Mature “national treasures” including Sir David Attenborough, Paul Hollywood and Dame Judi Dench are among the top celebrities Britons want to receive a love letter from, according to new research.
The study by Royal Mail, published on Valentine’s Day, found Luther star Idris Elba and TV presenter Holly Willoughby were the most popular fantasy love letter senders.
Game Of Thrones stars Kit Harrington and Richard Madden were second and third in the men’s list, followed by David Beckham in fourth spot.
Countdown star Rachel Riley was second in the ladies’s list, followed by another Game Of Thrones star, Emilia Clarke, in third place.
The study also revealed “silver-haired sirens” including Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi and The Great British Bake-Off’s Hollywood were also top choices for love letter senders.
The top 10s also included actors Eddie Redmayne, Brian Blessed, Olivia Colman, Emily Blunt and Rachel Weisz – as well as Danny Dyer, Dawn French, Nigella Lawson and Susanna Reid.
Nearly half of the respondents voted a person’s “level of interestingness” as the most important factor of a good love letter writer – with around 43% naming a person’s wit, and 42% for a respect for their career.
Physical attractiveness was seen as one of the least important aspects, with only 37% of respondents voting for this, Royal Mail said.
Mark Street, head of campaigns at Royal Mail, said: “Our research demonstrates that the love letter still has the potential to set our pulses racing this Valentine’s Day.
“While, sadly, we can’t all expect to receive a love missive from our celebrity crushes, putting pen to paper for our own loved ones could be the next best thing.”
The results come from an online survey of 2,322 adults which was carried out last month.
1. Idris Elba (18%)
2. Kit Harrington (11%)
3. Richard Madden (8%).
4. David Beckham (8%)
5. Eddie Redmayne (8%)
5. Louis Theroux (6%)
6. Danny Dyer (6%)
7. Sir David Attenborough (5%)
9. Brian Blessed (4%)
10. Paul Hollywood (4%)
1. Holly Willoughby (14%)
2. Rachel Riley (11%)
3. Emilia Clarke (9%)
4. Dawn French (8%)
5. Dame Judi Dench (6%)
6. Nigella Lawson (6%)
7. Olivia Colman (5%)
8. Emily Blunt (5%)
9. Susanna Reid (5%)
10. Rachel Weisz (4%)