Fiona Bruce collects Rear Of The Year trophy

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The Independent Online

Newsreader Fiona Bruce today found her bottom to be her crowning glory as she was named Rear Of The Year - and admitted she had already become the butt of jokes.

The star had a fit of giggles as she collected the title and said many viewers had no idea she even had legs after sitting behind a desk for so many years.

Bruce, 46, is best known for being in the hot seat on BBC News At Ten and Crimewatch, as well as hosting Antiques Roadshow, but her bottom began to receive admiring glances during a documentary about Queen Victoria.

"For some reason that programme has led to me being here today. I don't quite know how," she said as she collected her trophy in London.

The lingering shots of her in tight trousers as she presented Victoria: A Royal Love Story prompted a flurry of comments online. One viewer wrote on the Points Of View messageboard: "Is Fiona Bruce looking to win Rear of the Year with those jeans she is wearing? I reckon she has got a ruddy good chance."

She took the award in her stride today and said she was rather flattered that anyone had noticed.

Bruce said: "This award has caused some hilarity among family, friends, and colleagues, as you might imagine.

"What I tell them, when they've picked themselves up off the floor, is that if someone had told me I'd been nominated for this 20 years ago, I'd have poked them in the eye. Now I'm just flattered anyone's still looking."

She added: "I think probably the reason I've got this is not so much 'presenter has nice bottom - shock', it's 'presenter has legs - shock', because normally I'm behind a desk.

"So I think the fact that I have a bottom at all was enough of a shock to get the nomination for Rear Of The Year."

Actor Ricky Whittle took the male title for top of the bots, but was unable to attend the ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel.

Whittle, 28, who until recently played love rat Calvin Valentine in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, grabbed the nation's attention with his performances as runner-up in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Tony Edwards, who organises the awards, said: "This continues to be the era of the well-toned rear when people are taking care of their bodies with keep-fit regimes and visits to the gym. Fiona and Ricky typify the look."

Last year's winners were singers Rachel Stevens and Russell Watson.

Bruce was not taking the award too seriously though as she contemplated future accolades for her assets.

"It could be ear of the year, elbow of the year - the world is my oyster."

She added: "It is a totally surreal moment, I have to say, but it's a laugh, that's the main thing. You can't take yourself too seriously."