Elba is PEOPLE’s 33rd Sexiest Man Alive, joining a long list of Hollywood’s hottest, starting with a then-29-year-old Mel Gibson in 1985, and last year’s pick Blake Shelton. Recent winners include The Rock, Channing Tatum and David Beckham.
His reveal was made on Monday night’s episode of the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where Elba said. “It’s amazing! I’m really, really happy with that. Thank you so much PEOPLE magazine for making me sexiest man in the world. My mum is going to be very, very proud.”
Watch the full episode of PEOPLE Cover Story: Sexiest Man Alive 2018, streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
For more from this year’s Sexiest Man Alive — and to see who else made the cut — pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.
Fans of the Thor actor, 46, were quick to share their excitement on Twitter.
Others were happy Elba was named the sexiest man alive right before the midterm elections.
Some of his famous friends were also on hand to support Elba, with The Real‘s Loni Love tweeting, “Congrats boo!!!”
Elba also tweeted after the big reveal, writing, “Who’d have thought it! Thank you @people & all the fans for naming me #SexiestManAlive. Don’t forget to grab your issue this week https://bit.ly/2OpbsSV . I’m honoured & thankful. What’s even more important is your vote in the midterm elections. Your vote can make a difference!”
In this week’s cover story, Elba tells PEOPLE he couldn’t believe he’d been named the Sexiest Man Alive.
“I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’” the actor says. “Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure.”