Your Favourite – a greater challenge!


Michele has set some more thought-provoking, and rather fiendish questions, all about Richard Armitage, on her blog. They really were food for thought. Esther rose to the challenge here and Rachel here.

Here goes!

Part one is here:

1. You get one day with Richard what would your itinerary consist of?

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2. What book adaptation would you pitch to Richard to star in and why?
Poldark  – out of the way callow young pretender, Aiden!
I do like RA wicked so maybe Dracula too or despicable Victor Constant in Sepulchre by Kate Mosse.

3. Richard has a charitable heart what cause is near and dear to you that you would ask Richard to support?
Shelter (which RA supports anyway). It is a basic human requirement.

4. What flaw of Richard’s would you like to see him work on?
His goody two-shoes sanctimony. The first part is a virtue but it isn’t part of my fantasy, and that is what my relationship with him is and where he can be a baddy bad-shoes. I really don’t need him preaching and wagging his finger.

Capture James 2

Which of these ill fated characters did you relate to and why?

  1. Lucas North
  2. Raymond De Merville
  3. Daniel Miller
  4. Thorin Oakenshield

I don’t really relate to any of them, perhaps Lucas because he is uncomfortable in his own skin. I probably relate more to Chop, Monet, Francis even (as an outsider) not the murdering aspect – although there is a huge Red Dragon tattoo on my back.

6.  In a scavenger hunt the end destination is your home what three clues would you give Richard to find you?

A. The long trail of chocolate wrappers leading to my door.
B. An excess of wine/ gin bottles in the recycling bin.
C. My Siren song luring him to my lair.

7.  What three words would you describe your interest in a fandom?
Camaraderie, fun and RA info.

8. John Thornton embodies …

Glower and smoulder (even if that sounds like a firm of solicitors).

9. What’s your favourite item of clothing that Richard wears?
He looks so good in so much!

Credit: BBC.
Guy in leather. Armitage in leather.

His Spooks and Hannibal jackets.

The Berlin Station great coat and The Stranger bomber jacket.


Naked apart from the black trousers undone at the top… I could go on and on.

10 Complete this sentence:

“I’m a Richard Armitage fan because he________________”

I could give a more high-minded answer but in truth it’s because I fancy the pants off him.  All his other attributes are the icing on the cake, the cherries on the top.

Thanks Michele for the fun challenge!

Your Favourite – a difficult challenge


Michele has set a fun Q &A on her blog, which has been a great distRAction. Rachel took up the challenge with gusto over at hers. Update! Nokisuu has joined in the fun here.  And so has Esther here. This is my contribution but don’t expect many sensible or answers without drool! It is difficult also to choose favourites where Richard Armitage is concerned.

Your favorite John and why:

1 Thornton

2 Proctor

3 Porter

4 Standring

Answer: Portah!

Need I say why? (John Bateman is another favourite along with Thornton.)

2 Your favorite Richard action movie and why:
Answer: I was going to go with Pilgrimage but, thinking about it, all three Hobbit movies because they showed Richard’s range, action prowess and there was so much of him on screen (despite being hidden behind facial foliage).

Your favorite pairing of Richard and ____
Answer: I love seeing Richard sparking and sparring with someone so Guy of Gisborne and the Sheriff is my favourite pairing.

Richards best trait is his ________
Answer: Sneaking in two answers, his quietness combined with his humour. In his acting, his intensity – that’s three answers.

What one question would you ask Richard about his roles up to now?
Answer: What was the incident from your real life that was used in The Stranger?

6. If Richard ask you to dinner and where to eat what type of restaurant would you take him to?
Answer: I immediately thought of the scene in Tom Jones where they are lasciviously eating oysters and chicken legs. So I would say dinner in a hotel, with breakfast in bed – after.

What song comes to mind to describe his acting career?
Answer: Sunburn by Muse

Not all the lyrics apply but the song suits how I see his acting: like the sun, scorching, blazing and intense.


Sun god.

What board game would you play with Richard during another lockdown?
Answer: As strip-poker isn’t a board game, I’ll choose chess as I like the idea of RA as adversary.

What two fandom items would you give to Richard as tokens of appreciation?
Answer: It would be hard to part with anything and I think fandom items would have more meaning for me than to him. I suppose something like the Flat Ritchie journal or the Hannibal book where lots of us had contributed.

10 Complete this sentence: “Richard you are the ________ to my __________.
Answer: Richard you are the blood to my veins.

Lost in Space Sweepers


As spring cleaning is in the air I’m sweeping away the cobwebs from this space with a few random and superficial thoughts about Space Sweepers, with the emphasis on Richard Armitage who plays another dislikeable James – this time, Sullivan.

Warning! There may be small spoilers.

Even though dystopian sci-fi isn’t my favourite genre, Space Sweepers is good-natured fun and the special-effects are impressive (although I am easily impressed by special effects – split screens and double-exposures still cause my jaw to drop). The leads, Kim Tae-ri, Song Joong-Ki and Jin Seon-Kyu, are likeable, the cast is diverse and the film contains Richard Armitage! And bad Armitage – my favourite – although he tried hard to repel with the hated beard, glasses and slacks. @emilmure has a point.

Extremely attractive in the dark shirt though.

 Nice jacket-thing though.

I often don’t enjoy the presence of children in films, e.g.  they often don’t act well (understandably) or their performances are irritating and I don’t like being manipulated by cutesey-ness. Dorothy, the little girl/robot, on the other hand is endearing and it was a clever idea having her as a bomb. But, boy oh boy, what has she been eating? Her digestive/bladder problems need to be sorted out. I can’t remember the last time farting children appeared in a film, thankfully it is a rarity, nor when a child wore make-up, which is a no-no in the UK nowadays thankfully.

Is it me or is everyone in South-Korean Space Sci-fi movies getting younger? Even RA , at 152, looks youthful.

On the down-side, Space Sweepers is over long and there was much that was unexplained and confusing e.g. the ship, Victory, sometimes seemed to be in space then on Earth then in space – or maybe I just wasn’t interested enough generally to follow. The leads were fine but some of the acting by the supporting cast was toe-curlingly bad. On that note, some of the reviews described Richard Armitage’s performance as ‘hammy’. I have scrutinised his acting for many years and have rarely heard this said before (and hardly ever agreed with it then). If anything he under acts, which makes his emoting all the more intense when it happen. Armitage under plays menace so well too, his seductive murmurs so much more effective than ranting.  So I don’t agree now that it is hammy in Space Sweepers. Unless they meant like John Hamm – with similar cursed beard and glasses.

RA plays it just the way an evil gardening megalomaniac should be played and, as one review described him, as ‘Overacting to precisely the right degree’. His Bond would have been (would be?) fantastic but so would be his evil nemesis (perhaps he could play both as Bond’s evil twin). James Sullivan will have to do in the meantime.

Beauty and the Beard.

RA inhabits his characters. The performance is studied. His walk and stance are different for this film. Sullivan’s stride is slow, relaxed, confident – sexy. His stance, on the other hand is nerdish, repressed and boyish with his thighs pressed together. There are no nervous tics, e.g. throat grabbing and rapid swallowing.

 The unexplained veins that come and go, willy-nilly on James Sullivan’s face, mimic the sudden appearance of dragon-fire marks on Thranduil’s in The Hobbit.


My favourite line in Space Sweepers:

 Look what comes of finger-wagging, Armitage!

Finally, in my hasty notes for this blog, I wrote ‘Enprmpus’.  I had no idea what this was supposed to mean and it has puzzled me for ages. It has now dawned on me – enormous.

All hail the god-like Armitage.

Thanks for reading.

Shy Richard Armitage lurker lured out by Guylty’s A to Z challenge


Guylty's Fan A to Z

And rather late …

Part One

A. How expensive has RA been so far? I dread to think how much I have spent. It must be over £1000, although some of it has been for good causes and this makes me feel better (although not much).

B. Which character is RA most like? Which is he most unlike? The obvious choice would be Harry in the Vicar of Dibley but in this he reminds me disturbingly of Harry Potter.

Richard Armitage in the Vicar of Dibley, BBC
Harry Potter

So I’ll say the other Claude, Monet, instead for their shared creativity, focus, and possible single-minded absorption in their craft.  To me he is least like Thorin (physically at least) due to his stature, walk and general hairiness, also in his love of gold.

C. Name a book that RA should star in a film in. I’m still seething that he didn’t play Poldark, as it would be my ultimate fantasy to see him in a tricorn hat. He would be a great Rochester and perhaps Dracula. A master of disguise like Sherlock Holmes (he has the profile) or Balsac’s Vautrin would be great opportunities to show his range (sorry, I can rarely pick one choice).

D. Which of his selfies is your favourite? I’m not fond of his shiny selfies, they look like an alien’s replication of RA and not like himself. These two are my favourites, if  I have to pick one (or two):

Richard Armitage selfies

E. Which of RA’s audio characters should he play in a film? I love a bad Armitage, so Robert Lovelace in Clarissa.

F. Name a play that you wish he would do? He would be fantastic as Macbeth or Agamemnon but I would love to see him play the lead with a sly malevolence in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui –  although he’s probably too tall.

G. How long have you been in the fandom and how has your attitude changed? I’ve been besotted with RA since N&S in 2004 but didn’t really engage much with social media for about two years (partly as I was in denial). Since then I’ve been a terrible lurker in the fandom for most of it, occasionally contributing an odd comment then scuttling back under my rock. I was weaned on then and enjoy the wonderful blogs by Guylty, Servetus and Perry and am indebted to them and others for all their tireless posting of news and contributions. The size of his fandom seemed overwhelming before but it just feels smaller now (or less vocal) and this has given me the confidence to reach out more.

H. How has your attitude to RA changed? Apart from the first intoxication of new desire, and subsequent futile attempts to suppress it, my feelings for him are weirdly as strong as ever, albeit with the occasional dips in focus and then heightening awareness. I keep expecting these feelings to lessen but they haven’t so far – he feels woven into my fibre. I’ve grown to realise what a truly fine actor he is, which I didn’t appreciate in the early days, and this has added another level to my fascination. I do feel that with all his ceaseless audio work, instead of providing visual stimulation, and his semi-permanent attachment to the beard – which is not a favourite of mine – that I’m looking back more, rather than forward for my fix. That said, I’m always excited and relieved when a new picture appears where he looks stunning, e,g. wearing  the white shirt in the Lost Daughters interview.

Their Lost Daughters interview
Present beauty

And I still tingle when I see ‘Armitage Shanks’ on wash basins.

I. What made you come out as a fan and participate in the fandom? In a word, Guylty! She was very kind when I contacted her about tracing a photograph of me meeting RA (more in the next post) and this blog contribution to her A to Z challenge is my longest and most open participation. Twitter has also encouraged me. I just feel that I don’t care anymore what people think, my obsession doesn’t seem to be going away, it makes me happy and has supported me crucially in hard times – so I want to share it with similarly fascinated people.

J. Are you outed as a fan with friends and family? A couple of my friends know, due to my insistence that they watched a ‘children’s programme’ (Robin Hood) in total silence when they were staying on separate occasions. My son and partner would have been astonishingly unobservant not to notice a particular theme, over time,  with the accumulating DVDs, the missing pages from magazines and my programme/film choices. My sister and brother know but curiously several really close friends don’t. I’ve never been able to own up, partly through embarrassment, and it would be weird now to tell them, as I’ve kept it from them for so long. This blog is the first time I’ve articulated my feelings about RA to anyone, apart from lusty phoarrrs.

Lucas North
Lusty phoarrrs

Do let me know if I have used any of your images and I will either remove it or credit.

Part  Two to follow …

Richard Armitage Blog Reunion Day


I feel like an interloper by participating in this celebration. I’ve only been blogging for two years and even then it has been a lazy, mostly reactive, effort. But I am a long-term Richard Armitage adorer who has lurked on blogs for many years before dipping my toes into blogging.

I want to acknowledge the bloggers who over the years have informed, entertained, inspired, provoked and supported me and fellow fans. During difficult times Armitage World (Oasis?) has provided respite, not just because of our staggeringly beautiful wonderful muse but also due to the fantastic bloggers who share this space. Thanks lovelies, past and present …

All Things Armitage

Ancient Armitage

Armitage Agonistes

Armitage Fan Blog


Guylty Pleasure

Me and Richard

Mezzmerized by Richard

More Than Thornton



Nowhere in ParticularRA

I’m Feeling This

Preoccupied With Armitage

Richard Armitage Central

Richard Armitage Online

Richard Armitage Netboth old and new versions!

The Armitage Effect

The Book of Esther

Zees Muse

Not to mention some of my fellow newer kids on the blog …

The M Files

My Dearest Louise

Tea Powered Crafting

I know there are people that I’ve forgotten, which is really bugging me. But you are included in my gratitude.

Thank you all! 

And thank you to our sun around which we orbit


Meeting the Richard Armitage DistRAction Challenge – part two



This is part two of my answers to Guylty’s DistRAction Challenge.
Esther’s part two is here.

Part one here:

15. Favourite quote of a chaRActer?


16. Saddest chaRActer death?
Guy of Gisborne’s death because it marked the end of Guy of Gisborne (obviously) and also the happy duel-purpose watching of Robin Hood, with my young son on Saturdays, at 7.45pm. I still get delicious nostalgic shivers at the weekend in anticipation of regular Guy doses at that time .

R.I.P. Gisborne the Glorious

17. Favourite century?
My favourite century is the 18th but Richard hasn’t graced that time – so far (apart from Clarissa but that was audio). I don’t know – preferably one where facial hair wasn’t obligatory. I love his 21st century personas but it would be nice to see him in a different period – 18th-century highwayman, stern Edwardian, swashbuckling pirate, scheming Plantagenet King (but not with King Oberon’s hair – is that possible?) noble ancient-Roman …

18. Your consolation show, i.e. your go-to show when you need distRAction?
If I didn’t allow myself to only watch North and South once a year on my birthday I would probably choose that for comforting escapism. I don’t tend to watch individual episodes of my favourite RA series. Oddly, it’s probably Hannibal as I enjoy it so much or Strike Back.


19. Theatre or small/big screen?
Nothing beats the excitement of seeing Richard Armitage live, even being in the same room is enough, but these opportunities are few and far between, so I’ll pick the small screen, as there tends to be more Armitage screen time and I enjoyed the anticipation of seeing him week after week (which I could have had with The Stranger if  I’d been more disciplined).

20. Best costume/look?
No, I really can’t choose:  there is Gisborne’s leather  – any black leather-clad Armitage,  Richard impeccable in suits, particularly with an open necked white shirt, his Berlin Station great great-coat with the turned-up collar,  his so sexy fitted Spooks and Hannibal jackets, the bomber jackets of Berlin Station and The Stranger, the beige raincoat in the latter  …. 

Exhibits 1-6


But then again ..


21. Imagine your favourite chaRActer – assign them a colour, a scent and a chocolate flavour

Black,  leather, Black Magic (the dark chocolates)

22. Your favourite audio book?
David Copperfield.  I want to drive through the streets with a megaphone, shake people vigorously by the shoulders, fly a plane with a streamer proclaiming how incredible Richard Armitage’s narration is:  the astonishing variety of his accents is a revelation but also his love for his favourite book shines through in his sensitive and perceptive understanding of Dickens’s words.

23. Your favourite piece of fan art you own?
I don’t own many pieces but those that I have are treasured and made with such kindness, care and consideration that I don’t want to choose one above the others. I did enjoy smirking secretly at my Gisbauble ( from the Flat Ritchie tour box) hanging from my tree this year, hidden in plain sight.EL00dy0XUAAOcKe

24. If you had the opportunity to meet RA, what would you like to talk to him about? I’ve often fantasised about meeting Richard Armitage, bumping into him in the country side, being stuck in a lift together or on a long drive (and I often dream of him when he’s  trying to get away from me, which seems an unfair waste of a dream). nhhh (2)

As I’m rather inarticulate and quiet, I would want to feel on safe ground with my subject. As I love film, and can talk relatively volubly on the subject, we would have lots to discuss (as well as which side of the bed he prefers!).

25. Anything you dislike about the fandom? I like the fandom a lot more than I dislike it. The odious quibbling, divisive party-lines, blind adoration (although I can be guilty of that) is tiresome but expected in a wildly varied group who like different facets of  the divine one.  The thing I do dislike – and I feel really mean saying this – and there are some breathtakingly good pieces, which I admire  –  are some of the drawings and paintings of RA, over the years, where his features are slightly  wonky (and I couldn’t do any better).  Basically I’d rather see the real Armitage rather than paintings, drawings and cartoons. A another personal bug-bear of mine is seeing Armitage cute-sified, but I mean no criticism of others. I just don’t like to see my potent fantasy figure emasculated.

Thanks for reading and thanks Guylty for providing this distRAction!

*I apologise if I’ve used any images without permission. I will credit where I can but I have no idea where some originated from. Please let me know if I have used any of your images and I will either remove them or credit.

Meeting the Richard Armitage DistRAction Challenge – part one



Wonderful Guylty has provided a fun challenge over at her place as a  much-needed distraction for these difficult days. She is posing 25 questions about the inestimable Richard Armitage (not that I need much more encouragement to be distRActed over RA but spirits keeping up, yes). Esther has answered the call magnificently on her blog here  and this is my contribution – I found it rather challenging, partly because I am incapable of making choices (and I’ll probably change my mind tomorrow).

1. Which series would you like to have seen a sequel of?
Strike Back. The awful execution footage was faked and John Porter returns for more derring-do adventures, looking hunky and lethal and narrow-eyed.


2. Which film/series do you think is underrated?
Leaving aside the  missing Urban and the Shed Crew, (teeth-gnash) I would like to have seen Hannibal reach a larger audience. Richard’s skilled performance as the Great – Red – Dragon was extraordinary and showcased what a truly great,  versatile, actor he is.


3. Your current favourite show?  Well I wouldn’t call it my favourite show but for the novelty of its relative newness, I’m still drooling through re-watches of The Stranger – despite my reservations. I am also working my way through Robin Hood on the BBC iPlayer (even though I have the DVDs)  and no doubt will do the same with Spooks (ditto). And I’m also watching Hannibal as a delayed RD5 anniversary.

4. What’s your favourite episode of your favourite show? I can’t possibly pick a favourite show but if I go with my currents, I particularly love the last episode of Hannibal for the homoerotic tussle with Will in the hotel and the lean mean Dolarhyde machine.


5.  Least favourite episode of your favourite show?
My least favourite episodes, full stop, are those in Robin Hood and Berlin Station 3, when Richard didn’t appear,  for these are devoid of colour, filled with greyness, ashen, desolate, barren, a joyless desert.

6.  Which question would you like RA to answer in a Q&A?
Apart from why Dolarhyde signed his name as John Crane in the Brooklyn Museum visitor book (and I’m not bloody asking that again) there was one question that I really wanted to ask but can’t remember.  As a placeholder question, I would like to know if he would be prepared to live at the bottom of my garden in an Armitage hermitage. No that’s silly. In lieu of the other question I’ll ask what was the incident from his real life that was used in The Stranger. Did he lock someone in a cellar, decapitate an alpaca, bury someone in the woods? We must be told.  Update: I’ve remembered the question. In the fight scene, at the end of the Hannibal finale, which shots involved Richard and which were the double?

7. What’s the best scene ever?  I think the “He was her brother” scene in N&S takes some beating. Nicholas’s casual mention of Margaret’s brother sets in motion the gloriously happy ending.  We see the slow realisation on John’s face and the cloud lifting. Beautifully played. It breaks the tension of  us knowing something that he didn’t and misunderstood badly.


8. Which audiobook would you like RA to read?
I’d rather watch than listen to Richard but I still bend an ear to his audiobooks, as I consume anything RA produces. I’d love to hear RA narrate more Dickens’s works. Fingersmith by Sarah Walters would be enticing.

9. Which show did you think you wouldn’t like but you did?
Strike Back. Soldiers, guns, patriotism, upholding the Establishment, no thank you. Apart from the achingly beautiful Richard, the series had more heart and depth than I expected, the storylines were gripping and RA’s emoting and comic timing were a revelation.

10. Which show did you think you would like but didn’t?
The Stranger. I wasn’t expecting Dostoevsky but I didn’t expect it to insult the intelligence of its audience. Although I wouldn’t say I didn’t like it, wearing my RA goggles I really enjoyed certain ‘aspects’ – Richard was a picture of suave, beardless perfection and he gave an affecting performance.  The drama had thrills and it exposed more people to Richard Armitage,  which is fantastic and hopefully will bring him more quality work.


11. Which episode did you watch more than five times?  I’ve watched most of Richard Armitage’s work more than five times! I don’t tend to watch episodes of the multi -series, like Spooks, Robin Hood, Berlin Station, individually as I prefer to re-watch them as a whole.  Spooks however is returning to the BBCiplayer,  now as a comforting salve of terrorism,  bombs and viruses,  to comfort the nation during the pandemic. I do love Series 7, Ep. 7, when Lucas is in Russia looking glorious. It is absolute perfection of an episode,  a nail-biting, thrilling, shocking mini film.

Credit: BBC

12. Your favourite kiss?
Hmm, which to choose? N&S obviously is one, but perhaps it is too respectful for me (RA’s kisses often seem to be chaste and reverential). I’m rather fond of ‘Pete’ and his  jawline when kissing Ros in Spooks …

Ros and Pete

but I’m going to plump for the snogs between Esther and Daniel in Berlin Station, which are passionate but often have a delicious undercurrent of ambiguity to them.

13. Favourite season finale?
I won’t be alone with this choice,  the North and South station scene. A magical, gut-wrenching, perfect conclusion, with sublime music. It is the Armitage scene that has the most emotional impact on me. Even my mother was crying and she had served during the WWII and never cried. She said afterwards, “Um, what’s the name of that actor, he was rather good!” Yes he was.


14. Most annoying character?
I don’t find any of RA’s characters really annoying. I didn’t like Craig’s jumper in Casualty, John Standring’s hat-ted hair in Sparkhouse or The Dreaded Beard in any of RA’s guises. Grumpy Thorin would be annoying if he wasn’t so majestic. Myopic drunken sad-sack Astrov is a near contender but then he is an environmentalist and looks beautiful in a waistcoat.


Perhaps this will count in terms of an annoying character. Something dreadful happened when I was watching episode 6 of The Stranger. When Adam went to visit Vicki, the teacher, he scratched his nose at the door.  I paused the screen to admire the magnificent Armitage downward glance and, the horror!, the freeze-frame had morphed the beautiful one into looking exactly like Mr Bean! It was the raised eyebrows as he looked up. Now I can’t un-see it. Even when I was watching his Astrov there was the occasional expression that suggested MB again. I beg you not to do the same!

That’s it for part one, thanks for reading. I’ll be back with the final 10 questions when I have the answers.

*I apologise if I’ve used any images without permission. I will credit where I can but I have no idea where some originated from. Please let me know if I have used any of your images and I will either remove them or credit.

The Voice – Richard Armitage speaks


Not only is Richard Armitage exceptionally beautiful but he is a great actor and a funny, decent, intelligent man. In fairness, with these attributes, he should really have a high-pitched squeaky voice, helium-gas high, to add balance. But he doesn’t. The heavenly one has a rich, labia-twanging timbre, a fantastic range from roar to whisper – and if that isn’t enough, he is a master of accents.


I have little snippets of him speaking on my iPod alongside my music. Every time I hear one I get a little frisson of delight – and here they are, so hopefully you will too.

Capture 1

Gasp at Daniel’s butterfly whisper of “We nearly had something, didn’t we?” from Berlin Station, series one.

Shiver at the understated menace of Raymond de Merville in Pilgrimage.

Capture 2

Thrill at bad-tempered Lucas’s Russian in Spooks series seven.

And sigh when Lucas has a cravin’.

Thrill as Richard gets his tongue round Old English [me, in my dreams] in the Lords of the North.

Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.

Gasp at creepy Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal, series three. Ooh! Goosepimples.

This is from one of my most cherished RA interviews. Richard is relaxed, funny, a sibilant seductive Flirty- Gertie, I love the southerny way he says,”No” and there are traces of north-Midlands too.

Here is the interview in full:

Richard Armitage says nothing

And my very favourite: I love the way he says nothing – or nothin’.

Update: And with much thanks to Anja who pointed me in the direction of a better nothing, here is a lovely northern example by our Lord of the North:

from the Lords of the North.

Tongue, Swordomy Swordery and the Lash? I don’t think I was supposed to be thinking what I thought when I heard this…

From Voices from History.

I’d love to hear your favourites.

Favourite Richard Armitage ‘In Character’ Images


In her recent Armitage Weekly Round Up, Guylty included a Tumblr  post from Fizzy Custard  of  favourite R.A. ’in character’ pics. Guylty asked ’Which are yours?’
There was a flurry of responses with gorgeous examples of the captured Richard Armitage:
Guylty’s own favourites
There may be more that I’ve missed.

So here’s my small selection of the Armitage characters I have lassoed and dragged to my lair. It veers off from the theme because I’ve included some screenshots, as these are some of my favourite stills of RA. I am also incapable of choosing just one of each. He is simply such an extraordinarily good-looking man who manages to look stunning in so many guises and somehow I seem to have hoarded over 4000 images of the man over the years.

Some characters are under represented here not because I like their look less, in fact they are some of my favourites, Mr Thornton, John Porter, Raymond de Merville, but because a static image doesn’t capture a shiver-inducing eye-glide or narrowing squint, glowering look or brooding head-turn. Others, like Guy, Lucas and Daniel equally make portraits of beauty.

Favourites also change with my mood but the following images consistently take my breath – and stop my heart –  the brooding, the bad and the beardless.

First up, insolent leather-clad Ricky Deeming. In one scene his look changes from a youthful and beautiful Burne-Jones-like fallen angel  to  an older knowing rather depraved looking individual, who is just as lovely.

Richard Armitage. Netgg42Image credit to the incomparable Abi and her amazing archive at

Next Mr T.  There are not many stills of John Thornton in my collection for the reasons given above but if I have to choose two …

IMG_20171010_072500So often Armitage is shot with his face half in shadow and with the light shining on his magnificent left orb.

The light catches his face by a window as if painted by Vermeer.

Now some Gizz porn. Guy oh Guy – what to choose? You naughty leather-clad man.

Pic 1: Exhausted, mean, sardonic, dissolute and devastatingly good-looking

Credit: BBC.
Pic 2: Bad, bad, and beauty rising

Pic 3: Has anyone looked more impossibly beautiful and noble? No? I didn’t think so.

As for Lucas …

Credit: BBC
Pic 1: I love his clear eyes, light and almost greenish in the Russian sun, the scornful look and disdainful smile – all the qualities of a handsome roguish hero.

Pic 2: One of my all-time favourites, from Series 9, Episode 2. There is something about him in this scene that struck me like a thunderbolt. It crystalises his unearthly beauty, there is his confident manner, the slight bitter smile and intense direct way he holds the eyes. His stillness. Gush.

Pic 3: Just for the opportunity to see Lucas close-up, pore to pore, and his becoming little frown.

John Porter next. Only one pic, although he is one of my favourite characters.
There is  something about him being animated,  as when he is tied on the cross and slowly moves his head, that just gets me. But  I love this cool look, his eyes just mean slits. The South African sun brought out a new quality in his eyes.

This is the honorary beard picture. Nearly all his other incarnations here are without that beastly appendage. I’m slightly mystified how people. fell for Richard Armitage through Thorin, what with his furry eyebrows, false nose, forehead and big beard, without knowing what gorgeous-ness lay beneath.  But he did have his moments, a penetrating look, a majestic head toss.tumblr_niug7bARb91sqzjkdo1_500
My favourite image was in the trailer for BOFA, which I’ve not been able to find in the film,  he looks blanched, bedraggled and bewildered but I love the fervent look in his eye.

Oh I suppose he is not bad here.

And one more bearded-pic,  John Proctor.Credit: Jay Brooks
This is isn’t one of my favourite RA character looks (blame the  beard). I’m including it here because his stare is so searingly powerful, intense and he has a look of such disdain that I feel discomforted looking him in the eye but it appeals to my masochist leanings.

I wouldn’t want to meet Francis Dolarhyde in real life but Mr Evil captivates me as a fantasy drool. Apart from always being drawn to the bad character, like a moth to a flame, from an early age, I’m not sure why Mr D appeals to me so much because he was so difficult to see in the murky Hannibal but these are my three favourites ..001
Pic 1: Evil but sexy. RA’s  powerful acting is evident by the sickness he conveys in those thrillingly chilling eyes.

Pic 2: Evilly stupendous and supremely  controlled in zipped-up leather.

Pic 3: It seems perverse that one of my favourites pics shows my beloved RA  slaughtered in character but I am mesmerised by the beauty of this image, not least because of the flashes of flesh shown.

Berlin Station left a lot to be desired but not with Daniel Miller in series one. Clean-shaven (natch) and the noir-ish quality of the cinematography  produced dazzling  supreme Armitage and I have high hopes for The Stranger, as he seems to have a similar look. I simply can’t pick just one of these four.DsqeJ9VX4AANZIwPic 1:  This image fascinates me: his defeated, past- caring insouciance, his man-spreading, the flaunted crotch. He just looks so cool – his watchful nemesis, Mr Cat, makes me laugh too.

7cf100ec3f702eb7b533cd602ccea1dePic 2He really suits a car, don’t he?

Pic 3:  I have a bit of a love- hate relationship with the up-turned collar. On one hand it looks affected but on the other, he looks so good. Again the shadows, black hair and one beautiful lit eye make a noir hero.

Pic 4: Smoking hot, oh god, slain. Any of the stills from this scene showing lounging, laconic RA in black trousers, smoking, would do.

And my very favourite pic of all time. I know he is not playing that sort of character but he is in character of some sort.Credit: David VenniThud

*I apologise if I’ve used any images without permission. I will credit where I can but I have no idea where some originated from. Please let me know if I have used any of your images and I will either remove them or credit.





We’re off to see the Dragon, the wonderful Dragon of RD5


Part one here
The day began with a terrible panic as I had lost my steward’s card and didn’t think that I could do my stint at the photo shoot. Luckily someone had handed it to one of the staff (which didn’t surprise me as the attendees were proving to be generous kind people).

The queues for photos with the guests started to form. I should have mentioned before that there were signs showing the guests’ names, indicating where people should queue. Seeing ‘Richard Armitage’ on the sign increased the anticipation, before he appeared, and I made sure to hover in his area of the room for my stewarding duties. Richard arrived, dressed similarly to before, apart from substituting his hoodie for a thin grey jumper, and took his position. But, WHAT!!!! He was now giving hugs (or arm contact anyway) to everyone he was posing with. I waved to Guylty, who was in the queue, and we then spoke excitedly about her impending hug but I still felt bitterly disappointed. What a difference a day makes. Then thought, sod it. I’ve spent so much money already, what would £45 matter. Luckily we weren’t busy so I abandoned my stewarding post and flew (I’m over 50 and over-weight, but I flew) to the other side of the hotel to buy another photograph and was just in time. Red-faced and puffing I joined the queue.

We were still told not to touch him, which contradicted his behaviour. This time I made eye-contact with a gimlet stare, so that I’d remember his expression (of resignation, no doubt), obediently stayed on my mark and my dream came true: my arm briefly round his pleather-clad , I think, waist (he felt surprisingly slight) and his hand lightly on my back. Afterwards I was tearful again. Ridiculous. What is it with this man? It was a glorious moment, a memory that will stay with me for a long time.  His change of mind/heart made me wonder what more he would have given if there had been a third day of photo shoots, a tango-style clinch or even a North & South-style snog perhaps.
Arm dream come true
I have mixed feelings about my consuming desire to touch and be touched by Richard Armitage, which overrode any consideration for his feelings – and much has been written already about Hug-Gate. Yes he is an experienced professional. He chose to do the Con, and presumably was well paid, but that doesn’t stop me feeling uneasy about participating in a paid transaction that he wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about – the beautiful reluctant ‘gigolo’ [Joke, joke, this is a joke. I’m not seriously comparing being paid to be photographed with fans to an act of prostitution, but then again – no stop.]

Richard gave another Q&A in the afternoon and he seemed more at ease. I had a couple of questions I wanted to ask and, as the queue wasn’t long, I joined it – without a qualm. This was an astonishing thing for me to do as I can be crippled by shyness and dread public-speaking.  That I felt confident enough speaks volumes for the non-judgmental, liberating, atmosphere at the Fannibal con, and it helped that no one knew me. The first question I considered seemed so convoluted (about RA getting into character of Dolarhyde during the Hobbit promo in China) that I knew I’d make a mess of it.  It turns out that I’m quite capable of making a mess of a simple question too. When my time came, I made eye-contact and asked him why, as Dolarhyde, he had signed the name John Crane in the Brooklyn Museum register.  A question  Guylty and I had been discussing beforehand. Was it his idea because he had played so many Johns before? For a moment he looked nonplussed and then said. “It was in the book, wasn’t it?”.  Someone in the audience shouted out that it was. Then RA chided, “I’ve read the book!”
Oh no, not another finger wagging!
Well I’ve read Red Dragon too and didn’t think it was John Crane, but couldn’t remember. I felt a right idiot. A wasted opportunity. When I spoke to Guylty afterwards, she said that it was Paul Crane in the book and she had been shouting this in the audience.

No rest for the Richard. After the Q&A, he and Mads had another autograph-signing session. It is obvious from comments RA has made in the past, that he believes in a strong work ethic. This was evident at the Con, in his patient, [stoical!], non-chatty, conscientious application of his duties and considered responses to questions.

I had two items to be signed by RA: the staggeringly sexy promotional photograph, sold at the Con, of Dolarhyde in his zipped-up black leather jacket and then Guylty’s creation, the Flat Ritchie log book, part of a wonderful fan project instigated by  her, which is travelling the world.

Queuing up for his signature, we were given pens to write our names on our autograph cards so that the guests presumably wouldn’t have difficulty spelling names etc. I toyed with the idea of writing ‘I love you’ after my name, in the hope that Richard would write it automatically without noticing (perhaps I should have written Paul Crane, ho ho).  He did anyway write an approximation of ‘Love’ for many of his autographs that weekend – it looks like ‘Lol.’ (Laugh out loud?). Presumably it’s illegible to avoid him being sued multiple times for breach of marriage promise.


Richard’s signature in the log-book seems to end in an ice-cream flourish

Beforehand, Kate and Guylty and I had discussed the best place for RA to sign the log. Kate sensibly suggested asking him to sign the back page as it was flat. I’ve just noticed that he signed the opposite page, avoiding the pretty patterned page.

I have alluded to the Wizard of Oz in the heading but I did feel like the Cowardly Lion approaching Oz, except that this wizard was a 6ft+ hunk not a wee man. I still tugged my forelock afterwards.

When my turned came, I passed the photo and log-book to RA’s minder for approval, expecting him to whip out a thick black marker pen and redact certain passages in the log. He passed the photo of Dolarhyde to Richard and I blurted out, “Please don’t write on your face,” my stupid sense of humour, which he sensibly but thrillingly (masochist me) ignored.  The following account was included in Guylty’s blog but, for the sake of completion, this is what happened when I asked RA to sign the log:

I wish I could recount an articulate and fascinating conversation with him. The truth is that, flustered as usual, I garbled something incoherent like “This is Flat Ritchie, he’s travelling round the world in a box. He’s been to the States twice and round Europe and we’re putting gifts in and taking them out’. He said “Ah, impressive” and then asked if he should address it to an individual or in general and I stammered, “An individual – no, in general”. I wish I had been collected enough to suggest a message. He was poker-faced,  eyes down, but when I said “It would mean the world to us if you signed it” (which he was doing anyway) he looked up and my heart stopped.

I was a bogus Fannibal at the Con. My reason for attending was solely to meet Richard so I didn’t seek out photo opportunities with the other Hannibal guests or attend many Q&As, but I did get Mads Mikkelsen’s autograph. He is a fine actor, fabulous as Hannibal, and I now admire him as a person. Watching him interacting with fans, his eyes and smile would stay on a person – even after they were walking away – and didn’t switch quickly to the next in line. The affection he showed to attendees was truly touching and he was such a good sport. When he was autographing my card, I was flustered with him too and muttered something like “You are so lovely and warm with the fans” (this wasn’t a  jibe at RA’s reserve) and Mads misheard and said “Yes, they are great” and shook my hand.

Mad’s autograph
My last sighting of Richard was at the closing ceremony. He was sitting, a picture of awkward handsomeness, not apart on a stage but at a table with the other guests, in a very crowded but happy room of Fannibals and Armitage-loving Hannibal imposters. Each guest gave a brief farewell speech. RA spoke of people coming together from all over the world, of the camaraderie, and how he was also a misfit. He gave a shout-out to an attendee dressed as the Vicar of Dibley and two jokers who had used hotel sheets to dress as ghosts, on his suggestion for a costume. Jeremy Knight had also praised the lateral-nature of the Fannibals. And he was right. They are a lovely, inclusive, warm and generous group.  I never for a moment felt too old, too awkward, too self-conscious (except in His presence). I met two lovely fellow fans Guylty and Kate, the latter I was able to witness literally walking on air after presenting a delighted RA with Jill’s Gymkhana to sign, and I made a new friend, Debbie, a fellow steward, bogus Fannibal, and long-time Armitage fan.

Whatever RA’s reasons for attending, he gave a wonderful generous gift of closer contact with fans (which I doubt was his most relaxing experience) and I’m so grateful. If this is a facetious, even carping, account of  three memorable days in February, it is because I am unable to master or channel my intense feelings, on seeing him in the flesh, and put them into sensible words. If Richard does appear at more conventions and you are tempted to go, can afford it and are able to travel there, don’t hesitate – and I highly recommend volunteering as a steward. It was an amazing experience, a rare opportunity to be near to and observe an Object of Desire for a prolonged time. I don’t regret a second of the adventure and am still in a state of bliss.