Britain's unlikely sex symbol - what is Kirstie Allsopp's allure?

SHE is equal parts Fifties matron and Care Bear, with a penchant for outlandish fashion and a voice that sounds like a chandelier falling down a marble staircase.

But there is something about Kirstie Allsopp, the quintessentially kooky television presenter, that is stirring the loins of the nation's menfolk.

The 36-year-old, who fronts Channel 4's Location, Location, Location series, has been declared one of the world's sexiest women. Given her esoteric choice of sharply fitted jackets and A-line skirts, which frame her fuller figure, the salute to Allsopp is made all the more curious by the fact it has come from the readers of FHM, a men's magazine which normally worships the likes of Britney Spears, Jodie Marsh and Angelina Jolie.

Voted in 96th place in the poll of 100 women, she has come ahead of Kate Moss, Pamela Anderson and Jennifer Lopez, who do not feature at all. The result signals the latest boost to the presenter, who has become a firm favourite with viewers since making her debut on Channel 4 eight years ago.

Since then, the daughter of Lord Hindlip – the former chairman of Christie's – has gone on to host a portfolio of property programmes, as well as finding time to give birth to a son, Bay, with her partner, property magnate, Ben Andersen.

The couple are expecting a second child in August, while Allsopp has recently signed a new two-year contract with Channel 4.

She has made little of her looks, claiming she seldom consults a stylist before filming, declines to diet or exercise to lose weight, and says she was "born middle-aged".

John Davidson, one of Scotland's leading fashion commentators, said he was not surprised Allsopp's unconventional image found favour with FHM readers.

He said: "Personally, I know of a lot of men who find Kirstie tremendously sexy, and there are two main reasons for it.

"The first is her physical shape. She's a bigger size, the plump side of large, and not the kind of the woman you see in magazines. She's curvy, has big hips, and almost harks back to the voluptuous look in the 1950s. It's the figure you see in old-world burlesque shows.

"The other factor is, she's quite strict. It's a very weird thing, but a lot of young to middle-aged men find that nannyesque quality about her a real turn-on.

"Her dress sense can only be described as bonkers. Normally, woman her size would try and hide their shape, but she goes all out to show it off and accentuate her curves. And she wears these giant buttons… it's as if she has some special catalogue she finds her clothes from. It's not the kind of things you'd find in the high street."

Mr Davidson added: "Her look is a very brave one, and she's setting herself up for parody, but you know, it works. She's not at all like any other presenter on television. She's wholesome, nice, and a little posh, but she doesn't use her background as a calling card."