Idris Elba poses for a portrait to promote his film 'Yardie' at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Picture: AP

Idris Elba says it was an "ego boost" to be named People's Sexiest Man Alive for 2018.

The 'Luther' star has been handed the annual honour - which last year went to country singer Blake Shelton - by the US publication and he admitted it was an "ego boost" to receive the news.

Asked what he thought about his triumph, he said: "I was like, 'Come on, no way. Really?' 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."

However, the 46-year-old actor and DJ insist he wasn't always so good looking and went through an awkward phase growing up.

He added: "I was very tall and skinny. And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, okay? I got picked on a little bit. But as soon as I could grow a moustache, I was the coolest kid on the block. Grew a moustache, had some muscles, bonkers."

The Hollywood hunk is brimming with confidence but he also feels it is important to stay "humble and grounded".

He shared: "It's important to have eye contact and empathy. You know, sort of reading someone's vibe. I love being confident, but also I know when to rein it in and just stay humble and grounded."

And Idris doesn't want to regret everything he's done.

He told People magazine: "Life isn't about thinking about what you should have done. I think everyone should adopt the philosophy that tomorrow is not promised so just go for it today, man. You might as well do it to your heart's content."