There’s something quite exciting about discovering a closet rock fan.

Only the other day I discovered my dentist, Jim, just digs Pantera and worships the ground Metallica walks (or thrashes) on.

And I remember nearly choking on my half-time cup of tea when I realised the bloke I sit next to at the footy is mad about Maiden and a NWOBHM nut.

But neither of those revelations got me quite as excited as the moment I picked up a quality national newspaper last weekend and saw the names Girls Aloud and AC/DC in the same column.

Those crazy guys at the Obs had gone around quizzing the movers and shakers in the music business to discover just what they had pinned down as their albums of the year.

There were the obvious choices like Elbow, Duffy and Sigur Ros.

And then there were the even more obvious choices including Christine Brewer and Roger Vignoles (who?), Raphael Sadiq (excuse me?) and Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko (oh, them).

But any of 2008’s hot releases by the rock and metal fraternity were few and far between.

Then I chanced upon the choice of Sarah Harding.

Now regular readers of this column – that’s Plus One and Self Made Man – will not have a clue who the lovely Miss Harding is.

But those in the know – and those with a guilty admiration for one of pop’s most consummate acts – will be fully aware I am referring to the foxy blonde in Girls Aloud.

Her first choice as record of the year was encouraging enough as she plumped for Only By The Night from the Kings Of Leon.

It was enough to make me read on.

And there it was. In black and white. The confirmation that Sarah was a rock chick just waiting to go all Lita Ford and Doro Pesch on the rest of her band and launch a solo career singing metal anthems in sweaty German clubs.

Well, not quite. But she did admit that AC/DC’s Black Ice is one of her favourite records of 2008.

She said: “I’m playing AC/DC’s album Black Ice a lot in my car. I love all their old stuff as well – it’s old school rock’n’roll and they’ve still got that sound on the go.

“They’re not trying to change it too much and I like that.”

Not half as much as I like the idea of a member of my favourite girl band belting out Thunderstruck at the top of her voice as she cruises around South Kensington.

Or Sarah singing ‘For Those About To Rock’ before Cheryl chips in with ‘We Salute You’. Think of Wayne and Garth doing Bohemian Rhapsody only far, far sexier.

But Miss Harding’s brave decision to ‘come out’ got me thinking.

What if Brian Johnson likes Boyzone?  Or if Lemmy loves Lil Wayne? Imagine the upset if you discovered Steven Tyler can’t get enough of Take That and Alice Cooper craves Coldplay at least once a day.

It’s all very well finding out a pop princess is prone to the odd power chord.

But on the other side of the coin it would be devastating to discover that our hard rock heroes have a softer side…