Women declare Britain 'Hardy Country' as Tom Hardy tops nationwide poll

  • Actor Tom Hardy takes the laurels as best looking star, with Colin Firth and Orlando Bloom also much admired
  • Spectre star Daniel Craig shows he is licensed to thrill by grabbing "best body" accolade
  • Eight actors out of the top ten aged 40+
  • Former Professionals tough guy and now Inspector George Gently Martin Shaw is named the nation's favourite "silver fox"
  • Study celebrates Leading Man Weekend, airing on TV channel Drama over Valentine weekend

Brooding screen hunk Tom Hardy is the most attractive British leading man of film and TV, a new poll reveals. The Oscar-nominated actor nudged ahead of closest rivals Colin Firth and Orlando Bloom to take top billing in a new study to find the British male stars who get women's pulses racing.

The survey suggests British women favour more mature men, rather than fresh faces, with eight of the top 10 aged 40-plus. Hardy is actually the youngest in the list at 38, while the oldest in the Top 10 is Sean Bean who is 56 and ranked in 10th position.

The study - specially commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate its Leading Man Weekend which launches on Saturday 13th February - polled 2,000 British women to establish the top 10 most attractive leading men in TV and film from a longlist of stars of the British small and big screens.

Mad Max star Hardy showed he can drive women wild just as effectively as he can drive armoured vehicles around a post-Apocalyptic desert by topping the list. His win comes ahead of this month's Oscars ceremony for which he has a best supporting actor nomination for his role in The Revenant. Pride And Prejudice actor Firth (55) took the runner-up spot in the poll, while Pirates Of The Caribbean and Lord Of The Rings star Bloom (39) was third. Daniel Craig, who has now clocked up four starring roles in James Bond films, came fourth just ahead of Luther actor Idris Elba who has been tipped as a possible successor for the 007 role when it becomes vacant.

The full top ten most attractive leading men

  1. Tom Hardy (21%)
  2. Colin Firth (20%)
  3. Orlando Bloom (19%)
  4. Daniel Craig (19%)
  5. Idris Elba (18%)
  6. Jude Law (15%)
  7. David Tennant (13%)
  8. Ewan McGregor (12%)
  9. Hugh Grant (11%)
  10. Sean Bean (11%)

Vicky Walker, Programme and Schedule Manager of Drama, said,

The poll results are a reminder of the top acting talent we have in the UK and it's interesting to see how men aged 40+ dominate the top ten. Our upcoming Leading Man weekend will showcase the great leading men in some of their finest roles on Drama.

Top Five Best Bodies

The 2,000 respondents were also asked which British stars had the best bodies, with 007 actor Daniel Craig being named as the man with the most fetching physique. Craig made his debut as Bond in Casino Royale which featured him emerging from the sea in his trunks and showing off his bulging biceps and ripped torso and it has proved to be an abiding image. Tom Hardy - who has shown off his muscles in many roles including his portrayal of villain Bane in Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises - was next on the list. Idris Elba, Orlando Bloom and Jude Law completed the top five.

  1. Daniel Craig (30%)
  2. Tom Hardy (19%)
  3. Idris Elba (14%)
  4. Orlando Bloom (9%)
  5. Jude Law (7%)

Ultimate British silver foxes in TV/Film

Martin Shaw was named the ultimate "silver fox", in a poll of men aged 60-plus who are most likely to leave Brits feeling weak at the knees. The 71-year-old vegetarian, who first found nationwide fame as Doyle in The Professionals and also starred as Judge John Deed, was also the oldest man in the top five. EastEnders and Gavin & Stacey star Larry Lamb (68) was runner-up in the list. Nigel Havers (64), Jeremy Irons (67) and former 007 Timothy Dalton (69) round off the top five.

  1. Martin Shaw (13%)
  2. Larry Lamb (7%)
  3. Nigel Havers (6%)
  4. Jeremy Irons (6%)
  5. Timothy Dalton (6%)

Leading Man Weekend begins on TV channel Drama on Saturday 13th February, and continues throughout Valentine's Weekend (February 13 to 14)

Leading Man Weekend is the only destination to see British TV heartthrobs this Valentine weekend. Starting on Saturday February 13, it will feature top acting talent from Eddie Redmayne and Martin Shaw, to Sean Bean and Michael Fassbender. With ideal Valentine programming including Pride And Prejudice, A Bear Named Winnie and Inspector George Gently shown over the course of the weekend, don't miss this marathon of Britain's best male stars.

For more information, please contact:

Toby Leston at Taylor Herring, TL@taylorherring.com, 0208 206 5151


About Drama

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Drama is a channel that is passionate about bringing you Britain's best-loved dramas. From period through to contemporary and comedy, the channel is a treasure trove of classics which showcase the greatest stories ever told in an entertaining and engaging way.

With programmes including Call The Midwife, Pride and Prejudice, Sharpe, New Tricks and Silent Witness, viewers can indulge in a handpicked range of the nation's most celebrated TV dramas.

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About UKTV

UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches 42 million viewers a month.

UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £283m and EBITDA of £74.1m. It invested £123m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating its 22nd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.

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