Wisdom: ‘iconic legend’

October 06, 2010, 5:15 PM GMT+0

National treasure Sir Norman Wisdom passed away on Monday at the age of 95. The comedian, actor and singer-songwriter was among those selected by the British public this year to feature in YouGov’s annual list of the top twenty most well-known and well-loved national figures.

Users, or ‘tyggers’, flooded to TellYouGov today to express their condolences for the loss of the ‘entertainment legend’, pushing the topic’s volume score up to a huge 493 (up 468 in the past 24 hours), with an overwhelmingly positive sentiment score of 431 (up 406), the highest on the leaderboard. Both scores are continuing to rise. Sir Norman died peacefully at Abbotswood Nursing home on the Isle of Man, in the presence of his son Nick and daughter Jacqui.

  • The nation’s ‘favourite clown’ (as fellow comedian Charlie Chaplain once called him) was described by tyggers as ‘a real gentleman’, ‘an iconic comedy legend’ and ‘a truly wonderful and hugely talented man’.
  • Many tyggers said that Sir Norman ‘would be sadly missed’ and one said he was ‘a great example to modern day stars’.
  • ‘He won’t be forgotten’ wrote many users.
  • One tygger happily proclaimed ‘He is Albanian’, comically referring to the comedian’s unprecedented popularity in the country. During the Communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, Sir Norman’s films were the only western ones allowed in the country. Hoxha deemed the slapstick comedy acceptable as he considered it a ‘Communist parable on class war’.

National treasure nominations

In our search for the greatest twenty, YouGov asked our panellists for nominations, before conducting a nationally representative poll asking respondents whether the top nominees were national treasures or not. Our final list of Britain’s twenty top treasures for 2010 is based on those figures whose ‘net’ treasure score was positive – or, to put it simply, the figures for whom the proportion of people thinking they WERE a national treasure was larger than the proportion who thought they were definitely NOT one.

Based on such criteria, other figures to join Sir Norman on our list of national treasures included:

Dame Judi Dench
Sir Michael Caine
Joanna Lumley
Sir Sean Connery
Ronnie Corbett
Sir David Jason
Julie Walters
Dame Vera Lynn
Sir Cliff Richard
Dame Shirley Bassey
Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Stirling Moss
Sir Bobby Charlton
Stephen Hawking
Sir Patrick Moore
Bruce Forsyth
Sir David Attenborough
Sir Michael Palin
Stephen Fry

Related story - Twenty top treasures - the first of an annual round up of Britain's most loved 'National Treasures'

Have your say: The TellYouGov keyword for this topic is 'Norman Wisdom'

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