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Priest voted sexiest man on Italian television

A 47-year-old priest has been voted the sexiest man on Italian television.

Fr Giovanni D'Ercole, who reads a daily sermon on TV, was picked by 30% of female viewers as their "secret dream".

Il Nuovo website says his resemblance with Richard Chamberlain's character in The Thornbirds is the most likely explanation for his victory.

"I am sure that women like me for what I say," said Fr D'Ercole. "And I have to say that my passion isn't women, but my faith."

Nearly 1000 women were interviewed in the yearly poll sponsored by Italian agency BRW.