Your Favourite – a difficult challenge

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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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9SZaOJEWXU

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

Credit https://meandrichard.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/guyhorse.jpg

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.

Meeting the Richard Armitage DistRAction Challenge – part two

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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?

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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 .

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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.

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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

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But then again ..

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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

Lucas

uvm3ryt

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Credit: north-and-prejudice.tumblr.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZKm3_QGwI8

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

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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:
Esther 
Guylty’s own favourites
Mezz 
Widoedm53 
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 richardarmitage.net.

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.

Credit: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/hindouxmichelin/north-south-s%C3%A9rie/
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.

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

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

Credit https://meandrichard.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/guyhorse.jpg
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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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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.