World Poll: One of the greatest ever Britons is…erm.. Mr Bean?

Oh dear. It seems more than 5,000 people from across the globe were asked to name figures they associated most with UK culture.

Did they put Winston Churchill, Paul McCartney, Chaucer, Dylan Thomas, Robert Burns or even Charlie Chaplin near the top of the list? Did they bugger.

More than 5,000 people from China, the USA, Germany, Brazil and India placed Mr Bean right near the top!

Still, at least William Shakespeare, JK Rowling, Adele, David Beckham and The Queen ranked higher.

The survey was carried out by Ispos MORI for the British Council and they also gleaned what other nations think of us Brits.

Although 37% thought the British were well educated and polite – some considered the UK to be a nation of hard drinkers (27%), Xenophobic and even suffering from terrible eating habits (23%).

Well I never! How very dare you.

John Worne, director of strategy at the British Council, said: “While there’s a lot to be proud of, some stereotypes still colour the way that we’re viewed overseas: boozy, bad eaters and ignorant of other cultures all figure in our worst characteristics.

“At our best we are rated ‘polite’, ‘educated’ and ‘friendly’, and the English language, our cities, universities, arts and culture definitely make people want to visit, study and do business here.

“So there’s plenty we can do to ensure that the nation’s smile matches its many attractions in the eyes of the world – and that’s a job for us all.”

Blimey! is your daily dose of British news and features for anglophiles everywhere. This article was carefully written by Tim Holt, a British actor and author based in North Carolina. He misses England very much indeed, but also loves America too. Forever torn between two magnificent slices of sod.