BRITS PROUD OF THE POUND
- Over two thirds of Brits (68%) would rate their ‘Britishness’ at seven out of ten or higher
- Cynical Londoners and Scots least likely to feel like true Brits
- Americans still associate Britain with tea, Wimbledon and cricket
- Sir David Attenborough tops list of top Brits’ celebrities, while those in the US opt for national treasure Dame Judi Dench
As Britain starts its summer of celebrations with the Jubilee this weekend, quickly followed by the Olympics, a new cross Atlantic study by Friends Reunited reveals that patriotic Brits are feeling extremely positive about their national identity, with over two thirds of Brits (68%) currently ranking their feelings of ‘Britishness’ as seven out of ten or higher.
Proud of the Pound as the Euro struggles When considering our national identity, we’re not ones to shy away from stereotypes. Fish and chips came top of what adults associate with being British (82%), with Wimbledon (68%) and rainy weather (61%) all ranking in the top five list of things we most associate with Britain. National sports cricket (56%) and football (49%) come in close behind. However, with the current global concerns surrounding the Euro and whether the currency can survive, many of us are valuing our national currency and putting the British pound (£) in at second place with 79 per cent saying it is what makes us feel most British.
Top 10 things Brits associate with Britain:
- Fish and chips - 82%
- The pound (£) - 79%
- Tea - 74%
- Wimbledon - 68%
- Rain - 61%
- The Beatles - 56%
- Cricket - 56%
- Football - 49%
- Stiff upper lip - 45%
- A love of the monarchy - 43%
Top 10 things Americans associate with Britain:
- Tea - 82%
- Wimbledon - 68%
- Cricket - 66%
- The Beatles - 65%
- Fish and chips - 63%
- The pound - 62%
- A love of the monarchy - 51%
- Football - 48%
- Bad Teeth - 37%
- Reserved nature - 36%
Views from across the pond
It seems our self perceptions are pretty accurate. When the same question was asked of respondents in the US**, tea (82%), the pound (62%), Wimbledon (68%) and fish and chips (63%) were also high on the list. Our love of the monarchy also featured highly, along with our supposed bad dental hygiene and reserved natures.
The study further revealed that when it comes to celebrities, it is Sir David Attenborough we have taken most to our hearts. One in four (25%) said that he is the celebrity that most embodies what it means to be British, with Stephen Fry a close second (22%) followed by Dame Judi Dench (15%). Those in the U.S. went for a more eclectic mix, with the first place going to Dame Judi (13%), followed by Michael Cain (9%), Paul McCartney (7%), Colin Firth (6%) and Gordon Ramsey (4%). While television personalities Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan may think they rule the roost, in UK opinion they trail far behind with just two and one per cent apiece, receiving an only slightly better reception in the US, with 3% each.
Matt Bushby, Head of Friends Reunited, said:
“Twenty twelve is set to be a great year to be British, with excitement building across the nation around the upcoming Diamond Jubilee and of course the Olympics. This summer will be all about getting together and celebrating the things that make our nation truly great, and that make us proud to call ourselves British. It’s also really interesting to see that British people really value the pound right now, and this has probably been heightened more by the recent Euro turbulence.”
Most patriotic region
The South West of England is the most patriotic region, with one in three (32%) residents feeling extremely British, closely followed by Yorkshire and Humber (31%) and the Midlands (31%). Cynical Londoners and Scots are least likely to feel like true Brits, with just 16 per cent of Londoners and 14 per cent of Scots feeling ‘extremely British’.
Proud to be British
When it comes to the things that make us most proud to be British, over half (55%) think our country’s vast history and culture is key, with literature coming a close second at 49 per cent. Great British Institutions such as the NHS (46%) and the BBC (34%) are huge sources of pride for UK adults. Half of Brits (50%) believe penicillin is the country’s best invention, closely followed by the television, the steam engine and the telephone, all tied at 38 per cent.
The Great British menu
Traditional comfort foods topped the list for ‘Britishness’, with Fish and Chips reigning victorious with four in five (81%) rating it top. Other top tasty treats include Sunday roasts (70%), Yorkshire puddings (70%) and a good old cup of tea (60%). However, many of us stick loyally to our roots: Cornish pasties are most popular in the South West, with seven in ten (70%) ranking them as most British, compared to six in ten (59%) nationwide. Those in Scotland believe porridge (47% vs UK 35%) and haggis (59% vs UK 34%) to be to me more British than the rest of the nation. Over half (53%) of the Welsh opted for Welsh cakes as the most British food, compared to just 18 per cent overall.
Matt Bushby continued:
“The new Friends Reunited site is the one place you can search, collect and save treasured personal memories, as well as important national moments and quintessentially British memorabilia. The site helps to bring people together to celebrate our culture, triggering memories to share with friends and family.”
*Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,018 UK adults aged 18+ from 1st to 2nd May 2012. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. ** Ibope Research carried out an online survey of 2,000 US adults aged 18+ from 14th and 21st May 2012
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Carolynne Bull-Edwards brightsolid
Mobile: 07932723866 Notes to editors
brightsolid began life in 1995 as Scotland Online. It now has two divisions; brightsolid online publishing and brightsolid online technology. brightsolid online technology is a leading UK independent provider of online IT business services. brightsolid online publishing has a number of innovative online businesses around people and places including Friends Reunited and leading family history brands Genes Reunited, ScotlandsPeople and the findmypast global network.
The family history sites deliver access to over a billion records dating as far back as 1200. Family historians can search for their ancestors among global collections, relating primarily to people with UK and Irish ancestry, of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as birth, marriage and death records.
brightsolid was awarded The National Archives’ contract to digitize and publish online the 1911 census for England and Wales, which it launched in January 2009. Most recently, in November 2011, the online innovation group launched the British Newspaper Archive in partnership with the British Library, to digitize up to 40 million pages of historic newspapers over the next 10 years, providing a unique insight into major events and key periods of historical international interest.
Headquartered in Dundee, the company is owned by the publishers D.C. Thomson, and also has operations in Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Sydney and Los Angeles.
About Friends Reunited
Friends Reunited is the original social network with over 24 million members. Launched in 2000 as a back-bedroom hobby to put old school friends back in touch, it swiftly became a British media phenomenon. Today, the site has evolved to celebrate every blast from the past, becoming a central part of the brightsolid mission to safeguard the nation’s history.