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Age-old attraction

By Jane Graham

Published 28/01/2012

As a technique for long-term telly survival, the 'will they won't they' storyline is a classic that never fails. So it's no surprise the makers of Lynda la Plante's Above Suspicion, now on its fourth series, have gone for it.

This one's raised a few eyebrows though. With the two actors in question being craggy, frowny-faced old Ciaran Hinds and young, sexy, bushy-tailed Kelly Reilly, some are cruelly suggesting it's more a case of 'well obviously he would but why the hell would she?' Hinds himself seems to agree, defining his character's dilemma in a recent interview as being torn between being a father figure and wanting to 'f***' his young but clearly interested colleague. 'What's wrong with her?' he asked, echoing some viewers' sentiments.

I have more faith in Hinds' appeal than he does. There's a certain kind of older man, a mixture of grizzle and wisdom, an authority figure with a glint in his eye, which many women can't resist.

Throw in a hint of sexual naughtiness and a bundle of wit, some grey hairs and wrinkles (vanity is the ultimate turn-off) and what do you have? George Clooney, Jose Mourinho, even the 77-year-old Leonard Cohen - all men who have improved with age. The Irish have always turned out such men - Daniel Day-Lewis, Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Van Morrison (only one of those is a joke). Hinds should relax and count his lucky stars that women don't just see between the lines, they adore them.

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