Feeds

Oscar Wilde voted top Brit wit

'Either those curtains go or I do'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know
OMG! Gravity's totes amazeballs. Calm down, George Clooney, not your film
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ
Plus: It's OPEN WARFARE in the Linux greybeard world
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.