Britain’s five sexiest geeks (male edition)

Last week we brought you our picks for the five sexiest female geeks from the United Kingdom. Two of those on our list have noted their placing in Twitter posts with Victoria Coren saying “I’m prouder of that than I have been of anything since I won Best Cake at the 2005 Clacton Festival” and “Dunno about sexy but I’m properly proud to be welcomed by my fellow geeks.” She then addressed the fact that she was beaten by Peep Show character Dobby by noting “fancying fictional characters above real life ones is super-geeky, I have to salute them for it.”

Meanwhile our number one pick Josie Long took a characteristically mature stance, noting “oh my word, i can’t believe i am a sexy geek! in your face jon ashworth, rspca camp 1994!”

This week we turn our attention to the male half of the population. There were several strong candidates who missed the list, prompting reader Joanna Mellor to put forward an interesting theory: “I think there are more women who fancy geeky men who are geeky looking, as well as geeky men who are sexy looking, whereas maybe geek-loving men mainly like sexy looking women who turn out to be geeks. That’ll mean that there are tons more sexy male geeks.”

As with last week, what matters in this list is not pure physical attractiveness in itself, but rather the extent to which one’s sexiness is enhanced by their geekdom.

Dave Gorman (Twitter: @DaveGorman)

Some people believe being a geek is solely about computers and technology. Others maintain it is about being obsessive about a subject, whether or not it is considered conventionally popular. Gorman’s work includes a little of the former and a lot of the latter.

While technically a stand-up comedian, Gorman is best known for popularizing the non-fiction genre best described as ‘quest’. In his first book, Are You Dave Gorman?, he followed up a drunken wager by attempting to find and meet 54 people of the same name. In the follow-up, while apparently failing to write a novel about a currently unknown color, he tried to put together a chain of Googlewhacks (two-word phrases which produce just one result from Google). Most recently he attempted to drive across the United States using solely independent services, rather than chains, for everything from food to accommodation to filling up his Chevy.

In a pleasingly multimedia approach, he turned the first two into stage shows (complete with graphs and statistics) while the latter was also filmed for a documentary.

James May (Twitter: @RealJamesMay)

It was a tough choice between May and Richard Hammond, his colleague on the motoring show Top Gear. (It was an easy choice to discard the third presenter, Jeremy Clarkson.) After all, Hammond is the presenter of popular science show Brainiac and once blew up a life size replica of the Houses of Parliament to see if Guy Fawkes’s gunpowder plot would have been successful. (The answer is yes, and devastatingly so.)

However, May pips him to the post for a simple reason. It’s not the fact that when editing a motoring magazine he tweaked an entire supplement so that the first letter of every review spelt out “So you think it’s really good? Yeah, you should try making the bloody thing up. It’s a real pain in the arse.” It’s not the fact that his obsession with childhood toys has led to projects aiming to make life-size models using building toys such as a full-scale Lego house or a Meccano bridge across an actual river.

What clinches it for May is that he’s been to space. Admittedly not by the modern definition of the word, but he took a rare ride in a U2 spyplane to an altitude which would once have been classed as space. After going through a genuine NASA training process, he was taken up to 70,000 feet, an altitude so high that not only was he higher than any other human besides the crew of the International Space Station, but he could see with his own eyes that the Earth is indeed round.

David Mitchell (Twitter: @RealDMItchell)

At first glance, it is difficult to distinguish the geekdom between Mitchell and his main TV character Mark Corrigan (picture a younger Larry David with even more contempt for social convention.) However, the more he appears in his real life persona on panel shows and news discussions, the clearer it becomes that the border between Corrigan and Mitchell is a fuzzy one.

Upon these shows, Mitchell displays geekery in its finest form: whilst displaying intelligence and appearing intellectual, he does not fall into the trap of needless intellectualism, instead making his point through reasoned argument.


Louis Theroux (@LouisThx)

Theroux is a presenter best known for his various documentaries in which he investigates the weird and wonderful, embedding himself with his subjects, from white supremacists to pornographic movie makers. His style involves appearing meek mannered and uncomfortable to the point that he can question and challenge his subjects without appearing threatening.

It could be argued that his TV appearances class Theroux as a nerd (socially awkward) rather than a geek. However, as this persona appears to be at least somewhat consciously put on, and given his combination of intellect and an obsession with a subject (in an episode on plastic surgery he even went under the knife himself to gain insight), it is clear geekdom has been bestowed upon him.

David Tennant

Let’s be honest here: Mr Tennant is not atop this list for his work with the Royal Shakespeare. He is here for his role as the titular star of Doctor Who, but not solely for the fact that he plays one of the best known and loved characters in science fiction. After all, few if any people have ever described Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy as sexy geeks. Instead it is how he played the Doctor that earned him this spot.

As well as bringing his personality, Tennant is said to have played a large role in the look of his incarnation as the Doctor, noting to the BBC that “I think we’ve come up with something distinctive that’s both timeless and modern, with a bit of geek chic and of course, a dash of Time Lord!”