But she confesses she is a tomboy

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Tanya van Graan is the sexiest woman in South Africa.

This is according to the results of the yearly FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll. Readers of FHM magazine vote for both the international and local sexiest woman.

Tanya was declared the local winner of this prestigious title ahead of other women, who included singer and actress Pam Andrews. Andrews made it to the top 100 at number 92.

But Tanya insists that she is not the most beautiful or the sexiest woman in South Africa.

"Off course this is an honour for me to be declared the sexiest woman," said Tanya, who is an actress and a model.

"But being a tomboy who grew up on a game farm in Mpumalanga, I also acknowledge that I might not be the most beautiful or sexiest woman in the land because the vote was restricted to the 100000 people who voted for me."

She said the contest differed from others because you are not asked questions to test your intelligence.

"But I regard this as an honour for me. I know that whenever I go for auditions it will give me an advantage because I am known," she said.

"In terms of acting, I still believe that I have to make an impression."

Tanya acts on SABC3 drama series Hard Copy and M-Net's drama series Snitch.

It was not the first time that Tanya took part in the competition. Last year she got the number 11 spot.

This year she managed to beat the previous local winners; Lee-Ann Liebenberg and Kerry McGregor.

The previous local winners are: Candice Hillebrand who was the 2000 winner, Hillebrand also scooped the award in 2001, followed by Kerry McGregor in 2002. In 2003 Megan McKenzie was the winner, Minki van der Westhuizen in 2004 and Carla la Reservee won last year.

This year's international category was won by Jessica Alba.

Both winners, Alba and local favourite, Van Graan, are brunettes.

This reinforces the perception that men prefer dark-haired girls to their fairer sisters all over the world.

Other brunettes who made it to the top five were 2005 poll winner Lee-Ann Liebenberg, who took the number three spot this year, and Gina Athans at number five. Altogether, 33 local beauties made the top 100.

Among them were perennial favourites, Tracy McGregor, at number 23, Minki van der Westhuizen occupied the number 27 spot, Vanessa Carreira number 25, Tanit Phoenix number 40 and Pam Andrews number 92.

Of the 67 international names, favourites included Americans Joanna Krupa, who took position 16, Paris Hilton number 38, Angelina Jolie was voted number 18, Jenny McCarthy 10 and Carmen Electra number seven and the gorgeous Halle Berry came in at number 31.

British glamour model Emily Scott was also a top 10 favourite at number eight.

Winning this title has the added advantage of opening opportunities in the entertainment industry for contestants.