1. David Attenborough. Self-evident. He’s a crumpled guru of wonder, enthusiasm and joy for the whole natural world and everything in it.
2. Sherlock Holmes and his brother, Mycroft. “Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!”
“I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one’s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.”
“Come at once if convenient – if inconvenient come all the same.”
“I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.” [As an aside – I once used that line to my school Games Mistress. She was not impressed.]
3. Mr Knightley. Patient rather than pompous, unlike Mr Darcy 😉
4. Captain William Bligh. Yes, Bligh of the Bounty. He was much-maligned. His 3618 nautical mile (6701 km) voyage across the Pacific to Timor in an over-loaded open boat without a compass or sextant must rank as one of the greatest feats of navigation ever. Hats off to Billy.
5. My younger brother. Mostly because he responds with unflagging humour and unstinting generosity to three sisters, a wife and the World’s Most Useless Mother.
6. Jamie Oliver. Lisping crusader who believes The Great British Public will make the right moral choices if only they are fully informed about good, healthy food from good, healthy sources. See Jamie’s Fowl Dinners. I really hope he’s right.
7. Socrates. Because he stood by his beliefs, even though they meant his own death (thus illustrating that morality is independent of Christianity – which he pre-dated by 500 years – or indeed any other religion). Also because the Socratic method or elenchus which he developed – questioning in order to achieve insight – has proved an invaluable rational tool for two millennia. He was the anti-thesis of dogma.
8. Batman. Who doesn’t love a handsome billionaire playboy with a tortured soul and a dark side which involves black motorbikes, leaping off rooftops and rescuing damsels?
My Heroines to follow…