Good friends were in London this weekend, staying with other good friends, so a couple of us gatecrashed their lovely evening for curry and chat. It was the chat you have with people that you've known for twenty years that we craved, and it was this that we got.
After our food, when we were all stretched out around the room, groaning under the weight of our curry-filled bellies, Lorraine turned to Andy and asked him, "do you have a man-crush?"
"Ian Waite" said Andy, quick as a flash. The room fell silent for a fraction of a second, before we all shouted something. Ian Waite, for the uninitiated was one of the professional dancers on our Strictly Come Dancing. Usually, when he's on the telly-box, he is clad something like this ...
Andy said, in defence of his quick answer, that he had previously discussed the man-crush / girl-crush thing with colleagues, so had already given the matter some consideration. Still, the answer tripped a little too quickly off his tongue, don't you think?
Why, you might ask, did Lorraine think to ask such a thing? Well, it's because her husband, Simon, has developed something of a man-crush himself. He is smitten with Nigel Barker, a judge on America's Next Top Model, and fashion photographer. He is not someone who I was aware of, so we googled him, and decided that Simon had good taste. In fact, Angela went as far as to say, "oh yeah" in her don't-mind-if-I-do voice.
Simon felt the need to clarify something though. "Don't get me wrong. If he came in here and asked me, I'd probably still say no." Did anyone else notice the use of the word, "probably"? We all did...
Naturally, we turned our attention to Mark next, and mercifully his answer, at least, was not on the tip of his tongue. He thought about it long and hard. There was a lot of head scratching, and, at last, the votes having been counted and verified, he gave us his decision. Guy Pearce. A quirky choice, I think, and not someone who'd be in many people's top tens, but look at him?
Mark's right. He is quite a hottie. We do still think that Simon has the best taste in men, but I think Mark is a close second. I wonder whether it was his performance as Mike in Neighbours, King Edward in The King's Speech, or Felicia in Priscilla that sealed the deal where Mark is concerned.
It would be unkind, I think, to hang the boys out to dry, without telling you that, of course, we three girls gave it some thought too. Angela admitted that she used to have a thing for Cheryl Cole, but that she didn't any more. I'm not sure what it was that CC did to lose Angela's love, but lost it she has. "It's really always been Natalie Portman," she declared. It was said in such a matter-of-fact way that I wondered whether, in fact, we didn't all secretly slightly love her ourselves. I mean, she's very beautiful, talented, strong moral values, good balance between Hollywood glamour, and girl-next-door charms. Perhaps she's the perfect girl for us all.
"I think, I'm going with Billie Piper," said Lorraine. Again, attractive and yet down-to-earth. Another good choice I'd say. and, as we speculated, she's bound to have learned a thing or two filming Secret Diary Of A Call Girl (a role which has, I understand, earned her the dubious title of Britain's Best Loved Prostitute. Her husband must ooze with pride). Anyway, it can't be denied that she'll have a trick or two up her sleeves, so I say nice choice Lorraine.
And me? Who shall I have for my girl-crush? Well, I also toyed with Cheryl Cole, and then, at the opposite end of the spectrum, Helena Bonham Carter, but I settled, in the end, for Claudia Winkleman. I don't know why. The reckless combination of posh and a bit mental? The extravagant and supremely fabulous use of vast amounts of eye liner? The carefree manner of saying exactly the words that are passing through her head without a care for the fact she's on the telly? Who knows. But I do know that, if I have to chose just the one lady-love, then for me, it's the Winkle.