British-born actor Idris Elba has been voted as owner of Britain’s best beard, according to leading beard experts, Bristlr.
Elba, who rose to fame on the back of his portrayal of drug lord and aspiring businessman Russell “Stringer” Bell in the American police series The Wire, came top of a list of famous British men who have made their beards part of their appeal, including actor Tom Hardy, national treasure Gary Barlow and model David Gandy.
It is the first time Elba, 42, has won an award for his beard-sporting prowess.
Despite wearing a beard in his portrayal of Detective John Luther in the BBC One series Luther, and when he played Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, on top of three Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film, his beard has never before been officially recognised.
John Kershaw, founder of the acclaimed Bristlr app, which pairs beard-wearers with beard fanciers, said: “Idris Elba has one of the most distinguished beards on the planet.
“He wears his beard with pride and effortless ease and the flecks of grey in his beard give him a sense of dapper distinction that others can only envy.”
Forget designer stubble, Elba’s face full of scruffy stubble gives him an effortless unkempt look that frames his chiseled features. Never afraid to switch it up, Elba has paid homage to the many different looks from fully-fledged beard, expert goatee to his most current perfect award winning stubble.
Second place in the Best British Beard of the Year awards went to Take That singer Gary Barlow, and third spot went to muscled male model David Gandy.
Charlie Hunnam, the original choice for Christian Grey in the movie version of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, managed a respectable fourth place and the Top 5 is completed by Kate Middleton’s brother James Middleton.
John Kershaw added: “These men have all helped elevate the beard to new heights by proudly wearing a beard of distinction during the past 12 months.”
Bristlr has enjoyed a meteoric rise – starting at the end of 2014 from owner John Kershaw’s bedroom in the trendy Northern Quarter district of Manchester city centre – and now has almost 70,000 members.
While dating apps are plentiful, Bristlr prides itself that it is the only dating app available for people with beards and beard-lovers.
BRITAIN’S TOP 10 BEARDS
1. Idris Elba
2. Gary Barlow
3. David Gandy
4. Charlie Hunnam
5. James Middleton
6. James McAvoy
7. David Beckham
8. Harnaam Kaur
9. Tom Hardy
10. Daniel Day Lewis