100 Worst Britons
May 10, 2003 2:35 PM   Subscribe

100 Worst Britons as voted for by visitors to the Channel 4 website. The 'winner' isn't predictable at all. Omissions?
posted by feelinglistless (42 comments total)
The actual programme (which was on tv tonight) was a wonderfully mean spirited romp and a perfect counterpoint to the self-congratulatory nature of some fame.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:38 PM on May 10, 2003

Although I suspect it may take them a moment or two to post the results ...
posted by feelinglistless at 2:41 PM on May 10, 2003

Why was Tony Blair #1? I thought everyone in Britain thought he was was a bit of a cad, but alright really?
posted by Celery at 3:00 PM on May 10, 2003

Coincidentally, the list includes just about every Briton who has become internationally famous in the last fifteen years. You can see a couple of dozen of them in one hour of BBC America.
posted by Epenthesis at 3:04 PM on May 10, 2003

35. Harry Potter

Ummm, not to nitpick, (but I will anyway) Harry Potter isn't real. Maybe people should've voted for the author of the Harry potter books instead.

100. Atomic Kitten

What is an atomic kitten? Where can I get one? Can I put it in a jar?
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:05 PM on May 10, 2003

I knew it was Blair before looking.
A bumpersticker I saw, I VOTED FOR BLAIR AND GOT BUSH.
posted by joemeek at 3:09 PM on May 10, 2003

83. Mick Jagger
84. Damien Hurst

weird order there. That's the only place I found two in a row I could identify, though. Oh wait, gerry whatsit is the spice girl right? & the queen at 9 &10. Still. Who's this "jordan" who beat maggie thatcher and nearly got the #1 spot?
posted by mdn at 3:15 PM on May 10, 2003


You fucking Brits are off your rockers.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:15 PM on May 10, 2003

Shame about Cliff Richard...
posted by Space Coyote at 3:17 PM on May 10, 2003

Why was Tony Blair #1? I thought everyone in Britain thought he was was a bit of a cad, but alright really?

Betrayal mostly. Promises made, promises broken. Labour are still pretty high in the polls, but it's mostly people voting for the party, not the man. Looking towards their local MPs and their work rather than as a government.

Atomic Kitten Don't even get me started.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:19 PM on May 10, 2003

Katie Price a.k.a. Jordan

I was suprised she was #2 , but not suprised she was on there. An english Pamela Anderson in almost all ways.

It seems like for a lot of these people ubiquity seems to be a problem. Too much time in the limelight with a certain lack of talent can turn the public mood.
posted by DaRiLo at 3:24 PM on May 10, 2003

Coincidentally, the list includes just about every Briton who has become internationally famous in the last fifteen years.

sounds like tall poppy syndrome. let them rise up and when you think they've gotten too famous, chop 'em back down.
posted by t r a c y at 3:25 PM on May 10, 2003

Why is Nigella Lawson on this list and not Charles Saatchi? And Tom Jones? This is nonsense.
posted by MrBaliHai at 4:09 PM on May 10, 2003

Wot no Jeffrey Archer?
posted by Flitcraft at 4:51 PM on May 10, 2003

I actually feel dumber for having read that.
posted by mkultra at 4:57 PM on May 10, 2003

The rules dictate that the winner must be British and alive and not currently in prison or pending trial. So, with Jeffrey Archer out of the running, the field's wide open.
posted by feelinglistless at 5:02 PM on May 10, 2003

I think t r a c y's nailed it; how else could David Beckham make this list? Sure he's not too bright and has awful taste in haircuts, but that hardly qualifies him as one of the worst people in the country.
posted by Zonker at 5:06 PM on May 10, 2003

84. Damien Hurst

Why is Nigella Lawson on this list and not Charles Saatchi?

I can understand why Damien Hirst is a whipping boy, but couldn't they spell his name right? After having spent this afternoon at the newly opened Saatchi Gallery, I think the vitriol is misspent. The collection is stunning, (some) of Hirst's work is great, and Saatchi has created a gallery that is unlike any other I've been to (in a good way).
posted by donovan at 5:12 PM on May 10, 2003

Blair has lied continuously since he came to power. When he was first elected, the Conservatives had a "Demon Eyes" advertising campaign, warning - watch out, this guy is slippery, the Labour party hasn't changed, he'll take your money and be an old socialist with it. The advert failed miserably, but the hilarious irony is that Blair did turn out to be slippery - but in the opposite way. He is twice the Conservative that Major was. He's more Thatcherite than Thatcher was. If the Labour party promises a policy I agree with, it's a safe bet they'll actually do the opposite. Blair is charming and intelligent and completely immoral, and I suspect slightly mental.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:26 PM on May 10, 2003

The show was, much to my surprise, very watchable. My only real complaint was that Liz Hurley only polled in the mid seventies, I would have had that talent vacuum in the top ten any day.

For the most part it I thought it showed that the British like a celebrity as long as that person remembers their worth more than the tall poppy syndrome, its when celebs rate themselves as more important than we know they are that they get dumped on.

And Heat magazine (National enquirer meets Hello for those outside UK) rated it their worst show of the week, which means it must be doing something right.

Not sure what Judith Chalmers has done to annoy everyone though, and why no Meg Matthews?

I'd also like to add Ronan Keating and Ruby wax as token Brits who should have been there.
posted by ciderwoman at 6:18 PM on May 10, 2003

Jade Goody is number four? I know I'm on the periphery of British pop culture here in Canada, but with Big Brother having finished almost a year ago I can't believe the hate still lives on quite so emphatically. I never saw an episode of BB UK (just read the frothing tabloids at the time), so I can't speak as to whether Jade deserves the ranking or not, but.. way to hold a grudge, UK!
posted by jess at 6:59 PM on May 10, 2003

Most of these people are mere "celebs", in 5 years time they will be utterly forgotten. It's a bit like "Which is worst - Hitler, or that wasp flying around your nose?" Most are mere passing irritants, not truly "bad".
Anyway, there is one glaring omission - me. I'm gutted.
posted by Joeforking at 7:05 PM on May 10, 2003

What about Jack Straw, or did I miss him?
posted by Bag Man at 7:10 PM on May 10, 2003

well , looks like harold shipman can rest easy tonight.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:34 PM on May 10, 2003

sgt - hahahahaha.

posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:40 PM on May 10, 2003

oh, he was excluded. ignore me.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:43 PM on May 10, 2003

What about that pinstriped Antique Roadshow fella??
posted by johnny7 at 12:53 AM on May 11, 2003

It's a bit like "Which is worst - Hitler, or that wasp flying around your nose?"

So true.
posted by SpaceCadet at 2:58 AM on May 11, 2003

Edwina Currie at no.26 - that's quite flattering for her.
posted by SpaceCadet at 3:00 AM on May 11, 2003

Is Madonna a 'Briton' yet? If so, slap her on there and good riddance.

Also, it is odd that several of the Frankensteins that Saatchi has created appear on the list, but not the doctor himself.
posted by hama7 at 3:20 AM on May 11, 2003

What about that pinstriped Antique Roadshow fella??

harold shipman is presenting the antiques roadshow now ?
no wonder i dont pay my tv licence.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:18 AM on May 11, 2003

At least Jamie Oliver was there. I can't stand the mockney bastard.
posted by PenDevil at 5:53 AM on May 11, 2003

I get the feeling that the poll was done about 6 months ago, judging from the lineup (H from Steps, Darren Day, Rik Waller, Jade etc.) - it says "earlier this year".

Also the problem with the Channel 4 100 Worst/Greatest polls is that you're given a list of 100 to vote from (you can write in others, but that involves thought and effort on the voder's part). The public essentially just rank them.
posted by deaddodo at 7:21 AM on May 11, 2003

This made my eyes cross. I can't imagine trying to be a public figure in Britain with a media so willing to help the public tear apart the celebs in such rude fashion. It's an odd kind of backlash it's as if there's a collective statement something like:

We'll make you marvelously famous by voting for you, flocking to your films, reading your words, watching your programmes, buying your cds and celebrating your sport triumphs, and then we'll skewer you with an enthusiasm we can't even muster for depraved criminals.

We'll make fun of your clothes, your hair, your choice of lovers, the way you spend your leisure time, the way you spend your working time, your opinions and your beliefs. We'll villify your attempts at maintaining your privacy and ridicule your attempts to reach out to your fans. In short, we'll make you an idol and then throw stones at you. We'll tell you that you're beloved, then call you a fool for acting as though it were true.

And when you need a break, avoid the spotlight for a time and then decide to do something new, we'll laugh at you more and make fun of you for being old news, call you a has been, and brand all your new work as an attempt to cash in on former glory.

It's a no-win situation, you may as well just be a girl in a shop or a bike salesman or a barrister or something, because there's no avoiding the fact that we made you and as soon as we're done making you -- in fact, simultaneous to the creation of your public persona we will begin to denude you of all of your humanity.

Why? Because we can.

posted by Dreama at 9:49 AM on May 11, 2003

They should rename this "The 100 Who's Who of England." Yeah, this list could do just as well on E! Entertainment Television. Regardless, I'd still feel bad if I were on that list. Poor Charlotte Church! All she's doing is singing her heart out!
posted by LexRockhard at 11:45 AM on May 11, 2003

i hope not including phil collins was intended as the worst insult of all, too horrible to even be mentioned.

and after coming across mick hucknall, i had to wonder, where's nathan barley?
posted by mitchel at 12:47 PM on May 11, 2003

I'm blown away that brittons hate Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen (42) twice as much as say, Fergie (73), Liz Hurley (74) or Delia Smith (78). Sure he's a poof, but he's the most entertaining thing about Trading Rooms.
posted by bonehead at 2:02 PM on May 11, 2003

Dreama - my heart bleeds. You want to be in the public eye? Get used to being judged.
posted by Summer at 3:35 AM on May 12, 2003

I was amazed that the PM came higher than Thatcher. I'm not a fan of Blair by any means, but his crime has essentially been failing to do what people expected him to. Hardly comparable with the destruction Thatcher wreaked, but I suppose people have short memories. Thatcher has much more direct responsibility for the state of the country today than Blair. Pleased to see the Queen came high, though. It's about time criticsm was directed at her instead of her various inept relatives.

The other thing that struck me was how tabloid-centric the list was. The vast, vast majority of the people on the list were those who have been ripped apart by the Sun at one time or another, and half of the (admittedly very entertaining) programme seemed to be constructed from scans of red-topped front pages. Now either that's a worrying reflection of the influence that the tabloid press have on our state of mind, or perhaps more likely an indication of the people likely to vote in this sort of thing...
posted by zygoticmynci at 5:46 AM on May 12, 2003

That's what Channel 4 wanted, zygotic. It's fluff (hence the ban on proper criminals).
posted by Summer at 5:53 AM on May 12, 2003

I usually avoid things like this on TV. However this time I found myself watching and enjoying it for what it was (a snide and sneaky schoolyard bitching session - sometimes we all need to laugh at others fortune).

Tara Palmer-Talentless' face when she was told she was on the list was worth the entrance fee alone. "What, me? But I spent a few weeks in the jungle, why don't the public love me?".
posted by Markb at 8:14 AM on May 12, 2003

That's what Channel 4 wanted, zygotic. It's fluff (hence the ban on proper criminals).

Yeah, of course, I'm not saying I was surprised. It could have got very depressing were it to list all the real scumbags rather than B-list celebrities; and after the nauseating business that was the BBC's original Great Britons poll it was much better for it.
posted by zygoticmynci at 3:12 PM on May 12, 2003

« Older 54 Word Stories   |   Still the Worst? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments