A glimpse at young Armitage

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Eurovision Song Contest 2002

Image via Wikipedia

I am always on the lookout for anything new (or at least new to me) in information or photos  re Mr. Armitage. While browsing through “Richard Armitage photos” on Google Images the other day, I found this pic. Naturally, I was  curious about the young woman in the photo and did some further investigation.

She is Veronica “Roni” Hart, a native and current resident of Huddersfield, England. Roni performs with her friend Philip Cluskey, also known as “Often” as part of the musical duo “Little & Often.” Roni, a dancer since the age of four, has a background in theatre and performed in a number of stage productions, including Cats, Hair and Annie Get Your Gun. She once appeared at the Eurovision Song Contest. I am guessing her connection to Richard is likely performing together in Cats or AGYG–  but I can’t say for certain. What I can say is this picture is in a gallery on the website, with lots of pics with “Little” and/or ” Often” posing with various celebrities. I think Richard is the only name I recognized.

If you want to know more about Roni and Little & Often, pop over to their website at www.littleandoften.net.  Doesn’t Richard look like a darling? And that’s one big-a** mug of beer.

A photo from Roni Hart's website. Roni is an entertainer who appeared in West End musicals in her younger days, including "Cats."

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

48 responses »

  1. He’s so cute! Maybe I’m reading too much into the photo but doesn’t he look like he had a bit of a crush on her? 🙂 As for the beer, “boys don’t buy it, they rent it” according to Dawn French! 🙂

      • Can’t blame him, she’s radiant! 🙂 Well, who wouldn’t be in Richard’s company? Even if he’s drinking beer (sorry, I hate beer). Kissing someone who’s just had a beer is NOT nice.

        • Beer breath is mild compared with smoker’s breath!!!! I hope Servetus doesn’t see this – she went right off at me because I said it was awful to have to kiss a smoker.

          As soon as I spot a cigarette near a man, he loses any attraction he might have had for me.

          I married a smoker a million years ago but he gave it up as a young man for health reasons, thank the Lord. He can’t stand to be near smokers himself anymore and is just as sensitive to cigarette smoke as I am!

            • Luckily, I was totally enamoured of Richard for many many years before I saw that photo from behind the scenes of “North & South” on RANet!!!! I’ve never seen any other photos of him smoking, have you? Hopefully, he realized what damage he was doing to those magnificient lungs before it was too late.

          • Kathryn, I have never kissed a smoker myself (I don’t think I could) but my best friend has and she says it is NOT good at all! I hope and pray Richard’s given up on the ciggies! Both my parents were heavy smokers so I grew up inhaling cigarette smoke. My dad died of a heart attack at the age of 54, which may or may not have been related to his smoking habit,I’ll never know…But I could never be with a man who smokes.

          • Hi Judit,

            I’m sorry I went on a bit about smoking.

            I also grew up in a house of smokers; luckily my ex gave it up in 1974. After our marriage broke up in 1982, he went on to marry a smoker 6 years later and he used to complain to me about Judy’s smoking when we were swapping the kids from one house to the other!!!! LOL – I could never work out what he wanted me to do about it!

            I visited the UK and continental Europe in 1997 and I was totally shocked that people still smoked in public places – even in the lifts/elevators! Luckily, on my Trafalgar Coach tours, i was placed on coaches containing other Australians, New Zealanders, plus a few Americans and Canadians – our countries had adopted the “no smoking in public buildings, buses, trains, etc.” quite some time before it caught on in Europe.

            I left England a few weeks before Princess Di was killed in 1997 – we’d had seat-belt laws since the 1970s!!! I can’t remember when the Americans finally got around to it but it was long after Australia and New Zealand did.

            So much for the Antipodes being way behind the times!!!

            • I grew up with parents who were both smokers at the time and I was plagued with sinus and allergy problems. I remember not being able to stand being in an enclosed space with someone smoking because I would feel myself choking as my throat started closing up. Only later did I find out I was specifically allergic to tobacco. So, no, I am not a fan of smoking. And giving my allergy problems, I could never be in a relationship with a smoker.

              I am very glad that ordinances are in place in our area preventing smoking in public buildings and that many restuarants have opted to go smoke-free. Having done a lot of work with the American Cancer Society in our county, I know the ugly statistics re the toll smoking can take on not only the smoker but those routinely exposed to second hand smoke. I have an aunt who lost one of her lungs to cancer and she had never smoked a day in her life. But her husband HAD.

              I do understand some people don’t smoke on a regular daily basis but just as a tool of socializing. And an amazing number of actors do seem to smoke–a way to relieve tension? Some who have to smoke heavily on camera resort to cigarette substitutes. I found it sort of amusing the Cigarette-Smoking Man on the X-Files was a non-smoker who had to resort to the phony cigarettes.

              Anyway, I am not condemning smokers, there are a lot of people I like who do smoke, but I can’t lie and say I don’t wish they would give it up. Of course, as a meat-eater, I am certain there are vegans who wouldn’t want to be around me because they could smell the meat on my breath. 😉 Or really skinny people who would object to my presence because I am not a size 4. Ah, it’s a delimma.

              Anyway, Richard has smoked for several roles-Ricky, Monet, Percy, right off the top of my head–but I like to think he’s given it up in his private life.

          • Kathryn you can go on about smoking as much as you like, I for one completely agree with you! 🙂 Thankfully, as of April this year a smoking ban will be implemented in restaurants/pubs/bards here in Hungary! Yay!!! We’re finally catching up! Better late than never, eh? As for Richard, he had to train so hard for his roles in the past few years, had to also watch his diet obviously, so I just can’t see where smoking would fit into that lifestyle. I know for a lot of smokers (including my sister) having a fag is a tool for stress relief (the more tense my sis gets the more cigarettes she smokes!) but surely regular and intense exercise can serve the same purpose? Hopefully it does, in RA’s case.

          • re smoking, he does a weird thing of breathing a special mixture of air in NZ to improve his fitness (altitude training), that would really be wasted money and effort if he would still smoke.

          • Forgot to add, given that Gerard Butler had just been to rehab for addiction to painkillers which I’m pretty sure is an euphemism, whether or not Richard smokes is the last thing I worry about.

          • Sorry, ladies – I do get carried away sometimes so I sound very intolerant at times.

            I’m sure you realize that I have plenty of vices – I love barbequed chicken and chips and could just about eat that every day! I think I have become almost addicted to some takeaway foods and that’s a hard enough habit to break.

            I used to buy a 2 litre bottle of Coke on the way home from work and I’d polish that off by myself in less than 2 hours – 8 full glasses! I gave up Coca Cola on a regular basis only a year ago – I’m 65, so I’d had 50 years of the bloody stuff! Can you imagine the withdrawal symptoms?….. and they really do happen, believe me!

            What I find so amusing is that I buy a 600ml Coke if I have lunch when I’m doing my grocery shopping……and I CANNOT finish it! I waste at least half because I now can taste how dreadfully sweet it is!

            • I have to have a Coke with lots of ice most mornings to help settle my stomach, but I do know how easily one can get carried away with the stuff. I had a co-worker who was a caffeine addict and he could finish off a six pack of Mountain Dew (a citrus soda with a very high caffeine count) in a very short time.

        • I get protective when people criticise RA for possibly smoking. There are a thousand things that would be a greater “sin” and a bigger put-off for me. Alcohol and drug abuse among other things. As long as he doesn’t smoke in my presence but goes outside, I don’t have problem with it. I think one also has to consider when he and I grew up, smoking was considered cool, it was a must if one wanted to be accepted by the cool kids. I bet many people started smoking because of that!

          • I will love him no matter what, smoking will not make me love him less, it just might make it hard for me to spend time in his presence if I ever had the unlikely opportunity due to my extreme allergies. 😉

            And I didn’t mean to start a war here when the topic came up, ladies. I hope it’s clear it’s my very personal take as someone who has physically suffered due to smoking and who has seen the damage it can do to one’s health, that I would prefer the people around me don’t smoke because I care about their health as well as my own.

            I also prefer that the people around me don’t drink and drive or abuse drugs, legal and illegal, because I know all too well the horrific damage these habits can cause, the lives that are lost and forever changed. I hope I never have to talk to another parent who has lost their teenage son because he was a passenger in a car driven by an underage kid under the influence. Or discover the ER doctor on call at the local hospital was drunk.

            Yes, a lot of young people start smoking (and drinking and drugging) because it’s the in thing or the cool thing or they just want to rebel. They also tend to think they are invincible and will live forever . . . I did.

          • The reason I brought up smoking is because I worry about his health. I know of quite a few people who have died from lung cancer, including my best friends father just 11/2 years ago. He had given it up years ago but it killed him in the end. It was very difficult for us to watch him suffer through it. My cousin died about 4 years ago from lung cancer. He insisted on smoking while dragging along his oxygen. Those are just a few of the people who have died from this horrible addition. When I saw him smoking it made me very sad and concerned about his health. I literally wanted to write him and tell him to stop. (It worked with my Dad, thank God!) Then I got a grip on myself. I’m sorry if anyone was offended but there it is…

            • Laurie, you need never apologize here for expressing your genuine concern for the health of a fellow human being. I know all too many people who have lost their lives ultimately to smoking. And in some cases it is a very long and painful death. And even after being diagnosed and knowing what it is doing to you, to not be able to quit is heartbreaking to see. I remember when we were living in Rapid City SD where the winters can get very cold indeed and the wind is always blowing. Sometimes when visiting the base hospital in the winter you would see people in their hospital gowns, hooked up to IVs, standing out there in the freezing below-zero cold just so they could smoke a cigarette. And that made me sad. I am strangely glad in a way that I do have this allergy as I was never, ever tempted to smoke, not even once.

      • He looks like he could use the carbs, too. He looks such a sweet lad in this picture, and he has that way of looking delighted at the person he’s with, even then.

  2. He looks very young. I would love to know what year this is. And he does like his beer. But, I agree with Judit, Yuck to beer and beer breath!

  3. Funny, that you’d choose a ESC logo from 10 years ago, when my country hosted it, after winning with quite a cheesy but catchy song in Denmark a year before. I still think our clips are the best ones I’ve seen, even after 10 years of other hosts!

    As for the picture, he looks rather shy, but still lovely!

    (my first comment on your blog, but I just had to say the thing about the ESC logo)

    • Welcome, Salakon!

      Wikipedia offers an image gallery based on the contents of your post, so they had a number of Eurovision logos. I chose this one because I liked the colorful design the best. 😀 Yes, I think he looks a shy, but still that sweet, lovely fellow we adore.

    • He’s very attractive on that pic but what in the name of God is he wearing?:D The man didn’t exaggerate when he said he had no dress sense! Sorry RIchard, I still adore you darling! 🙂
      I read somewhere that he had a girlfriend who was a dancer maybe it was Roni?

  4. Nice photo (which I did already see before…did I just admit to searching the Internet for photos of him…probably!) The beer looks like a pint, which is a standard size. All beer is in UK pubs is served in pints or half pints, unless it’s bottled.

  5. Pingback: Legenda 17: Stuff worth reading « Me + Richard Armitage

  6. I know that I am late on this thread.

    I love Richard Armitage no matter what, but I am not going to defend his smoking if he still does it. I don’t think that loving someone means that you make excuses for them when they are doing something that is not good. Smoking is not a good habit and it is horrible kissing someone who smokes. Besides it being bad for your health it also gets into your curtains and furniture. My parents never smoked but I have been in the homes of people who smoke. Smoking is actually a deal breaker for me in dating and Richard would not be any exception. I would still love and support him but no can do for him being my man as a smoker. If I did that then I might as well just give up all of my core standards too. Loving a man does not mean losing yourself. I would simply have to love Richard from afar. I sure hope that Richard has stopped smoking just for his health.

    Beer breath is awful too and so is coffee breath. Try standing in front a someone who just drank a cup of coffee AND had a cigarette…major yuck.

    The photo is lovely and I wonder what Richard is thinking.

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