New Poll Lists J. K. Rowling and Stephen Fry Among British Best

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Jun 25, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

The results of a poll from the British people are online this evening, detailing some of the things they love most about their country. The Telegraph is reporting that 7,000 participants took part in this poll which voted Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling (34th place) and British audio book narrator Stephen Fry (21st place) among the things that the British people hold in high regard. Such other iconic figures in Britain as The Beatles, James Bond, the Queen, Stonehenge, and fish and chips, which came in first place, were also included on the list. Andrew Smith, a spokesperson for the company which sponsored the list, feels this list “gives a fascinating insight into exactly what it means to be British – our food, history, Royalty, our many wonderful characters and all the fabulous places we love to visit.” You can find the complete list of the “Best of British Top 50” via this link.





40 Responses to New Poll Lists J. K. Rowling and Stephen Fry Among British Best

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Its weird that Stephan Fry beat her though? Still great for both of them.

First post?

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Aw, J.K. Rowling deserved better. Love you Jo. Great that she got so high though!

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Fish and Chip beat them all!

That’s really funny! Everytime I listen to the audio books (Jim Dale version) the descriptions of food always end up making me hungry. She really makes the food sound wonderful, but you never say anyone eating Fish and Chips!

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Fish and Chip beat them all!

That’s really funny! Everytime I listen to the audio books (Jim Dale version) the descriptions of food always end up making me hungry. She really makes the food sound wonderful, but you never saw anyone eating Fish and Chips!

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She should be have been ranked higher! Oh well, she’s always one of the Top 5 greatest authors for me, so, doesn’t matter! Go Jo! Btw, I’m still waiting for this week’s PotterCast…it’s a bit delayed isn’t it?

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I can not believe that Stephen Fry was rated higher than Jo. !!!! I love fish and chips.

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No -Stephen is one of our national treasures as Jo would be the first to admit.

I am glad for both of them but as I have said before, its one of the totally unexplicable mysteries of “Potter life” that Americans do not get to hear what are effectively, the authorised versions of the book as read by Stephen. After all, Jo’s children listen to them and so should those in that great country without whose support, we would not have the films and much else besides.

Sounds a bit Chruchillian ! Well -you know what I mean ….

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MORRIS DANCERS! I can’t believe Morris Dancers made it onto the list. Cripes!

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They must have asked 7,000 tourists, who spend every holiday in the UK! It’s a seriously cliched list. I mean, we are in “Engerland swings like a pendulum do / Bobbies on bicycles two by two..” territory here. That said, Stephen Fry, a ubiquitous presence on radio as well as television in Blighty (and BBC Radio 4 really is the most wonderful media outlet on the planet – tune in 6.30 pm on weekdays) is a treasure, as is JK of course. The best thing about living in England is the weather. It may not be that great, but we have more of it than anywhere else.

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What I find interesting is that no-one from the cricket, football, rugby or tennis worlds was mentioned, despite the fact that all these sports have a lot of air time and newspaper coverage. All of these sports are British in origin but apparently there isn’t a dominant figure who inspires enough pride to be placed on this list. Looked at from that point of view the inclusion of Joanne Rowling becomes much more significant.

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34th? She should have got 1st! :P

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Stephen Frye was on “Whose Line is it anyway” way back when, so that counts for something.

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Apart from one or two notable exceptions coughBlackpoolcough, I’d agree with that list though not necessarily in that order. Buck House for eg cannot possibly compare with The Tower.

Stephen Fry, as has already been said, is far more to us than just the narrater of the HP audio books – the fact he does that too, is just a wonderful bonus – the man is without doubt the most wonderful story teller, speaker, actor and presenter.

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I agree with others about Stephen Fry. Much as I love HP books and films, he definitely deserves to rank higher than Jo on this list. He’s far more to British culture than just HP audio books. His status is such that for his 50th birthday they did a retrospective documentary about his career and not many people can boast that kind of attention while still alive and active. People may not be aware that he rescripted the major musical Me and My Girl when just out of University, so his distinguished career spans a long time!

RE the list being cliche, I’m not so sure. These are mostly also things that I would rate highly even as a Brit (with one or two exceptions). I like nothing better than a Sunday Roast in a traditional pub, with Yorkshire pudding, or a cream tea (with clotted cream) in a Madam Puddifoot type of tea shop, or fish and chips on a sunny day in a seaside resort somewhere, though it would be somewhere like Lyme Regis rather than Blackpool!

Interesting that Prince Harry is the only Royal besides the Queen to get an individual mention. I have a soft spot for him too.

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Honestly people, some of you have no idea just how amazing, inspiring and endearing Stephen Fry is, seriously go look him up and everything he has done NOW! He would definetly be on my dream dinner party list (along with Jo of course), its a huge honour to have somebody with such integrity, wit and remarkable intelligence to be a fan and narrator of the HP books. He’s not famous and respected here for just doing that, believe me. I really hate that cliche national treasure but… he really is!!

Yeah and I’m with you Kate, who likes Morris dancing?? (or Margaret Thatcher for that matter!)

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Ant and Dec beat Stephen Fry? FAIL, BRITAIN, FAIL.

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Stephen Fry is the most amazingly erudite man, a writer and actor of great talent and so funny too, he IS a national treasure. By the way folks if you have ever met anyone who does morris dancing and really got the chance to understand what it is all about you might appreciate why it is in the list. We knew a wonderful man who was a morris dancer and had researched and revived some little known dances. When he was killed in a car crash when he was just in his forties one of the most moving tributes to him was the morris dancers dancing those very dances just outside the church, I have always felt very fondly towards morris dancing since then, it was so very special.

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I think the people suprised that Stephen was rated higher than JKR are not British and only know Stephen from his role as narrator rather than as the kind of public figure he is here… The man’s considered a genius and one of our greatest wits. HP is a matter of taste (as is all lit, good or bad!) whilst Stephen Fry /demands/ popular admiration :)

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I suspect that the people involved in this survey were of a generation considerable older than the majority who post on this site. They appreciate the things they have known all their lives rather than the imports from other countries. There is also a divide between urbanites and country dwellers; I have lived in both but these days I prefer the country. Believe me, there are plenty of people who love Morris dancing.

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That is a pretty eclectic list! everything from taxis to the Queen is on it. And of course the British are proud about Jo. She rocks!

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Fry beat Jo?oh no! am glad fish and chips got a nice position!though never expected it to beat Her Majesty…lol good list!

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I quite agree with the list except I think David Bowie should be ranked a little higher.

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Finally, a list I can take seriously! “Fish and Chips” at the top – I LOVE IT.

I’m always happy to see JKR recognized for her talent and I’ve loved Stephen Fry ever since “Jeeves and Wooster”.

CONGRATULATIONS to them both!!!!!

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It’s wonderful to see both of them on that list, especially considering they’re some of the few people to appear on it.

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Yes, Stephen Fry is a treasure, not just because of his writing, directing, acting talents but because he is also a dying breed of gentlemen who have an eloquent command of the English language. I do not think there are ANY others around except for Fry. The English language has manifested into a Ron type language of “bloody hell”, “init”, “wicked”, “for real, bruv”. Whist fun and trendy to some, it is lazy and too derivative of modern pop culture. The language has lost its elegance and impact But Fry retains the music of the language and for me that is why he is undoubtedly one of our top national treasures. Jo would vote him in the top 10 herself. Also good on Jo to make the list, awesome. Us brits do have a lot to be proud of, after all! :)

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This is wonderful, absolutely wonderful! Congratulations, Jo, you’re a marvelous person, you deserve to be on this list. Also to Stephen Fry, he’s simply amazing.

& I find it funny how “Fish & Chips” made it to number one, not because I think it doesn’t deserve it, on the contrary, I love how it was picked as number one!

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Huzzah! Stephen Fry! My hero!

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Oh, no David Gilmour, though? Shame.

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What has the world come to??? We’re at the point where fish and chips beats the Queen!!!!!!!!! cracks up =p

P.S. I’m a New Jersey pine tree hick !!!! =D

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I have to admit, I am very proud to be British! I always have been… even if I don’t always agree with our Government.

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I like how “the Queen” is next to the Beatles. Im not bashing anyones monarchy, it’s just…what does she do? She wears huge funny hats with feathers and does public relations, lives in expensive estates and breeds horses….thats about it.

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I’m going to have fish and chips for lunch. Never been to the UK, but reading about fish and chips has made me hungry for it.

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I’m glad Stephen Fry is getting recognition as a national treasure. I’d personally leave the queen off & he’d be top of the list. If anyone is interested I can highly recommend listening to Stephens podcast. He just talks for awhile about his life and what he’s been doing. Its excellent.

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I agree with Dave who said the best thing about living in England is the weather! That’s why I’m here and can’t understand my compatriots who bunk off to live in places like France and Spain just for some sunshine. I adore the fact that you seriously never, ever, know what the weather is going to be like. No matter what the weather men tell you, you just get a surprise every day. And whoever voted for Margaret Thatcher needs shooting. Where are the buggers? Let me at ‘em.

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Steven Fry went to my college in his day! Paston College england! along with our great english hero Nelson, who unlike Fry wasn’t on the list!

As an english person i personally think that Churchill should of been on the list rather than Thatcher but oh well

Great that JK was on it though everybody i knw loves them and the books, we’re even studying the Philsopher’s stone for A-level english! how coool!!!

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what? Fry beat j.k.r??? how did that happen, but at least she got on the list and high too! good jobJ.K you rock!

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I love this list.

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I know exactly what you mean godot, I love his podgrams, wow these comments quickly turned into the Stephen Fry appreciation list, while were on the man I cannot highly enough recommend his autobiography of the first 20 years of his life: ‘Moab is my Washpot’- if you have to look up one thing of Fry, this is a wonderful, honest, witty read. (Jo herself thinks it’s among the best writing she has read, she said so in the BBC documentary to mark Fry’s 50th) Yeah in case you haven’t noticed I love Stephen Fry

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Funnily enough, I’m reading ‘Moab is my Washpot’ at the moment!

I was in a bit of a hurry when I posted earlier, as dashing off to work, and forgot to say that Stephen Fry’s narration of the HP books actually enhances them in my opinion. They are fabulous stories, which I loved and had read several times (up to OotP) before I listened to the audio. When I did so, the stories became even more wonderful somehow. He seems to melt into the story and allows it to waft over you. It’s not just a case of it being that someone is reading them to you either, because I’ve listened to a couple of Jim Dale’s and didn’t like them at all, to be honest.

As for The Queen, I don’t think her place in our (as a Nation) psyche can possibly be explained to people who don’t have a monarchy as there really is nothing for them to compare with other than transient political leaders who cannot possibly inspire the sort of love and loyalty that the Queen does. Americans for example, when called to pledge their loyalty (when joining the Armed Forces for eg) do so to their country (as I’m sure do other nations) whereas the British pledge theirs to the Monarch and not the country. Also, she had been our Queen, the head of our country, for 56 years. My father, who is in his early 70s has only lived under 2 monarchs, the Queen and her father. There is just a very strong sense of belonging and of history and of loyaty amongst British people who are Monarchists, which of course not all are. That probably hasn’t helped much has it?!

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i love this list - even if some of the things on it dont relate to me its still undeniabley, completely and utterly, quintessentially British – the things which make even someone like i, who feels ‘Britishness’ is really a synonym for BNP, thugs, chavs and intolerance, feel patriotic fish and chips got the rightly deserved top spot im not really a royalist but im glad the queen got no2 even tho shes kinda german she is still the epitome of british upper class culture and will always induce some sort of patriotism. not sure harry deserved his place – i know he SS nazi uniform thing? stephen fry & jkr got the places i feel they deserve, both having a huge impact on british culture in their own way love that ant & dec got on the list, they (and cat deeley) defined my saturday mornings as a kid but im with kate, MARGRET THATCHER, that something i cant say here? bloody hell! what were they thinking? sorry this has been a bit of a ramble

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