In the Friends episode ‘The One With Frank Junior’ (series 3, episode 5), there’s a plotline about the characters having a list of five famous people who … well, you know, you would. When this episode first went out in the UK in about 1996 or 1997, it was back in the days when it wasn’t seen as twee to talk about Friends (though this was before the show had stopped being a comedy in favour of being more like a soap opera, so there may well be a link between quality and conversational-acceptability there).

Anyway, there was quite a lot of discussion of this at the time amongst people I knew (of both sexes), with various lists being drawn up. As we approach something like ten years since that time, I’m pathetically proud of the fact that my list has not changed at all, so thought I’d share it. So, in hypothetical order (and with the inevitable explanations), here are the details of the five women who I feel have a certain, indefinable…

1. Janeane Garofalo – if you’ve seen her in ‘The Truth About Cats And Dogs’, you’ll understand the appeal, I’m sure. Sharp-witted and equally sharp-tongued, I’m led to believe she sometimes doesn’t get mainstream film work because of a refusal to lose weight, or to go along with corporate thinking. Which makes her all the more attractive, to my mind.

2. Isabella Rossellini – amusingly enough, was almost on Ross Geller’s list, and appears briefly, in the Friends episode in question. Obviously, she resembles her mother, but without the slightly glacial quality which I find rather off-putting. For a long time she was perhaps best known for her modelling work (and if there’s any truth to the persistent rumour that Lancome cancelled her contract because they felt she was too old, then colour me appalled), but she’s actually a rather good actress – her performances in Blue Velvet and Fearless are solid, for example.

3. Thandie Newton –winner of the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress a couple of weeks ago, but I first saw her in the film ‘Flirting’ and thought ‘cripes ablimey, she’s rather fetching’. And I am still not wrong. Suffers to my mind from frequently being in films which don’t really showcase her ability (M:I-2 would be a perfect example). And I gather she interrupted her acting career to do a degree at Cambridge, so she’s clearly as clever as she is attractive.

4. Gabrielle Reece – is an Olympic beach volleyball player and model, and is over six feet tall. In interviews, she comes across as rather bright, but I must admit the immediate and profoundly shallow appeal for me is the idea of a woman who’s taller than me, and as fit as Ms Reece clearly is, in a physical situation.

5. Sherilyn Fenn – has troubled me since I saw her in Twin Peaks, which is one of my favourite TV programmes ever. Is there a connection? I don’t know, and it’s not relevant here. Suffice it to say I find Ms Fenn most alluring, not least because of her striking smile, and the way the mole to the side of her eyebrow makes it look like a reclining exclamation mark (trust me on this).

Don’t know who any of these women are ? I recommend a Google Search. And why not tell me YOUR chosen five ? I’d be interested to know, and if nothing else it would make me feel like this blog entry isn’t the shallowest thing I’ve ever taken the trouble to type. Still, as I say, it’s coming on for ten years now, and the list remains unchanged, which I think speaks well of my taste.