his subject, he’s enthusiastic, and presents his documentaries beautifully. (And if he ever does a talk near here, I’m going to be first in line for the tickets!) My regard for Mr Wood has been rather obvious for years; when I left my first ‘proper’ job, nine months after uni, my lovely soon-to-be-ex-colleagues chipped in to buy me his latest book in hardback as part of my leaving present.

Then there’s Michael Mosley. How clever? PPE at Oxford, then became a medic and then moved to journalism. It’s his voice, the twinkle in his eye and his smile that do it for me. Plus I happen to like the way he presents things. I love the fact that he uses his kids in his programmes and clearly adores them. (Clever man AND emotionally articulate: perfect M&B hero material, I think.)

Brian Cox. How clever? Professor of Physics at the university of Manchester. Works on the Large Hadron Collider, and also presents lovely, enthusiastic documentaries on physics and astrophysics. Again, it’s the smile and the voice that do it for me. He comes across as the kind of man I’d love to have dinner with because he’d be SUCH good company. (Ditto the Michaels.)

Kevin McCloud. How clever? Degree in history of art and architecture from Cambridge. I’ve always enjoyed his presentation in Grand Designs, but the programme I really loved was his Grand Tour of Europe. Oh, and he’s fluent in French and Italian. And we all know I have a thing about Italy.

So are there any gorgeous clever men I’ve missed that you’d like to share?

In the US, you can still get a copy of The Doctor’s Royal Love Child (in the first Penhally series); The Fireman and Nurse Loveday (in the first St Piran’s series) is still available on the Mills & Boon website. You can find out more about these books, and Kate, on her website ( and her blog (


  1. I'm not familiar with all of these as we don't get all the programs. Looks like a good list, though.

    This will probably date me, but my first infatuation with a British TV science presenter was James Burke. He did the Connections series in the late 70s. There's another one at the same time who did a nature series, but I can't recall his name.

  2. Oh, now I remember... David Attenborough.

  3. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for sharing about your hot hero inspirations!

  4. Ha! Brian and Kevin,they even sound clever! Two of my faves, Kate, I'm so glad they've made it to MOM. Now, I wonder if they're on Twitter ...

  5. Oh Kate, you are spoiling us! As you know, I share your weakness for a clever man and if he's hot too, well, you can never have too much of a good thing IMO. This is my real life weakness as well as my writing one! I doubt anyone will ever replace Michael Wood in my affections since that particular crush developed at college and has never gone away. When I met him recently I almost melted into a puddle.

    How about Dan Snow? Definitely good looking and clever too.

  6. I've met Michael Wood - he used to play in a band with my friend Martyn!

    Brian Cox? Never! He sounds just like a girl!

  7. I've adored Michael Wood ever since I saw in Search of Heroes. And Dan Snow is lovely as well and very, very tall.

  8. Sharon, Michael Wood is clearly even more talented than I had suspected. I've met both Snows, father and son, when they came to look round Ashdown House. Very charming!

  9. Great to hear that I'm not the only one!

    Christy - it doesn't date you that much because I remember that programme, too ;o)

    Nas - lovely to see you here.

    Rach - I just wanted to be naughty. (I was going to add Donne and Newton, but thought that might be going a bit too far...)

    Nicola - I knew you'd enjoy that. And yes, Dan Snow!

    Shazza, lovely Michael played in a band, too? Impressive! Which instrument? (And I will win you round to Brian Cox - come for an ice cream with me after the next author's lunch...)

    Elizabeth - you have excellent taste :)

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  11. I had the serious hots for Michael Wood. I could hardly contain myself as he stood on ruins in his jeans and white shirt in 'In Search of the Trojan Wars.' Better yet, the scenes of him topless on his bed! Sigh! I still get hot and bothered thinking about him.