In the process of my research today, I came across an article in the “Love and Relationships” section of the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette. This section has been a source of endless fascination for me, particularly as the tone often suggests that it might been written by a grumpy middle aged staff journalist with very little interest in romance … but that’s beside the point!
Today’s article (from the edition for 11th October 1996) was about kissing. More specifically it was a survey of who, where and how the great British public would most like to kiss. Unsurprisingly “My partner” came out as the top choice for both men and women (78% of women chose their partner as one of their top choices, but only 58% of men did!). It’s what comes next that is interesting. There are some obvious high scorers. Meg Ryan, Gillian Anderson and Elle McPherson all do well amongst the desirable ladies. But so, worryingly, does “My mum” who scored 24%, well above Naomi Campbell, Princess Di and Joanna Lumley!
Amongst the desirable males, Mel Gibson scores over 50% in the kissability stakes. He’s accompanied by other obvious choices like Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington, but after that, Michael Barrymore and Jarvis Cocker both feature (admittedly only rating 4% and 3%, but even so – what WERE you thinking, Gazette readers of 1996?)
For the ideal setting for that kiss, “in a Venetian Gondola” rates highly, shortly followed by at the top of the Eiffel Tower. No surprises there. But at 14%, there’s another surprising venue for that perfect romantic moment. Yes, “Wembley, at the cup final, as my team scores the winning goal.” Now THERE’s a romantic moment that I could use for my Boro book!
Or then again, maybe not.