How did I miss this before today?? It's from the Radio Times Apr 29 - May 5, 2006..found in RA Central's library (see link below)
Me, a sex god? Asks Spooks star By Allison Pearson on 25th January 2010
Some rakish TV turns have earnt Spooks star Richard Armitage an army of female fans. ALLISON PEARSON went to see what all the fuss is about - and found him squirming with embarrassment.
How many women can you take to a Richard Armitage interview? Earlier this year, when I paid homage to the actor in my Daily Mail column, so many readers volunteered to come along and 'hold the microphone' that if I ever met Richard I would have had to rent the Royal Albert Hall to squeeze us all in.
'For me, his voice is like Bournville chocolate', sighed one correspondent. 'My hero', claimed several hundred others. One lady confessed she had got a dog just so she could exercise it in the park where she thought she had spotted Richard Armitage jogging. Ye gods. And there was me thinking he was mine, and mine alone.
It's a common delusion. Last Valentine's Day, Richard Armitage beat international stars such as Johnny Depp and Daniel Craig to become the winner of the Romantic Novelists' Sexiest Thing on Two Legs award.
No wonder. With his chiselled profile, manly intensity and velvety Northern baritone, the man is a god.
It was back in November 2004, that a relatively unknown 34-year-old from Leicester appeared on our screens as the tall, dark and thrillingly proud Victorian mill-owner John Thornton in Elizabeth Gaskell's North And South.
Within hours, the BBC's message board collapsed under the crush of breathless admirers.
Armitage's popularity spread..A website was set up in his honour
Richard's fans have remained deeply, in some cases quite barmily, loyal. Although many of us found it hard to stomach his murder of poor Maid Marion when he played the sensually sadistic Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood. Speaking personally, it was a blow that Armitage's MI5 agent, Lucas North, went through an entire series of BBC1's Spooks without a single smouldering look, let alone a decent love interest.
Is Richard Armitage a reluctant Love God? In truth, would this superb actor rather play Richard The Third at Stratford than have besotted women sending him [gifts]?
On a warm, late-summer's day I was sent to south-east London, to the set of the new series of Spooks, to find out..
So, Mr Love God, how would you describe your own romantic history?
He laughs nervously. 'Er, sparse.'
'OK, frugal,' he tries again.
FRUGAL? That's even worse!
'Sparing. Cautious. Careful,' he says carefully. When he looks at me, those pale blue eyes are glinting with merriment.
Did you know?
At the age of 17, Richard ran away to Budapest to join the circus..in order to gain his Equity card
Hell's bells, man. A sparing, frugal, careful romantic history. It's not very Sexiest Man on Two Legs, is it?
'No, it's just quite old-fashioned, that's all,' he says. 'I don't put it about. Never have. I'm a late developer in everything. I have a fast mind and fast metabolism, and I'm an intense worker, but in terms of life development I'm way behind.'
Not physically, though. In the summer he was 14, Richard shot up to six feet two over the school holidays. It was a shock. Suddenly, he was treated like a man. 'I've never been that cute kid that was forgiven for being naughty.'
Although he looked like an adult, inside he felt like a little boy. I think, to an extent, I still do. I'm ten years behind, but I'm finally growing into myself now,' he says.
Casting directors seem to agree. The work is flooding in. After the final scene of Spooks is in the can, he's off to South Africa to film Strike Back, a six-part SAS drama for Sky, in which he will play a traumatised soldier returning from Iraq.
'I feel like I'm clinging onto a ride that's getting a little bit fast and I daren't let go for a second.'
He admits ruefully that the live-in girlfriend he mentioned in previous interviews has recently moved out. A casualty, he implies, of such a fast-paced professional life.
Sitting opposite me in the lunchtime sunshine, with the film crew moving gear around us, he wears a black, close-fitting shirt over dark jeans. The stone he shed to play the part of Lucas North, recently returned from eight years in a Russian prison, made that imposing face appear more aquiline than ever.
He looked a bit peaky for my liking. Half the women in the country probably wanted to reach inside the telly and pull him out to give him a hotpot.
For this new series of Spooks, he has put some of the weight back on. He looks burnished and indecently handsome, although in his head he says he's still the geeky Richard that his mates got round to lay their laminate flooring when he was between acting jobs, which he was for so many years.
You know, I wonder if being a late starter isn't the key to Armitage's vast appeal. By the time we first clapped eyes on him as John Thornton, he was already a proper grown man, in sharp contrast to all those snub-nosed pretty boys who pass for movie stars these days. Richard Armitage reminds you of those calm, classic leading men of the 1940s and 1950s - the men with the depths below the still waters.
Lately, Richard has issued an apology to the Armitage Army for appearing to ridicule his more obsessive fans. I reckon he is grateful for their support..It's just that, like the nicely brought up lad he is, he finds all the attention a bit embarrassing.. It can't be easy for this faintly old-fashioned Northern bloke to find he is male totty. Status based on good looks feels undeserved, and Armitage is big on needing to earn what you get. Some of the vanity of his profession makes him wince. For example, he has a horror of walking down the red carpet.
He says he took the Tube to his first film premiere and was amazed to come round the corner in Leicester Square wearing his tux and discover that you were supposed to arrive by car.
'I don't think actors need to go on pedestals. I don't buy it,' he says. 'I think it's a weird thing. It's like you become someone else, like stepping into another universe.'
[Ricrar: I totally agree with RA about not putting all other actors on pedestals and I never have - if that other guy would just step down, I think our fav actor would fit quite well on one;]
(article continued) It's an odd complaint coming from an actor, whose job is pretending. But then Armitage has pretty ambivalent feelings about acting. He gestures at the bustle of activity going on all around us.
'I look at our crew and I sometimes envy all of them - I wish I was a focus puller or a lighting technician. Part of me can't work out why I'm still the gimp. I actually want to be the puppet master.'
There isn't a whiff of showbusiness in his background - he comes from a long line of miners and mill-workers. His parents were very conservative.
'My mum will not speak above a low whisper in public because she doesn't want to draw attention to herself,' he says. As a teenager, he rebelled against all that quiet conformity. 'I used to be angry at my parents for being like that. I spent a long time buying bright orange trousers, then regretting it and never wearing them.'
.. Richard took tap dancing classes from the age of four to correct pigeon toes.
He excelled at the cello and played in the Leicestershire youth orchestra..
Aged 22, he enrolled at drama school. It is at this point that he casually drops into the conversation that his best dance was the Argentinian Tango. Omigod. The thought of Richard Armitage doing the tango is too much to bear.. 'Go on, do some dancing for me. Pleeeaase.'
'You must be joking,' he says, that soothing baritone rising a few notes in protest.
But you'd be perfect on Strictly Come Dancing, I insist.
'One thing I can promise you is that you'll never see Richard Armitage on Strictly Come Dancing.' Why? 'Because Richard Armitage will never appear as Richard Armitage on TV.'
And there we have the conundrum. The all-singing, all-dancing star who hates the spotlight for its own sake.
The same man who was voted most desirable man in BBC drama is also the man who treated his online fans to a quotation from Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Scientists.
'To live and let live, without clamour for distinction or recognition; to wait on divine love; to write truth first on the tablet of one's own heart - this is the sanity and perfection of living.'
Quite a spiritual man, our Mr Armitage on the quiet. We were right to think he was a perfect gentleman. Not just a great looking man, but a good one too. He promises me that, this time, he has a serious romantic interest in Spooks.
'It's one of those affairs where Lucas knows he shouldn't be there. It's the kind of relationship that explodes and then there's the fallout.' Heaven.
Entire article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1218824/Me-sex-god-Spooks-star-Richard-Armitage-army-female-fans.html#ixzz1dggrMyz