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Best of British: Roast Dinner, Fish & Chips and BBC voted top British icons, beating Bond, the Queen and Winston Churchill

07 Jan, 2016

  • Brands
  • Corporate
  • Tea Folk
  • British
  • Britain
  • Tetley

The new ad campaign is all about celebrating Britain’s greatest moments with a cup of tea high on the list of British icons

  • New study reveals our most popular national icons, with roast dinner, fish & chips, the BBC and a cup of tea all gracing the top of the list
  • Definitive British traits identified, including talking at length about the weather, needlessly apologising, and making a cup of tea in response to a crisis
  • 2012 Olympics voted proudest British moment in recent history
  • 82% Brits feel proud to be British, and 62% would rather live in Britain than any other country

A new study, commissioned by Tetley Tea, reveals that the number one British icon is the roast dinner, followed by fish and chips and the BBC. Also high on the list is the Union Jack, Wimbledon and a cup of tea.

The 2016 Britishness Audit was commissioned by Tetley to mark the latest Tea Folk adventure. The new tv ad sees national treasures Gaffer, Sydney and Tina stroll back in time to celebrate the best things about Britain – all of which probably started with a cuppa!

The audit includes analysis of the British Social Attitudes survey by NatCen Social Research and a poll of 2,000 people identifying typical British traits and our most popular national icons by OnePoll.

The most common national behaviours that emerge from the audit include wearing summer clothes at the first sign of sun and making a cup of tea in response to a crisis.

The famous British stiff upper lip is also highlighted in the top 10, as well as declaring ‘its fine’ when faced with poor customer service and queuing for absolutely anything.

And, when asked what the country’s national emblem should be, most Brits say a cup of tea (32% of those asked), closely followed by Big Ben (31%), with the Queen’s face coming third (21%).

The NatCen report reveals that the majority of Brits (82%) are proud of their nationality and 62% of people who live in Britain say they’d rather be citizens of Britain than anywhere else.

The report also explores who in this country feels most proud, and reveals that the older people are, the more positive their feelings about Britain appear to be, with 66% of those aged 75 and older saying they were ‘very proud’ of being British, compared with just 20% of those age 18-29.

Ian Simpson, Senior Researcher at NatCen, said yesterday: "The notion that the people who inhabit this particular set of islands have strong emotional attachments to our nation is an enduring one. Our report delves a little deeper into these feelings of national pride, and who exactly is feeling them. Differences in age, gender and education have an impact on the depth of patriotic feeling – but the report reveals that feelings of national pride still run high, with eight in ten people saying they feel proud to be British."

When it comes to recent events, the poll shows that British pride was at its peak during the 2012 Olympics, which was voted the most rewarding time to be British. This chimes with the NatCen report findings that national pride is linked to our sporting achievements, with 73% of Brits feeling proud when the country does well in international sports

The Queen becoming our longest serving monarch and the 70-year commemoration of VE Day also make the top of the list of events that make us feel most proud of Britain.

Cassie Shuttlewood, Senior Brand Manager at Tetley, said: "Our new ad is all about celebrating Britain's greatest moments – the people and events that fill the nation with pride. And we wanted to explore this a little further with our audit, shining a light on how Brits feel about the country and the things people associate with Britishness. An interesting finding is that patriotic feeling seems to increase with age – perhaps because the older you are, the more tea you tend to drink! We are heartened and proud to see that a cup of tea is high on the list of British icons. Tea is such an iconic part of Britishness, right up there with the Royal Family, James Bond and Big Ben. Nothing in the UK starts without a cuppa – and we’d like to invite the nation to raise a cup to celebrate the very best of British!"

40 MOST COMMON BRITISH TRAITS as revealed by the Tetley commissioned poll

  • Wearing summer clothing at the first sight of sun
  • Apologising automatically
  • Ability to talk at length about the weather
  • Making a cup of tea in response to a crisis
  • Finding queue-jumping the ultimate crime
  • Forming a queue for pretty much anything
  • The typically British 'stiff upper lip'
  • Grumbling throughout a meal, but not telling staff so as not to cause a fuss
  • Making sarcastic/dry jokes
  • Having a beer at the airport even though it's before 8am
  • Giggling at innuendos
  • Making a cup of tea when you have no time to drink it
  • Getting sunburnt on the first warm day of the year
  • Finding the American forwardness 'a bit much'
  • Avoiding eye contact on the tube
  • Binge drinking at the weekends
  • Insisting the other person goes through the door first
  • Searching for a fry-up when on holiday abroad
  • Mistaking brightness for warmth
  • Finding nothing better than a bacon sandwich
  • Not asking for help so as not to 'put anyone out'
  • Insisting the barbecue will still go on despite rain
  • Bringing out fancy biscuits on a plate for visitors
  • Feeling extremely patriotic during sports events
  • Indulging in a pint and a packet of crisps
  • Reading newspapers in the morning
  • Feeling at home to the tune of EastEnders or Coronation Street
  • Wearing extra layers rather than putting the heating on
  • Feeling appreciative that the person in front put the 'next customer' barrier on the conveyor belt
  • Doing anything possible for a light tan
  • Owning a picnic hamper but only ever using it once a year
  • Starting a controversial statement with 'I'm not being funny, but...'
  • Being vague about your plans rather than decline an invitation
  • Thanking someone when you've done them a favour
  • Not correcting someone when they pronounce your name wrong
  • Loving your cat/dog more than your child
  • Searching your pockets when asked for spare change
  • Feeling extreme excitement over a Sunday roast dinner
  • Having mixed feelings towards the ill colleague who is still coming to work
  • Being skilled in writing a letter of complaint

TOP 20 BRITISH ICONS as revealed by the Tetley commissioned poll

  • Traditional Roast Dinner
  • Fish and chips
  • BBC
  • Union Jack
  • Wimbledon
  • A British cup of tea
  • The London Underground
  • The Royal Family
  • Only Fools and Horses
  • The Beatles
  • NHS
  • The City of London
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Red buses
  • Winston Churchill
  • Queen
  • Queuing
  • Cream tea
  • James Bond
  • Stonehenge

NatCen Findings

A proud nation:
The vast majority of the public are proud to be British – 82% in 2013 and 2003
Most people who live here feel connected to Britain – 72% feel ‘very’ or ‘fairly close’ to Britain
A majority (62%) of people who live here would rather be a citizen of Britain than of any other 
country in the world
National pride is linked with our sporting achievements: 73% feel proud to be British when the 
country does well in international sports.

Who is most proud in Britain:
Feelings about Britain and being British vary between people of different ages and between men and women.
The older people are, the stronger their feelings about Britain appear to be. Older people are more likely than younger people to feel 'very proud' of being British and to feel 'very close' to Britain.
Women are a little more likely than men to be proud to be British

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