James Norton thinks it is "about time" male actors were objectified on screen.

James Norton

James Norton

The 31-year-old hunk understands why directors will ask him to go shirtless in some scenes, but insists he doesn't mind as it is only right that men are rated on their looks rather than talent, in much the same way as actresses often are.

He said: "I'm not an idiot. I know how it all works and I know why the producers want me to take my top off occasionally.

"But I reckon it's about time that male actors experience the sort of objectification that actresses have been putting up with for years."

But the 'Grantchester' star admitted his family don't understand how he has become a sex symbol.

He revealed his 91-year-old aunt told him over dinner: "I simply don't understand how you look so good on the telly because you are incredibly bland in real life."

James has been tipped as one of the contenders to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond and a string of small screen successes last year led to him being tagged as 'the man of the moment', a label he isn't happy with as it makes him worry his career has peaked.

He said: "Maybe this is my apex? Maybe this is as good as it gets."

The 'Happy Valley' actor credits his parents for helping him stay grounded.

He added to Britain's Vogue magazine: "Besides, any minute now they could pick up the paper and some other nonce will be the 'man of the moment'. God, I hate that expression."

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