Armitage DistRAction Challenge #1

Guylty has a new Armitage distraction challenge up on her blog and in these times of home isolation due to the Corona virus I have a little bit of extra time. I started this yesterday evening, work has slowed down a bit today, so, yeah, I can’t resist finishing this post now. Here are the questions…


For a moment there I thought: do these all have to be Armitage related? Because otherwise for question 1 the first answer that pops up in my mind is Anne with an E; I’m still fervently hoping for a renewal there! But yeah, I guess this is an Armitage challenge, so I’ll just stick to Richard. I’ll be doing this in two parts, as most questions aren’t that difficult for me and I can do quite quick answers.

1. Which series would you like to have seen a sequel of?
I think that would be The Vicar of Dibley for me. Harry and Geraldine had such a whirlwind romance and wedding, I so wonder how they would settle in to life together! I’m sure there’s enough comedy to be mined there.

2. Which film/series do you think is underrated?
Hmmm… seriously, I think that would have to be North & South. While it is loved and very popular for many, I don’t think it has become the household period drama name that it should be. For me it should be up there with the legendary 1995 Pride and Prejudice. People in my real life will have heard of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy but no one I know in real-life has heard of Richard Armitage as John Thornton (except for a few real-life friends & family I have told about Richard and fandom friends).

3. Your current favourite show?
I think I’m still stuck on North and South for this one too. It’s the show that converted me to Richard-ism and while Richard has done some really great things since and I love his acting, I think N&S still remains my fave. Everything came together in that one for me: period drama, social issues, great characters and a heart breaking love story with a wonderful conclusion.

4. What’s your favourite episode of your favourite show?
Episode 4 of North and South. It has everything.

5. Least favourite episode of your favourite show?
I don’t know! Parts of North & South episode 2, possibly, that I sometimes fast forward?

6. Which question would you like RA to answer in a Q&A?
Dear Richard Armitage, how about an off-beat (romantic) comedy for a change with you as a sympathetic lead? I really don’t think you’re too severe/scary for that. Or anything a bit light-hearted, really, that doesn’t involve spying or murder or war (I still mourn the loss of Rockin’ Richard). These moments from Ocean’s 8 convince me you’d do it beautifully:

Yours sincerely, Esther.

7. What’s the best scene ever?
Look back at me… my heart broke and it was that moment when I definitely fell in love.

8. Which audiobook would you like RA to read?
Yeah, I think most readers here will know by now that audiobooks aren’t my thing. It’s great that he does them but, for me, he doesn’t need to and I have no preferences. I do like pictures such as these, though! So, for that alone, he can do all the audiobooks he likes as long as Audible keeps on releasing pictures of Richard reading.

9. Which show did you think you wouldn’t like but you did?
I can’t ever watch it again because it is too bloody and brutal for me, but that would have to be Hannibal. I was surprised at how good I found Richard in that and the story, though gruesome, was good too.

10. Which show did you think you would like but didn’t?
Into the Storm. I kept on comparing it to Twister, which I did like at the time, and Into the Storm just fell short for me. Also, Richard’s American accent really felt off to me.

11. Which episode did you watch more than 5 times?
All North & South episodes, Richard’s Vicar of Dibley episodessome parts of The Hobbit, some of series 1 Strike Back, parts of The Crucible. I think I’d do re-watches of Urban and the Shed Crew as well, if it ever becomes available to the wider public!

12. Favourite kiss?
I think, going by previous answers, you can guess?

But I loved The Crucible kissing too!

13. Favourite season finale?
Sounding like a broken record here, but yeah, North and South. See above, question 4.

Yes, there is a big lack of Robin Hood, Berlin Station and Spooks. None of them were bad (although BS season 3 was), but none of them could ignite my fire either. Also no mention of  The Stranger.  It was a show I liked well enough, more than the other three I just mentioned, but I can’t completely fall in love with it, due to too many red herrings and the ending feeling a little off to me. I am craving something new of Richard’s that I can totally fall for. Urban and the Shed Crew came pretty close (despite imperfections), but I only ever saw that the one time at the Newcastle International Film Festival.

Part two of this challenge will follow in time. 🙂

*Thud* !

There’s a trailer for Richard’s latest audiobook that is just… wow… see for yourself…

It almost makes me want to listen to audiobooks… Now, if only this were a trailer for a TV show or a movie, I’d be so excited to actually see this! I especially love that last little look Richard gives at the very end right before he turns away. Seriously, it made my heart miss a beat…

RA lost daughters trailer 01RA lost daughters trailer 02RA lost daughters trailer 03RA lost daughters trailer 04

And then these two photos were released, which I think may be right up there with the best pictures ever taken of the man!



I loved the earlier pictures that were released, of Richard on the beach, but these are even greater! I was wondering what made me love these images so much, and then read Servetus’s little analysis – she has really hit the nail right on the head! A man of experience and a certain maturity, who has lived, is looking at us in a penetrating way – yep, catching my breath again! The second picture has a slight edge over the first one for me, but both are just thud-worthy!

And here, a lovely gif of Richard in the same outfit, taken from a video in which Richard meets the author Joy Ellis. Servetus, notice the boots… 😉

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, I was at the cinema enjoying a ‘ladies’ night’ showing of Ocean’s 8, a week before it starts showing regularly in the cinemas here.


It was not quite as funny as I thought it would be, but it really was fun! I agree with some other reviews I have read, that Sandra Bullock, but especially in my view Cate Blanchett, should have been used more and Anne Hathaway as well. In fact, I felt all of the ladies could’ve been used more. And Richard Armitage too! Maybe I needed the movie to be longer… 🙂

There was even a tiny scene with him pretty much wearing this…

RA insta O8 inspiration 4-6-2018

Richard’s role isn’t huge, but he does really well, especially at the end. I saw subtle comedy in him in his last few scenes that I have never seen him do before; the expression on his face at the end made my friend and me laugh out loud. I yearn to see him do more of that! He certainly was a little weasel in this… Yep, I’ll go watch this again, gladly, once it’s in the cinemas here properly. I need to study it all in a little more depth… 🙂

Richard’s back to making me smile…

Richard Armitage has been really busy these past few days on Twitter and Instagram and it has been making me smile.

There  was a touching thank you to everyone who supported the LOROS hospice fundraising in memory of his mum…

RA thanks for LOROS 5-6-2018

Over £10.000,- (!!) has been raised for the hospice that cared for Margaret Armitage in her final days! It is still possible to donate here.

He’s also been retweeting a lot of Ocean’s 8 promotional material, which I won’t repeat here. I do love the tweets with personal comments, though! He posted his inspiration for his role as Claude Becker in Ocean’s 8 (the second idea really made me laugh!) and ended with a little cheeky reference to James Corden

RA insta O8 inspiration 4-6-2018RA insta O8 inspiration2 4-6-2018RA insta w JC and dogs 4-6-2018

… and he shared some dad jokes (his own dad’s jokes) which really made me smile…RA dad jokes tweets 6-6-2018

He explained a ‘man-free’ comment in an interview on his part in the female Ocean’s 8

RA on being part of female O8 7-6-208

(the interview is here). I love how he observes in that interview:

“Calling Bullock the “driving force” behind the franchise revival, Armitage applauded Ocean’s Eight for portraying a team of women who work together rather than against each other.
“They collaborate with each other, enjoy each other, have fun with each other,” he said.
“At no point are they pitted against each other, which I think is really great and unusual, because often writers like to see women fighting with each other and bringing each other down.”

That comment makes me even more curious than ever to see Ocean’s 8 myself! I also enjoyed reading how he loves working with Julie Delpy on My Zoe right now…

RA Julie Delpy 7-6-2018

Richard championing women makes me smile as does his quirky sense of humour like when he went on to connect World Ocean’s Day to the Oceans movie…

RA insta world ocean's day 7-6-2018RA ocean's tweet 7-6-2018

He gushed about Anne Hathaway who apparently really made him laugh…

RA Anne Hathaway tweets 8-6-2018

(I’m very curious about the vegan soup thing) and yesterday he shared a tweet of himself during filming My Zoe with brown eyes…

RA brown eyes 8-6-2018

Gotta say, those brown eyes suit him! As a girl I always wanted to have brown eyes myself, they are so much warmer than the blue-green eyes I have.

It’s been a long time since Richard has made me smile on social media, since he has showcased a bit of his humour like that, and I’ve gotta say I’ve been loving it. And Ocean’s 8 is apparently good fun too, so I’m looking forward to seeing Richard be part of that fun when I go see the movie next Wednesday! Offical release for the movie here in The Netherlands is June 21st but it’s showing as a ‘Ladies Night’ feature in several cinemas here next Wednesday…

O8 ladies night

Tickets are booked, I’m going with a friend and am very much looking forward to it!

Armitage goodies…

Ocean’s 8 promos are gearing up, which means there’s a trailer out there where we actually get a little snippet with Richard’s voice (at 0:36) and a very short sexy glimpse of Anne Hathaway straddling Richard Armitage (at 1:42)…

I’m really liking the look of all these great women in this movie, I’d have gone to watch it anyway. Having Richard Armitage join this amazing cast of women is an added bonus!

There’s a first Ocean’s 8 interview with the man, it looks to me like it was filmed while or just after he was filming his part last year…

Is it the lighting, or just me, or is it a truth universally acknowledged that he looks very pale here? I do very much like the suit and the shirt, open at the neck; it throws me back to this for some reason…

Besides Ocean’s 8 stuff, a clip appeared of some outtakes of the BBC series The Impressionists that Richard did back in 2006, playing the role of Claude Monet. Some lovely moments and Richard-grins in this video!

I’d seen other outtakes before but there are extra ones here. Such fun!

Last but not least: my hair is starting to show grey streaks more visibly, as is Mr Esther’s, and when I came across this picture of Richard recently with his hair greying at the sides, I felt an immediate connection and a flush of warmth and endearment. I also quite like him in that outfit, the sweater makes him look cuddly in a way.

RA grey

A lovely image to take with me as I head for bed in a few minutes… 🙂

RA Christmas message & Ocean’s 8

Richard Armitage has tweeted his latest Christmas message. In case the tweet disappears at some point, here’s the full text (click on images to enlarge):

My first thought? “Aw, bless, it’s a gospel according to Richard again!” I like to hear from him but this message gave me mixed feelings. It felt preachy to me and seemed vague in areas, it made me want to ask him what he meant exactly in certain passages. Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised, I often get that sense of “what is it you are saying exactly?” when he writes one of these longer messages. Also, I wasn’t too fond of the ‘setting rules’ bit, I’m not a child that needs to be taught how to interact socially. Urging everyone to be good to each other and donating to charities is a beautiful thing, setting rules (often taken as gospel) is quite another. However, as always, I do feel Richard’s good intentions and warmth shining through. He’s a really good guy at heart and I love that. His desperation over the state of the world shines through as well in this message, a desperation I feel as well… in that sense I feel connected to him. I just wish he was a little less preachy about it all. Actually, reading this message makes me feel a little like Richard himself in this The Vicar of Dibley image…

DIbley wedding

… a little exasperated at what the preacher has to say, but still happy enough, and let’s get on with it, shall we? My fave thing I learned from his message this year is that his phone pings every time a donation is made. 🙂

Anyway, moving on: we have a new trailer for Ocean’s 8 with quick glimpses of Richard here and there:

I’m really liking it and for the first time I am really getting curious about the movie now. Such a great cast and I’m talking about the women here! Richard is a lovely added bonus. 🙂 I also like the poster:

Oceans8 poster

I’m starting to look forward to this one: great women and Richard thrown all together into one movie, it should be fun!

Miranda - merriment

Bring it on!