A few months ago Yarnstorm conducted a poll on the comparative merits of Mr. Grant and Mr. Peck. The choice was between the smooth, suave, ultra-sophisticated Cary
and the deeper, darker, horn-rimmed Gregory. I can't remember now who won but I voted for the latter. His most famous role, Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, was influential in my choice of career, such is the power of films and books.
Though few men have ever been, as it were, pinned to Cornflower's wall, Mr. P is not the only one to have made the heart beat faster. My teenage self fell for the unlikely romantic hero Pierre Bezukhov in "War and Peace", first on the page then in the form of Anthony Hopkins in the television adaptation. I wrote to Mr. H asking for advice on going into the acting profession (crazy as it seems now, at one time I wanted to go on the stage). To my immense surprise and delight, he took the trouble to write me a two-page letter in reply. I still find him an intriguing, fascinating man.
I had a crush on Melvyn Bragg for a while (I am amused to recollect) and once hung around outside his house hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Tom Conti was another.
But who would make your ideal companion, and have you ever actually met them? Are they alive or dead, fictional or real, and what is it about them that excites? Do the passions of our younger days endure, or do we move on, grow up, our tastes changing with age and insight? I'm still Gregory's girl, but ........