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When I was little girl, my first crush was Liberace. I played piano and he was the only other person I’d seen on TV playing piano, so to an innocent seven-year old, it made sense.

I quickly moved on to Donny Osmond: in the seventies you fell into one of two camps, Donny or David Cassidy. It was almost a tribal thing and you almost never got a girl who fancied both.

Growing up I had passing fancies including B.A. Robertson and the gorgeous Peter Egan who was responsible for my initial interest in the regency period – did you see him as Prince Regent? *swoon*

But around the age of eighteen I found my lifelong crush: Cary Grant.

I had been raised on a diet of old movies. Both my mum and gran, who lived with us, loved the movies and I can remember watching enthralled by Shirley Temple, Deanna Durbin, Bing Crosby & Bob Hope ‘Road Movies’, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire…. But King among them all was Cary.

OK, I know that he is criticised for only playing himself in every movie, but when you have such a light touch, are such a phenomenal physical comedian, are king of the double-take and look as drop-dead gorgeous as he did, really, is that a problem?

I had a wall of my bedroom covered by framed 8”x10” glossies, procured from as many sources as I could. I went on a pilgrimage to Los Angeles when I was 25, just so I could stand in his footprints in the cement outside Mann’s Chinese Theatre. I named my dog after the character he played in The Bishop’s Wife, an angel called Dudley.

I still remember when he died. It was a Sunday and mum came through to wake me up. I just looked at her face, and I knew he had gone. The rest of the day was spent in tears, receiving calls of condolence from friends.

The truth is that while I adored Cary Grant, virtually worshipping the ground he walked on, I didn’t ‘fancy’ him. What I felt went way beyond that. Yeah, I know. I needed to get a life.

So, twenty years later along comes George Clooney who looks really quite like Cary. I mean, those eyes, that smile….. but I don’t fancy him. He just looks too much like Cary Grant to be fanciable.

Am I mad or is there anyone else out there who understands what I mean?
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