LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...I simply can’t get over my fascination for a certain ‘silver fox’

If you could be a famous person, who would it be and why?

For many the first name that comes to mind will be a rock, pop or film star.

However, if my quick ask around the office is anything to go by, you may find people’s answers surprise you. Choices ranged from the likes of John Lennon (alive) to God. While another colleague couldn’t decide between being Priscilla, when she was Mrs Presley, or the Stig.

The reason I ask is because this week I got to see one of my idols. Now I should probably explain in advance that I have… alternative taste.

Sure I wouldn’t say no to waking up as Jolie – stepping into a ready-made family without having to bear the bump, getting to make a difference with my UN duties and all while looking pretty damn pretty – no, that wouldn’t be too bad at all.

But Angelina aside, my role models are primarily made up of old, normally grey, men. I even went through a stage where I wouldn’t go to bed until Sir Trevor McDonald had said good night on the news. While my swooning over Stephen Fry...well...I won’t say too much in case the men in white suits get wind of it.

However it is John Simpson who should consider getting the restraining order first – not because he is top of my list, but just because I was in the same room as him on Sunday as part of the Chichester Festivities.

His calm presenting skills beam from the world’s most dangerous places and into our living rooms. Where I watch in awe, secretly wishing that bullet-proof vest had my name on it – an ambition my mother, among others, doesn’t like to talk about.

On paper it might not be a normal choice. Especially as many people ask John – who? But Mr Simpson has spent more than 40 years carving a career as one of the most respected journalists of our time. Not to mention he is quite the silver fox.