BY heck, but there might be hope for me yet. If Hugh Laurie can be the new face of L’Oreal for men, there must surely be a niche market somewhere for me.

I mean, I trail-blazed cosmetics for blokes back in the days when the only options for any red-blooded male was Brylcreem and Old Spice.

When you think of it, Brylcreem was hardly conducive to a girlfriend running her fingers through your hair unless she had a towel handy to wipe the grease off.

Mind you, back in the days of beehive hairstyles, it would be a brave bloke who would have attempted to do the same to his girlfriend. There was always the possibility of getting your fingers stuck within the hive.

“Oh, you’re home early, love?”

“Yes, mum. Bert got his fingers stuck in my hair again. Can you get him out?”

And Old Spice was what you bought your grandad for Christmas.

I must be one of the first blokes to ditch Brylcreem for Amami Wave Set and Conditioner. Yes, I was at the cutting edge of male grooming and it was all the fault of trying to look like Elvis Presley.

Forlorn hope, I know, but Amami Wave Set was the best product available to give your hair a large wave at the front. Put enough on and it set as solid as concrete. Your girlfriend couldn’t run her fingers through your hair but it was certainly an advantage if you got into a fight on the way home.

Then I tried hair dye and false tan but gave it up after playing football in the rain. My orange skin and raven black hair both ran. I looked a prat but the opposition full back stayed well away in case I was contagious.

My longest love affair was with Nivea face cream. For years I smoothed it in after every wash and shave in the hope it would keep me young for ever. It didn’t.

This was when most blokes had to be persuaded to use a deodorant and adverts urged you to say no to BO by using Lifebuoy soap. Now Nivea has a full range of skin care products for men. But I was the first.

There have been critics about Hugh Laurie being chosen by L’Oreal. Can the chap best known on TV as Dr Gregory House and still fondly remembered here as Bertie Wooster and mad Prince George in Blackadder really cut it as a male model?

Of course he can.

“At first I thought it was a mistake but then I realised that L’Oreal wasn’t looking for models, but real people with strong personalities, who are worth it,” he said. “And who aren’t afraid to proclaim that using cosmetics can be a very masculine decision after all.”

See? Just like me. I have a strong personality. So strong that I’m well known as a grumpy old man. I’m a real person (at least, I was last time I looked), and I have been using male grooming products for 50 years.

Why? Because I’m worth it.

So. Any takers?