Dalai Lama suggests a 'very attractive' female successor
The Dalai Lama has suggested that his successor could be female - but only if she is "very attractive".
The spiritual leader said there was no reason a woman could not replace him, adding that she would be more biologically suited to show affection and compassion.
Speaking to the BBC, the Dalai Lama recalled how he had originally made a comment to a French journalist around 15 years ago.
He said: "I think females should take more important role.
"I told the reporter, if a female Dalai Lama comes her face must be - should be - very attractive."
When asked for clarification, he continued: "When female Dalai Lama comes, then that female must be attractive, otherwise not much use."
The increasingly nervous reporter questioned whether he was joking, to which the Tibetan replied that what he was saying was "true".
The Dalai Lama, who is celebrating his 80th birthday year this year, was touring London to promote compassion.