Feeds

Oscar Wilde voted top Brit wit

'Either those curtains go or I do'

The essential guide to IT transformation

Oscar Wilde has secured top spot in a poll to discover Britain's top wit - pipping Spike Milligan into an honourable second place.

Wilde saw off tough competition from a field which also included Winston Churchill, Jeremy Clarkson, Brian Clough, and Stephen Fry in the top 10 of the Dave poll.

Dave is, in case you're wondering, an absurdly-titled UKTV channel aimed at young chaps, 3,000 of who decided that classic Wilde lines such as "I can resist everything except temptation", "Work is the curse of the drinking classes" and final words "Either those curtains go or I do" were enough to award him the crown.

Spike Milligan was celebrated for quips including his gravestone's inscription reading "I told you I was ill" and "How long was I in the army? Five foot eleven".

Stephen Fry rated third, and will be long remembered for "I don't need you to remind me of my age. I have a bladder to do that for me" and, ahem, "Many people would no more think of entering journalism than the sewage business - which at least does us all some good".

The only controversial entry in the top ten was Liam Gallagher (at 10th), whose main contribution to the art was his observation that Victoria Beckham "can't even chew gum and walk in a straight line, let alone write a book".

Here's the full list of glory, with appropriate quote:

  1. Oscar Wilde: "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in between."
  2. Spike Milligan: "A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree."
  3. Stephen Fry: "It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés, that cliché is untrue."
  4. Jeremy Clarkson (on the Maserati Quattroporte): "In a list of the five most rubbish things in the world, I'd have America's foreign policy at five. AIDS at four. Iran's nuclear programme at three. Gordon Brown at two and Maserati's gearbox at number one. It is that bad."
  5. Sir Winston Churchill: "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."
  6. Paul Merton: "I'm always amazed to hear of air crash victims so badly mutilated that they have to be identified by their dental records. What I can't understand is, if they don't know who you are, how do they know who your dentist is?"
  7. Noel Coward: "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."
  8. William Shakespeare: "Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery."
  9. Brian Clough: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one."
  10. Liam Gallagher: "I suppose I do get sad, but not for too long. I just look in the mirror and go, 'What a f***ing good-looking f*** you are.' And then I brighten up."

In case you're wondering, the top-placed female was dear old Maggie in 12th position. As the Iron Lady once said: "I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.