Leading Man of the Year 2012

With perhaps some predictability, the two most popular posts ever on this blog are the Leading Men of the Year from 2010 and 2011 – clearly if blog hits are what makes you happy, just post pics of hot shirtless men 🙂 – heaven knows I won’t judge you! Also Mark Lawson says “critics…should be wary of parading their crushes in print” and the day I start taking his advice…

And so sure enough, here we have 2012’s entry in the canon of gentlemen who I’ve seen on the stage and who are somewhat easy on the eye. They’re not ranked in any way – I’m sharing their degrees of hotness so step inside with me and Nathan…

Mark Umbers


Umbers has the kind of classical handsome look about him that is endlessly watchable and though I would protest he is not my type, when I bumped into him in the Spar on Haymarket one night after a couple of sherbets, I got all giggly and ended up taking his hand and curtseying. Now, contrary to popular opinion, I don’t do this for just any guy. Now here’s a video of him being whipped shirtless if you like that kind of thing.


Henry Pettigrew/Phil McGinley
One for anyone who saw Straight either in Sheffield or the Bush. The photos don’t really do justice to just how erotically charged an atmosphere Pettigrew and McGinley managed to build as two ostensibly straight old uni buddies, testing the boundaries of their friendship and their sexuality. It didn’t harm things that they both looked good in their boxers too. Source


Kieran Bew


Although quite swarthy in King Lear, it was in After Miss Julie that Kieran Bew really grabbed my attention in his lovely white vest. His character may not have been the most gentlemanly, but there’s always room for a bit of rough isn’t there. Source
Will Young
There was the slightest hint of stunt casting in the air when Will Young was first named as the MC in the latest revival of Cabaret but he more than silenced critics with a superb performance and he’s a man who has really grown into his looks. I know for a fact he’s the guy my mother would most like me to bring home, but he’s still eminently fanciable.
Duncan Rock


Though the phrase ‘barihunks’ makes me die inside a little, there is no doubting that baritone Duncan Rock is more than worthy of the title.


Sam Crane
It’s complicated with Crane. I totally tumbled for his Gyllenhaal-esque tousled charm back in 2010 but since then his allure for me has waned a little – perhaps not helped by not being that much of a fan of some of the productions he was in… However, in an intimate production of The Shawl (having got the clippers out to go v short), his charisma was handsomely in evidence once again. Source 
Luke Norris
I have the feeling that Norris is soon due a big breakthrough: as an actor he has popped up all the place (including at the Royal Exchange where his handsome troubadour stole my attention), but also as a playwright, the Royal Court are nurturing him, so enjoy his talents now whilst they are still under-appreciated!
Paul Standell
A hot stuffy evening in the intimacy of the King’s Head had the temperature notched up several degrees more when Paul Standell was on the stage, as more often than not his stereotypical Tennessee Williams-beefcake role involved him also trying to cool down by removing his shirt.
Sam Swainsbury
Though others may lay a prior claim to him, I’ve long held a torch for the Swainsbury. And this has been an attraction that has been entirely honourable as he’s generally been fully-clothed in everything I’ve seen him in. Privates on Parade however saw the complete opposite of that and in finally seeing everything, I have nothing to complain about… 😉 Source
Russell Tovey
You can’t really argue with someone so generous in sharing their photos can you? (Follow him on Twitter for a constant treat).
As ever, this is just a festive treat: I’ve tried to name sources where possible but if you have an issue with one, then do drop me an email.

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