Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival: Olympic hero Sir Bradley Wiggins is named Britain’s greatest living wit
Olympic cycling champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has landed yet another title – Britain’s greatest living wit.
More than 2,000 British adults were asked to choose the funniest person from a shortlist of 25 celebrities, excluding professional comedians, to mark the start of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.
The Tour de France champion came top for quips, such as the one he made to crowds by the Champs-Elysees who came to see him become the race’s first British winner.
“We’re just going to draw the raffle numbers now,” he joked.
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After winning Sports Personality of the Year, he joked: “Nan, the cheque is in the post, because you pressed redial God knows how many times.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson came second in the poll, thanks to quips such as: “My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.”
Crystal Palace football manager Ian Holloway was third, with the top five completed by Apprentice star Lord Sugar and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
Robbie Williams was sixth, followed by Noel Gallagher, who said of his estranged brother Liam: “He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet, he’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”
In eighth place was singer Rod Stewart, who said after a divorce: “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”
No women made the top 10, although TV presenter Claudia Winkleman was voted funniest woman, followed by singer Lily Allen.
Dave general manager Steve North said: “Britain is a hotbed of comedy talent and it’s clear you don’t have to be on the comedy payroll to get the nation laughing, as our top 10 of Britain’s greatest living wits encompasses celebrities from diverse fields including the worlds of sport, music, film and politics.
“Our winner, Bradley Wiggins, has a special place in the nation’s heart, which seems to be on account of his red-hot wit as well as his incredible sporting abilities.”
As part of their work experience with the Leicester Mercury, Hemita Bhatti and Laurie Parsons asked the people of Leicester to name their funniest celebrity. Their answers are on the facing page.
Leicester Comedy Festival runs until February 24.
Top 10 Wittiest
1. Sir Bradley Wiggins: Asked about how he is anticipating one of the punishing Tour de France climbs in the Pyrenees – “It goes
uphill like all the others, doesn’t it?”
2. Boris Johnson: During
London 2012: “‘Inspire a generation’ is our motto. Not necessarily ‘create a generation’, which is what they sometimes get up to in the Olympic village.”
3. Ian Holloway: After QPR beat Cardiff: “I couldn’t be more chuffed if I were a badger at the start of the mating season.”
4. Lord Sugar: To Apprentice candidates: “I’ve read all your CVs and on paper you all look good, but so does fish and chips.”
5. Jeremy Clarkson: “I don’t understand bus lanes. Why do poor people have to get to places quicker than I do?”
6. Robbie Williams: “Madonna looked amazing. I can’t believe she’s 89 and looks like that.”
7. Noel Gallagher: On Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant: “I’m not having it. He looks like a balloon with a Weetabix crushed on top.”
8. Rod Stewart: “It’s often said a band is like a family and that may well be true, depending on how often your family is tired and drunk.”
9. Ant McPartlin: “Our first flat, in South West London, was a pigsty. Peter Andre lived in the flat above us and in the evenings he’d go to the gym while we’d be working on our own six packs – of beer.”
10. Colin Firth: Joking about the possibility of his fellow Bridget Jones’s Diary star Hugh Grant retiring from acting: “All we can do is hope and pray.”