Richard Armitage to outsource cuticle nibbling

Richard Armitage’s left hand, positioned as his right is signing an autograph, ComicCon San Diego, July 14, 2012. Source:

RAeuters: Los Angeles

In response to industry concerns that Richard Armitage’s cuticles appear to have taken a disturbing decline in recent photos from charmingly neglected to frighteningly abandoned, the actor’s publicist called a press conference today to announce that in future, the breakout star of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, would contract for services.

When asked why Armitage would take such a drastic step, or if he was responding to some specific criticism, the publicist remained non-commital. “I think Mr. Armitage is conscious of the general sentiment that’s been in the air lately. In response, he will begin taking bids for cuticle nibbling via his London agent’s office starting October 1st,” he noted. “Priority will be given to bids that guarantee efficient, effective treatment with sharp incisors but a gentle, teasing bite.”

The modest thespian has long been known for fingers that combined a unique aesthetic beauty, contrasting a smooth surface and architectural solidity with the rugged virility of his trademark chewed-up cuticle. The effect was particularly potent along the thumbnail. Industry insiders speculate that the prospect of a prominent appearance of Armitage’s thumb in a episode of Spooks, Robin Hood, or Strike Back raised numbers by upwards of a million viewers per episode.

[Left: Ratings accelerator: the tattered but macho cuticle of John Porter in Strike Back 1.3. My cap.]

Concern about the status of Armitage’s cuticles began to surface during summer 2012, in the wake of the appearance of the first “beauty shot” publicity stills for his upcoming role as Thorin Oakenshield. While his face and beard were presented in a resolution that made it possible for fans to engage in competitive stubble counting, portions of the pictures presenting Thorin’s hands were blurred and the thumbs were obscured. These publicity stills caused speculation that the English actor’s thumb was in ill health, or had even been amputated.

[Right: Thumb amputee Armitage? Right hand in detail of publicity still of Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield taken for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Source:]

Spokespersons for the major unions that represent thumb amputee actors were split regarding the idea that Armitage might suddenly have become one of them. While some members resented the competition for the few roles available, others felt that a decision by Armitage to stop displaying his thumb might spark more demand to see such actors in leading roles.

But cosmetologists in the know scoffed at these rumors, pointing out that the extensive finger prostheses Armitage had to wear everyday in order to convince viewers that his fingers were chunky and slightly contorted were probably taking their toll on his cuticles.

“He has simply got to add a moisturizing regime for his thumbs to his bedtime regime,” commented one makeup artist emphatically when she saw the Thorin “beauty shot” stills. “It’s definitely strange that those pictures don’t include his thumbs, which are possibly in very bad shape after months and months of gluing things to his fingers. If he’s not careful, that’s going to take its toll on his skin.”

These general worries seemed to have been justified when closeup photos taken during an autograph session at the 2012 San Diego ComicCon [detail at left] revealed proof that something terrible had happened to Richard Armitage’s cuticles.

Rather than smooth across the base and juicy but slightly ragged on the margins, the cuticles appeared dehydrated, possibly flaky at the based, and clearly out of control, with a strong white cast that spoke of over-washing with harsh soap, or perhaps even glue residue. “Even worse,” one fan remarked to reports after the Hall H Hobbit panel, “it looks like no one hasย  bitten them from the side in weeks!”

[Right: The thumbs that launched a thousand obsessions? Richard Armitage’s thumb caresses Daniela Denby-Ashe’s temple in episode 4 of North & South. Source:]

Armitage has not announced a further project after the wrap of his current film, Black Sky. The tornado epic would not have demanded the actor’s trademark thumb hygiene — further fueling prognostications that the condition of Armitage’s cuticles was no longer suitable for the real thumb money shots that had carried his productions ever since North & South (2004).

Under pressure to affirm the continued vitality of the thumbs that have long been seen by producers as money in the bank, Armitage’s press representative finally caved in to pressure for comment. “Mr. Armitage’s eponychia are just fine,” the publicist declared, denying any problems. “It’s just that now that his days are busier and his career more secure, he has less time — and less reason — to bite his nails or chew on his cuticles.”

The publicist refused comment on which contractor the quiet actor might prefer to bite on his cuticles, noting that he expected bids from the major agencies providing such services to actors across the world. Knowledgeable insiders, however, speculated that the movie star would refuse the services of all of the main services in preference to a source that could be relied on to maintain silence and not tweet about the experience in order to add clients. One leading darkhorse candidate Armitage was expected to consult was thought to be a reclusive history professor who has blogged extensively and in detail about the actor’s cuticles and was thought to be more aware than even professional manicurists — who have long followed the thumby actor’s career — of their unique shape, size, condition and need for periodic biting. Though she had never nibbled cuticles professionally before, her insider knowledge is thought to give her a head-start in comparison to industry professionals. Her likely presence in the competition also explains the insistence of Armitage’s publicist that all bids, including the winner’s, would be held completely confidential.

The iconic thumb-biter of his age? Richard Armitage in a 2005 photoshoot. Source:

At the same press conference, Armitage’s publicist announced that a picture of the actor almost biting his cuticles would be included in an upcoming Manhattan gallery show of neo-Warholesque avantgarde artists. “The inclusion of Armitage’s cuticles in this show proves,” he stated, “that his thumbs will continue to maintain their drawing power.”

The show itself sold out within minutes of opening.

~ by Servetus on September 27, 2012.

36 Responses to “Richard Armitage to outsource cuticle nibbling”

  1. Your post is so well-written and believable that I have to tell myself again and again that it’s a a RAeuters one ๐Ÿ˜€


  2. This was just what I needed this afternoon–a good laugh. I wonder how many would line up to be his personal cuticle nibbler. As much as I like the man, that is one job I’d have to pass on. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • cuticles of the hand, I might add. I know people who might nibble on his toes but not me ๐Ÿ™‚

      Glad I could make you laugh — that cheers me up, too ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Thumbtastic! Do you have your nibbling CV updated?


    • I’m preparing it as we speak. As with most academics it’s all theoretical articles, little practical experience ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. ROFL! I would hope that the “reclusive history professor” wins the contract.


  5. Servetus, it was quite hard to draw my attention away from the first picture and read your article, this time. You hypnotised me with this one ;o)
    To think about RA as a quite ‘delicious’ (that he is for sure) and furthermore ‘edible’ actor ;o) Can’t stop smiling ;o)
    Please leave a rest of him, if you get the job ;o)))))


  6. Hi Serv,
    This is hilarious! Maybe our teething beagle puppy Heidi could be loaned out to RA. She is fantastic at nibbling thumbs.
    Cheers! Grati ;->


  7. LOL
    I love seeing RAeuters newswire items show up in my inbox! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for the grins, Serv!!!


  8. Clever! I have always been rather partial to the thumbs of Dave Matthews & MacGyver (they both have some crazy sexy hitchhiker thumbs), but I am coming to appreciate an Armitage thumb. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  9. great to read that specialist nibbling is on the up…….I’m only a RGN (Registered General Nibbler)……..but would offer to nibble anything Mr Armitage has that needs attention……


  10. His cuticles look like mine- the result of hard work and very little time to do anything about it(like the article said) It just proves that he is not vain and like every other human slightly imperfect and that the way we like him!!!


  11. Hahaha! Here is all what I needed- laughter and small portion of Mr.Armitage’s body;)…plus coffee and chocolate cake (on my side;))
    Thanks Servetus!


  12. Love the Warholesque picture at the end. How much did that go for?


  13. “the tattered but macho cuticle of John Porter in Strike Back” – I am still laughing, Servetus. This is fantastic stuff. Reblog!


  14. I think you need a budding Reflexologist to help you with this job. *cough* I volunteer *cough* Every single time I read one your articles it takes me a moment to realize it’s not real news. You’re the Fox News of the Armitage Army! Well, except you write news that are funny and showcase your immense talent for the written word. I am going to reblog this now. Thanks for the laugh! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.


    • Thanks for your kind words. You might want to check with RAeuters — perhaps they are aware of a breaking news story on reflexology that you could be quoted in.

      re: Fox — I prefer to think of myself as The Onion. ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. You should see my cuticles! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m an absolute pro in cuticle nibbling. I’d be an excellent candidate for the job of Armitage Cuticle Nibbler. ๐Ÿ™‚ Funny article, Serv, thanks!


  16. My cuticles look in worse shape than RA’s and will stay that way till June. School dish pan hands all the way. No cure. But Dawn Olay does help some what and having the boys do the evening dishes is a life saver too. I think I need the help.


    • I imagine he’s not constantly doing dishes — but chewing on them for whatever reason ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope your hands recover.


  17. […] then playing Lucas North, could still nibble his own cuticles to his heart’s content, and didn’t have to contract the task out. I was pushed back in the direction of this theme this week, when a friend alerted me to an […]


  18. […] Yeah, I know that isn’t what I was supposed to notice about the photo. But it’s just like old times. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: