ALL is not what it seems about the smooth, toned young man with the smouldering Italian good looks now setting female pulses racing in ads for cosmetics firm Dolce & Gabbana.

The man in question isn't quite the Italian stallion he might appear... he's an Essex boy, former Billericay School pupil David Gandy.

David, 27, is the star of TV ads for the trendy firm's Light Blue aftershave.

Clad in tiny white swimming trunks, he climbs from the sea and into a small boat, off in the heavenly Italian island of Capri.

He then passionately kisses a beautiful girl.

It's all a far cry from his days at Billericay School, where PE teacher Jim MacBeth remembers David as an likeable Essex teenager.

He said: "David was very popular with his peer group, a good public speaker and a very good mixer.

"When he left school, he said he was going to work in the theatre."

Devon Parsons, of model agency Select Model Management, said demand for David's services was immense.

He said: "I've been doing this job for eight years and David is one of the very best.

"He's always on time, gives 100 per cent and acts extremely professionally.

"Since the TV ad, demand for him has shot up. I think it has revolutionised men's fashion and created an iconic image."

David signed to the agency after TV's Richard and Judy were sent pictures of him by friends while he was a student. He went on to win a modelling contract in an ITV's This Morning competition in 2001.

Yesterday, he was unable to talk to the Echo, as he was on a fashion shoot in New York.

However, the good news for south Essex ladies is David is single man at the moment...

But the bad news, girls, is he no longer lives in Billericay.