By his own admission British actor Hugh Laurie may not talk, walk or think like his on-screen persona, crabby Doctor Gregory House. But one interest he does have in common with the hit medic - a passion for motorbikes - was catching eyes this week as he zoomed off after a meeting in LA. While the dishy medical maverick loves his flashy Honda Repsol Limited Edition sports bike, 48-year-old Hugh is clearly in his element on his own classic model - a Triumph Bonneville.
"Driving a motorcycle is like flying. All your senses are alive," he told one American magazine. "When I ride through Beverly Hills in the early morning, and all the sprinklers have turned off, the scents that wash over me are just heavenly."
The Oxford-born star, who was given his first bike aged 16 by his dad, bought the vehicle with his first House paycheque to navigate the streets of LA. And he's clearly lost none of his enthusiasm for two-wheel transportation, still using his bike to get to and from the set of the medical drama.
He has become a firm fixture on Hollywood roads after three years as the head of the young diagnosticians at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Though he still counts London - where his wife Jo Green lives with their teenage children Charlie, 18, Bill, 16, and 15-year-old Rebecca - as his home, he's likely to be spending even more time across the pond as he continues consolidate his career in the US.
Not only has the double Golden Globe winner signed on for a fourth series of House, he's also set to make a return to the big screen with currently filming crime thriller The Night Watchman, starring Keanu Reeves.