Yes, it's my Top Ten Men of 2008, with added gratuitous picspamminess!
I must say, it was very hard to think of ten worthy candidates for this list, and then to google appropriate visual aids and narrow the whole thing down, but I somehow forced myself to do it. How fortunate that lechery is one of the few pleasures in life not to be affected by the global recession, eh? So with no further ado, let's have a look at the runners and riders, presented in the traditional reverse order.
10. Daniel Boys
Also known as: The one on the right, i.e. NOT the puppet; a former Joseph wannabe on Any Dream Will Do.
Ingredients: Winning smile, charming manner, a decent set of pipes, doesn't pull stupid gurning faces while singing (I take my reality TV pleasures where I can get them, all right?).
Best served: With musical accompaniment and a non-sparkly shirt.
Tasting notes: To be honest, I haven't seen much of him since he got chucked out of Any Dream Will Do at a tragically early stage but he's been diligently treading the boards in the London production of Avenue Q (hence the puppet pal in the picture), and was drawn to my attention by his recent bout of homoerotic dueting with John Barrowman on I Know Him So Well, one of my favourite showtunes ever. I approve of this sort of thing, and wish to encourage it.
Shelf life: A promising vintage to lay down for future quaffing. If he plays his cards right, he could be the John Barrowman of the 2010s. Come on, there are worse fates...
= 8. Bingley from Lost in Austen
= 8. Wickham from Lost in Austen
Also known as: Tom Mison is Bingley (the blond one on the left) and Tom Riley is Wickham (the dark-haired one on the right). I admit I had to look up their real-life identities because they are not exactly household names, even in my household of one. Better luck next year, lads.
Ingredients: A couple of dashes of sharp sauciness that spice up even the most packed of costumed casseroles.
Best served: In period outfits, cod-Regency sideburns, and that weird brushed-forward hair that is de rigueur in all Austenite contexts.
Tasting notes: Amid the postmodern jollity of Lost In Austen (an ITV series that was actually funny and watchable, whodathoughtit?), these chaps were a brace of unexpected pleasures. Bingley is always a bit dull in standard Pride & Prejudice adaptations, but this version was a real charmer and, to my mind, much fitter than the Lost In Austen version of Darcy, who looked too much like a sour-faced heron in a cravat for my liking. Wickham, meanwhile, was a bit generic lookswise, but he turned out to be a delightfully naughty character and I was half hoping that the heroine would cop off with him at the end. She didn't, but hey, her loss.
Shelf life: It rather depends on what they do with themselves next, but I foresee a promising future in breeches if the TV gods allow.
7. Santiago Cabrera
Also known as: Lancelot from Merlin, Isaac from Heroes.
Ingredients: Soulful gaze, flattering haircut, nice cheekbones, looks really good in a linen shirt.
Best served: With an actorly English accent, leather accessories, and strong possibilities of manly swashbuckling moving in from the West, fellow cast members of both sexes are sure find him hard to resist.
Tasting notes: Confession time: I watched the whole of season 1 of Heroes without fancying him at all, but then again, the scruffy smackhead look doesn't do it for me. However, I found his single-episode guest appearance on Merlin to be a bit of a revelation, which goes to show how
Shelf life: With a bit of luck, the second series of Merlin will provide another chance for him to whet my appetite.
= 5. Bradley James
= 5. Colin Morgan
Also known as: Arthur and Merlin from Merlin; the two-headed beast of cod-medieval jailbait.
Ingredients: Fresh faces, teased hair, one pair of sticky-out ears (bless) and a cauldron full of chemistry. Wrap in linen and leather and leave in a chateau to simmer. Magnifique!
Best served: As two sides of the same course, of course! (For recipe ideas, see The Great Dragon Cookbook: 100 Suggestive Things To Do With An Anachronistic Vegetable.)
Tasting notes: I started off liking Colin/Merlin more, since he had my goodwill from his Doctor Who guest appearance (in "Midnight") and he's got the whole "wiry" thing going on, but Bradley/Arthur's charming swagger and fabulously expressive face won me over and now I just can't divide the two. But hey, that's destiny. The script says so.
Shelf life: At least a year, since series 2 will be rolling along then. And of course, as they get older, I might feel less like a pervy old lady, which would be nice.
4. David Tennant
Also known as: A future member of the unemployed masses, but currently eeking out a bit of gainful employment in TV, when not on the sick.
Ingredients: Lean meat with a seasoning of freckles, a nice bottom, and rather painfully, a bad back. (Get well soon, dearie.)
Best served: With a Scottish accent, and packaging that's as close-fitting as possible without actually being airtight. After all, it's good to see the goods but one also needs to be able to get the wrapper off...
Tasting notes: I must admit, it had been quite a while since I found him sexy in Doctor Who itself (shock horror!) but when there were two of him in "Journey's End", my interest level perked up rather briskly. A double portion? Yes please, and Captain Jack will have the same.
Shelf life: Rather like a rich fruit cake, a little sometimes goes a long way, but he can be dished up for several years with no ill effects, and there'll still be plenty left for next Christmas.
3. John Barrowman
Also known as: Captain Jack Harkness; Mr Light Entertainment; the filthiest man in Britain (TM).
Ingredients: Seven buckets of charm and half a kilo of naughtiness, garnished with a winning grin and a large and pulsing handful of double entendre.
Best served: In period military garb, but be careful not to overheat or strange facial expressions may result. Goes well with a variety of other dishes (see above, below, and indeed almost any other position).
Tasting notes: Probably unsuitable for those with cheese allergies.
Shelf life: Would it be churlish to want him with a little less in the way of artificial colourings and preservatives? A little ageing and maturity might even add flavour, you know. However, since my 11-year-old cousin recently declared "OMG he is SO fit!!!", perhaps he's still got plenty of sauce left to fill any gaps in the public appetite.
2. Gareth David-Lloyd
Also known as: Ianto from Torchwood; "Yentl" (but only if you're my friend Shelley and have seen Torchwood twice ever).
Ingredients: Welsh vowels, ruffleworthy hair, puppy-dog eyes, surprisingly elite acting skills.
Best served: Certainly suits a suit (preferably three-piece), but can also be surprisingly tasty in rough and ready no-frills packaging (see above right). You may have plumped for a Barrowman-based main course, but it's this delicious accompaniment that makes it a feast.
Tasting notes: Generally I like more maturity in my crumpet, but he must have turned my head, because he's not the youngest person on my totty list any more, which is good. Well, it's good for him, but perhaps not for me. As long as I steer clear of school playgrounds, I'm fine... aren't I?
Shelf life: Shortly to be seen in series 3 of Torchwood, but with only 5 episodes, that will be more of a snack than a banquet. But with a bit of luck, the BBC will then cast him in a range of quality dramas and we can nibble on him happily for years to come...
1. Zachary Quinto
Also known as: Sylar from Heroes; the Man Who Will Be Spock.
Ingredients: Fabulous lanky-yet-lightly-muscled physique, taut tummy, great legs, good hair (and not just on his head). Basically just a long streak of sexy. Oh, and the unmissable eyebrows, which don't fixate me in themselves but are nonetheless a key part of the whole package.
Best served: In something classic and black with just a touch of evil. But as season 3 of Heroes has proved, also goes down wonderfully well with almost no dressing at all...
Tasting notes: Very much an acquired taste for me, since it took me a while to see beyond the whole "brains" thing, but now I've come around to him with the zeal of the converted. This makes me feel like a sad fangirl, but as long as I don't accidentally marry him on the astral plane, I think I'm safe. Also, since it's time for the New Year Honours list, do you think the Queen could arrange a knighthood for whoever it was that came up with the scene in "It's Coming" where a large proportion of his clothes simply explode off him? God, I do love it when they pander to my demographic.
Shelf life: He may be a flavour of the month in my affections, rather than a long-term store-cupboard standby, but I reckon that if his multiple talents can rise above the appetite-suppressant effects of a Vulcan wig, he may well have the goods to go the distance. Only time (and Trek) will tell...
But enough of my opinions. Here's your chance to choose your favourite from the list in this Throbbing Man-Poll!
Which is your own favourite out of my list of Top Ten Men of 2008?
Bingley from Lost In Austen
Wickham from Lost In Austen
None of these is as alluring as a TICKY BOX!!!
Happy New Year, everyone, and may 2009 bring you all the eye-candy you could wish for yourselves!