A prominent American voice coach has told how some of his single male clients have tried to master an Irish accent - to improve their chances of picking up women.

The Irish brogue is frequently voted the sexiest in the world in polls, in part due to Hollywood stars like Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell.

Now single men in the US are increasingly trying to adopt a convincing Irish lilt in a bid to woo the opposite sex.

Jim Johnson, associate professor of voice and dialects at the University of Houston, Texas, runs an online service to help people master over 40 different accents, including four separate Irish brogues.

Although Johnson's clients at AccentHelp are primarily American actors, he said a number of customers who have attempted to get their tongues round an Irish accent have been singletons and American tourists.

Johnson, 49, himself a trained actor, explained: "Most of my clients are actors, who are looking to perfect an accent for a part. But the materials on Irish accents have also been used by men who want to increase their chances with the girls and also by tourists who are about to take a vacation in Ireland and want to be able to understand the locals."

Johnson travelled to Ireland six years ago, where he gathered first-hand recordings of everyday conversations of native speakers in cities including Dublin, Derry, Cork and Galway.

He says materials for his Dublin accent training are most in-demand, followed by Northern Irish, western Irish and southern Irish.

Of those, he said his clients find the Dublin and Northern Irish accents most difficult to master, but have relative ease in getting their tongues round the more lilting southern brogues, common in Cork and Kerry.

Of all the accent training he offers, he said standard British English is the most popular, primarily due to the abundance of theatrical parts actors on offer in the US which require the Queen's English.

He also said the South African accent is the most challenging one of all for his clients to master convincingly.

He added: "For people looking to make a career out of acting, the more accents you learn, the easier it gets. It's generally easier for a trained actor to learn another accent than other people, but to be successful it's important to let yourself go and allow your personality to change too."