On the 10th of May 2003 Channel 4
released the results of the vote that took place to reveal which British celebrities
the British public
hated most. All voting was done by the Channel 4 website (www.channel4.com) at the beginning of the year. The rules were that the winner must be British
and not currently in prison
or pending trial
(which is lucky for Jeffrey Archer
The latest "Greatest" list is one of several Channel 4 has done revealing the transient tastes of the British public. Other lists have been complied on the subject of Greatest... such as TV Adverts, Movie Stars, World Cup moments and Films.
The reason I publish this list and not the others is it is a particularly revealing source of the psychology of the British public. Of course the online voting is not going to be an accurate representation of the whole British public as most people who would bother to vote in such polls would be from the IT savvy demographic of the 13 to 40 age range. Niether was there any way of preventing people voting several times - if they were sad enough to try and affect the results. Also this list will be entirely out of date within three months due to the rapid flux of British celebrity.
The British, and especially the British (Tabloid) Media, are known to have a reputation for celebrity bashing and enjoying having key high-profile figures to lovingly hate. Indeed probably half of the people on the list are only famous because they raise such strong passions because of their character (or their image) generally being far too: clever, dumb, common, posh, smug, pathetic, false, blunt, pretty, unpresentable, talentless, royal, and being Chris Evans.
With that in mind I advise non-Britons not to be too suprised at some of the contradictions in the results, like Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher being in the top three despite the British public giving them vast landslide election victories, The Queen being number 8 despite her successful and popular Golden Jubilee last year, Robbie Williams being the most successful male artist last year, etc, etc - it is all entirely consistent with the British nature to find successful people inherently annoying.
If there was a poll of the 100 Most Loved Britons I would bet that half the of list below would be on that list as well. And as their agents will no doubt be telling these celebrities tomorrow - anyway publicity is good publicity.
As the saying goes "I won't tell you the real reason why I hate you, but I'll tell you another which is just as good".