Idris Elba has been named the sexiest man alive by American celebrity magazine People.
The British actor and star of The Wire, Luther and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was revealed as this year’s winner on Monday’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
London-born Elba, 46, is People’s 33rd sexiest man alive and joins previous winners including Mel Gibson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and David Beckham.
Last year American country singer Blake Shelton took the title. This is only the third time a man of colour has won the award, following Johnson in 2016 and Denzel Washington 10 years before.
Elba told People how he reacted to the news. He said: “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’ Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today’. But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise – an ego boost for sure.”
On Twitter, Elba said he was “honoured” by the accolade before urging fans to vote in Tuesday’s midterm elections in the US.
He said: “Who’d have thought it! Thank you people & all the fans for naming me #SexiestManAlive.
“I’m honoured & thankful. What’s even more important is your vote in the midterm elections. Your vote can make a difference!”
Elba, who was among the favourites to take over from Daniel Craig as James Bond before ruling himself out earlier this year, said he endured an awkward stage while growing up.
Elba, now 6ft 3ins, said: “I was very tall and skinny. And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, OK? I got picked on a little bit.
“But again, as soon as I could grow a moustache, I was the coolest kid on the block. Grew a moustache, had some muscles, bonkers.”
Elba has two children – a 16-year-old daughter, Isan, and a four-year-old son, Winston.
He proposed to his model girlfriend, Sabrina Dhowre, 29, in February.