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Elba, who starred in The Wire and Luther, was surprised after being crowned this year's victor, the magazine said. The Thor star told People he was surprised when he received the news, but said the honour has given him a boost of self-confidence. "Thank you so much People magazine for making me sexiest man in the world, I'm loving that", he said before bending his arm and flexing his bicep.

The honor came as a surprise for Elba, who called it an "ego boost". On Monday's broadcast of "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon", Idris claimed his mother would be "very, very proud." .

"I was very tall and skinny". "And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, okay?" But again, as soon as I could grow a moustache, I was the coolest kid on the block. "Grew a mustache, had some muscles, bonkers", he revealed during the interview.

When news was out that Elba had been selected, a flurry of tweets went up with people giving their views on why he is "the sexiest man", while other tweets appreciated and congratulated him.

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He added: "Burnett is a smart, rugged guy and I don't doubt what he's capable of, so I will use everything in my capabilities to take that away".

On Twitter, the star said: "Who'd have thought it!" The actor appeared as Heimdall in the latest instalment of the "Avengers" franchise and is returning to the TV series "Luther" for four episodes in season 5.

Channelling the same strategy as the likes of Amy Schumer for one, Elba took advantage of a highly public moment to urge Americans to vote in the midterms on November 6.

It's maybe not on the level of, oh, the 2016 presidential election, but Blake Shelton being named Sexiest Man Alive in 2017 is one of the great upsets of the 21st century.