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Richard and the Armitage Crew (when do I get my crew tattoo?)

Yowza, it’s been a while since I last posted, luckily it was less than 10 days ago, so I can count that far, plus I have a pinky or two to spare.

My excuse defense is that I have been keeping myself busy with good RL stuff, but as I have failed as a blogger, I am humbly accept my punishment so I’m ready for my spanking Mr Armitage…

Today I shall start by write about one of my absolute favorite aspects of our little community of Armitage Admirers.

As I had mentioned before, due to my planned trip to see the thespian Richard Armitage in July, I’ve had to tighten the ol’ belt and couldn’t splash out on Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew by Bernard Hare until debts were paid off and London pocket-money (or rather a large sack, judging by how expensive that city is…) was safely tucked away waiting for July.


I must admit, with all the positive reviews of the book, it did very much feel like a kid with its nose stuck to the sweet shop window, but needs must and I was focusing on the greater good.

Turns out two beautiful souls ( you know who you are and, more importantly, I know who you are!)Β  gifted me a copy, so this sugar-starved snotty-nosed kid could dive right into the book, so thank you and I.O.U!!!

To continue with my annoying sweety metaphor,Β  I couldn’t stop devouring Hare’s book and it was so good it gave me literature diabetes…

I bet there have been dozens of posts written on the topic of Urban, both about the book, the film adaptation, Richard’s part and everything in between, so let me just offer a few random thoughts:

I’m was adamant that I wouldn’t really enjoy the plot as I’d be focused on the character that Richard plays, how prominent he is and whether he has any good lines etc.


Officially my favorite Chop pic to date!

Not to worry, Chop is the narrator, the part is plump and perfect for our Mr A- juicy, disturbing, heart-breaking and, at times, ridiculously tender.

Judging by the set pics, book Chop has been transformed from an overweight long-in-the-tooth boozer to a slimmer boozer with dodgy dress sense.

Ergo, just like beards started being hot right about the time Richard grew one, I’m betting grandpa-meets-second hand shop garb and dodgy hats will stoke our fires red-hot very soon.


This part is just what Dr AgzyM ordered as an antidote to The Hobbit madness and the fact that I’m actually getting my wish makes me think I should seriously play the lottery and maybe hit another jackpot.

Also, no spoilers, but there is a scene that involves dangerous water and Richard getting soaked, so yahoo! for us and bummer! for him.

And when I say water… well… maybe it’s not pure H2O, but then Porter stuck a Swiss Army knife up you-know-what, so let’s not get prissy…

For those who read the book and would like to delve deeper into the dark world of welfare benefits and estates and need a bit of context to understand Urban better, here are two recommendations:

I adore the first season of Shameless (UK version, not the US).

It follows the Gallagher family and other occupants of the fictional Chatsworth council estate in Manchester and stars the delicious James McAvoy (nuff said!).

You can watch it on YT, episodes chopped up into small mouthfuls:

You can also check out a 5-part documentary called Benefit Street, which follows people living on James Turner Street in Birmingham, where it is reported 90% of the residents are on benefits.


About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

19 responses »

  1. Oh Agzy, you are just the most entertaining writer. Love how you put all this – grandpa-garb and stoking fires *still laughing*. Minor niggles aside, I liked the book, too, and found it un-put-down-able. The downside of that is that my expectations for the film adaptation are high. And I will be particularly critical of it if there is even the slightest attempt at overplaying the (rather hard to suppress) physical attractiveness of the actor. The story has to work by virtue of its message – not by its visual appeal. (I have a nasty feeling that RA is going to miserably fail at that. Badly miscast.)

    • Fear not, my Lieber Freund! All the signs point to a faboosh adaptation. Firstly, I really do believe that the British can make a deep, thought-provoking film that doesn’t involve nudity and the odd explosion. This story is so good it merely needs to be told and it requires a great actor who will not stand in its way. I believe that Richard can do that.
      Secondly, I think we’ve seen bits of Chop in other RA performances- the rough Northerner, the gentle savage, the bad boy with a heart of gold. He won’t fail, I really do believe that. I think (or is it hope?) he is relishing the complexity of the character and I can just imagine him researching his cute butt off to play Chip. The part is so meaty, meaningful (and sometimes just plain mean) that I think it’s going to be a corker!
      Regarding Armitage being badly miscast, I can only say this: Thorin.

      • Casting errors pepper his career, tbh. “I’m too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts. I’m too sexy for Court’nay, too sexy for Mull’gan, my Chop and Thorin”. *ooof*

        • Yup, now that song will be playing in my head… the Guylty version, of course πŸ™‚

          • Sorry… Not. πŸ˜€

          • Honey, nowadays I wake up singing that song every morning. As in, I’m too sexy for 4.45am, too sexy to go running, too sexy by faaaar…. πŸ˜‰

          • That’s the spirit!! I might take that on tomorrow when I am -again – looking for an excuse not to go to the gym…

          • I have my sis to hold me accountable. I think she’d be upset if at 5am I didn’t show up on her doorstep, running gear on, iPhone in hand, earphones plugged in, but was instead catching some Zzzzzz. Emotional blackmail can be a wonderful thing πŸ˜‰

          • OMG, you are really going to whole hog, aren’t you? I must get my act together than. Can’t be shown up by Miss Agzy!!! o_O

    • well, Anna Friel doesn’t exactly the look the part either … i think that’s something we just have to put up with. I’m more worried about the film enhancing too much the “savior” aspects, but I’m hoping that b/c it’s a British film they won’t fall into a pathos that a US production might insist on.

      • I think “Chop” does enough enhancing of his saviour role in the literary original himself, as much as he keeps saying he doesn’t mean to overemphasise his role in the kids’ lives. That was one of the niggles I had with the book.

        • I see your point, although I actually thought he downplayed his part in the kids lives, in part because he couldn’t change that much about their circumstances and the outcome was far from revolutionary. And Chop is hardly a saint πŸ˜‰

          • I didn’t mind the fact that he was a fallible human. It was his repeated assurances that he *didn’t* want to overstate his influence on the kids that had the exact opposite on me.

      • Yes, casting Friel is puzzling. I actually had to check who she was playing as she didn’t fit any of the book characters. Open mind though πŸ™‚

  2. Great review and I totally agree about “antidote to the Hobbit.” Hope you win the lottery again!

    • It’s just really the direction I wanted him to go. I was seriously freaked out when it looked like he had his sights set on conquering the US. Don’t get me wrong, I wish all the best in his career but somehow I feel he’ll be better appreciated back home.

      • I’ve never thought it’s either / or, personally πŸ™‚ There are also great indie films with rough characters filmed in the US, after all. I like this project a lot, though.

        • That’s true, I guess I was thinking about him trying to get into blockbusters. What I wouldn’t give for a list of the parts he read for (and maybe some clips from the casting process?) and huff at the actors who did land the part (after all, Richard would have done a much better job).


    Hi, I’m a fairly new fan to Mr Armitage, absolutely loved him as Guy and was delighted with his long hair ‘Chop’ look. Loved the book, it was as hilarious as it was shocking, and I love the actor, Neil Morrissey who plays Chop’s friend Doc – two great looking guys together. As for Anna Friel as Greta, the book says she’s a six ft. tall formidable woman, but Anna blatently isn’t! However can’t wait to see the film. And I really hope they’ll make a D.V.D of the play ‘the Crucible’ this summer for all those who can’t get to see it. I’m really lucky. I have 2 birthdays as I’m going TWICE! Thanks for all the lovely photos you have of him. I’m obsessed!


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