It was whilst reading a recent interview with Sir David Attenborough that I discovered the national treasure and everyone’s favourite surrogate Grandpa is actually a bit of a dirty old man who admits to thinking “ungrandfatherly” thoughts about 19 year-old girls, and enjoys being chatted up by 18 year-old girls on flights.
Well, hurrah for that.
Because whilst it’s all very well to think of Sir Dave as nothing more than a warm ‘n’ cuddly penguin botherer, my feelings towards him aren’t entirely familial. Because whilst I might be a little older these days than his ideal long-haul travel companion, I still have what might be defined as something of an inappropriate crush on the god of natural history telly.
And apparently, I’m not alone. Tweeting my thoughts about being chatted up by Sir D, I was cheered to find that he is by no means the most inappropriate crush out there, with other women admitting to a whole host of wrinklies. I’m absolutely not judging – frankly, how could I? – but it did give pause for thought that there are people out there who feel downright dirty things about Sir Patrick Moore. Ditto Lord Robert Winston (yes, Redhead: I’m looking at you). (Although, having looked at that little list again, maybe it’s just that we’re all suckers for a title?)
I don’t know what it is about Attenborough that makes him quite so appealing. Given he’s rather in his twilight years, I imagine it’s his immense intellect and talent, and the recently discovered eye-twinkle, rather than any perception of washboard abs (although if I had to pick one over another, intellect would win any day).
My other slightly odd crushes are much along the same lines: what I wouldn’t do for a cup of coffee with the luvverly Hugo Rifkind you could fit on the back of a stamp. And the less said about Bill Nighy the better.
Of course, not everyone is on board with the high esteem in which I hold Dave – or, more accurately, the reasons for it.
I must express some consternation, The Writer emailed, at the nature of your admiration for Sir Attenborough. It has brought our watching Frozen Planet (and subsequent, less television friendly activities) under new scrutiny.x