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 – commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate its Leading Man Weekend which launches today – polled 2,000 British women to establish the top 10 most attractive leading men in TV and film from a long list 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 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.