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Tall, dark, handsome? Not according to Britain's romantic novelists. Loyal, honest and intelligent is rather what makes the perfect man according to a poll published today by the Festival of Romance, the UK's only literary festival dedicated to romantic fiction. The Festival of Romance is calling on the women of Britain to take a similar poll and see if they agree.

Romantic novelists don't think that wealth, height or good looks matter. Essential attributes of the perfect man include having a sense of humour, being kind and principled and having good personal hygiene. It's not even that important that he's good in bed – romantic novelists said this was desirable in the perfect man but not essential. And they really don't care what car he drives. But perhaps the women of Britain think differently?

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