A closer look at most attractive men Robert Pattinson and Hugh Laurie

The House star's combination of wit, intelligence and rugged good looks are a winning formula with our readers
Click on photos for gallery
 Photo: © Rex

There was a time when the likes of George Clooney and Johnny Depp were the embodiment of the word heart-throb. But times have changed.

These days, ladies the world over – including the readers of hellomagazine.com – prefer something a little different when it comes to their leading men.

The response to this year's most attractive man vote was unprecedented, with over half a million votes cast. And the likes of Brad Pitt and Daniel Craig didn't get a look in when it came to the first and second placed men, Hugh Laurie and Robert Pattinson.

Just what is it about these two Brits which captivates hearts by the million? It's not their looks alone. Though Hugh's rugged aspect is easy on the eye, and there's no denying former model Rob's appeal, neither could be described as classically handsome.

Could it be for the characters they play? Robert has said: "Girls scream for Edward, not Robert. I still can't get a date," and perhaps he's right.

While he passed virtually unnoticed as head boy Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter, once he began playing tortured and lovesick vampire Edward Cullen, female fans immediately started swooning.

Similarly, Hugh was known largely as a quirky comedy actor until his role as the gruff and authoritative Doctor Gregory House elevated him to sex symbol status.

While worldwide fame came knocking for Robert at a young age, Hugh didn't achieve it until later in life.

But both share a certain humility and depth to their characters which proves a big draw.

In interviews, both come across as sharp and intelligent. Robert sings and writes songs (two of which actually appeared in the Twilight films) and has secret aspirations to be a pianist. Similarly, Hugh is an accomplished musician and has demonstrated his skills on the piano, guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone several times in different TV series.

Hugh is extremely well read. He studied at Cambridge, and has other quirks to his character – like his love of vintage motorbikes. And the fact he's a loving husband and father of three just adds to his appeal.

Similarly endearing is Robert's constant declarations that he's "not gorgeous" and his awkwardness with his new sex symbol status.

This is the guy who almost didn't audition for Twilight when he found out the main character is supposed to be impossibly handsome, and who says he sometimes feels "like a blob". There's something refreshingly human about all that.

Click here to find out which stars you voted the most attractive of 2009